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Game Thread #29: A’s at Blue Jays

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Brett Anderson vs. Vlad Jr., the matchup we’ve been waiting for

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the 5 best position players according to WAR were in the American League (Matt Chapman was 7th btw). And that’s not even including Jose Altuve and Aaron Judge, the top 2 finishers in 2017 AL MVP voting, or Giancarlo Stanton, the 2017 NL MVP. Arguably, the AL holds 10 or so of the 15 best position players in baseball (see below for my Top 15).

As if that didn’t make it tough enough for the A’s, they’ll now have to face Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. — the best hitting prospect since Mike Trout — on a team they just can’t seem to beat. Now I’m not saying he’s instantly in the top 15, but he certainly he has the potential to get there relatively soon. Already, he’s spoiled one of the best Mike Fiers starts of the year by hitting the double that scored the game-winning run.

Today, he’ll be facing our sole lefty in the rotation, Brett Anderson. Interestingly, Vlad Jr. has hit righties better than lefties so far in his career, albeit in a much larger sample size. Nevertheless, we should be scared.

Leave your biggest Vlad Jr. fears in the comments below.

LINEUPS:

My Personal Top 15 Position Players (everything beyond #1 can be rearranged)

  1. Mike Trout (AL)
  2. Mookie Betts (AL)
  3. Jose Ramirez (AL)
  4. Christian Yelich (NL)
  5. Aaron Judge (AL)
  6. Francisco Lindor (AL)
  7. Jose Altuve (AL)
  8. Manny Machado (NL)
  9. Alex Bregman (AL)
  10. Matt Chapman (AL)
  11. Nolan Arenado (NL)
  12. Anthony Rendon (NL)
  13. JD Martinez (AL)
  14. Bryce Harper (NL)
  15. Paul Goldschmidt (NL)

Anyone missing?