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Elephant Rumblings: A’s leading MLB in runs scored

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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays
Apr 11, 2022; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Oakland Athletics shortstop Elvis Andrus (left) is congratulated by catcher Sean Murphy (12) after hitting a three-run home run during the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. 
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!

The A’s are headed home after a tough ten game road trip to start the 2022 season. So far they’re 5-5, which is not bad considering the caliber of teams faced. The losses were mostly hard fought, and yesterday’s game should have gone the A’s way; it’s always disappointing to lose one on errors.

But spirits are high: the A’s have exceeded expectations so far and shown a lot of spirit as they head back to Oakland for their first home series of the season against the Baltimore Orioles and a chance to get on a roll against a weak opponent.

Over the weekend, I noticed tweets from Vince Cotroneo and Jessica Kleinschmidt pointing out that the A’s are leading all of baseball in runs scored, and though they only plated three on Sunday, the resulting ten-game total of 53 is enough to stay ahead of the Dodgers and Mets, tied for second with 51 runs apiece. Granted, the A’s can’t boast the over-25 run differentials that both of those NL teams are sitting on, but their +10 differential is nothing to sneeze at and would almost certainly portend success if they can keep that pace up.

So far Sean Murphy and Elvis Andrus are leading the charge for the A’s with Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) of 160 and 146, respectively. For Elvis, this represents a dramatic improvement over 2021, when his abysmal wRC+ of 72 made him something of a fan un-favorite in his first year with Oakland. Murphy’s bat has a better reputation than that of Andrus, but Sean was a bit quiet at the plate last year with a wRC+ of just 99 after exceeding 130 in his first two seasons. For context, Vlad Guerrero Jr. won the AL Silver Slugger award last year with a wRC+ of 166. So Sean is batting at an elite level so far this season despite a walk rate of just 5.1% and a very high K rate of 33.3%.

Those surprisingly disparate wRC+ and plate discipline indicators are reminders that the season is young and all of these stats are based on small samples. We’re just getting started and we’d best not count any chickens before they’ve hatched. But so far this season, the A’s have had some serious pop, and it’s been a lot of fun to watch! Keep it up, Oakland!

A’s Coverage:

MLB News & Interest:

Best of Twitter:

Montas still scheduled to start today as planned.

Hey—we still eked out the win after controlling for bad umpiring!

Calling out the Trash Can Beaters in clever new ways. Love it.

Congrats on the stolen base ...

... and happy belated, Jed!

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The gratitude is mutual.

Best wishes to Buck and family.

Have a day, Jonah!

I’m a Jazz fan. But good luck anyway.