Brandon McCarthy

Series Preview: A’s vs Dodgers

It has been a while but I am back with the newest edition of the A’s series preview.

This time the A’s face off with their Bay Area neighbor’s biggest rival (just in time for Rivals Week here at BASG) and have a chance to help out the Giants gain some ground in the NL West.

In case you forgot or didn’t see the explanation, here is a quick description of how the model works:

  • I start by estimating the runs scored and allowed for each team given the starting pitcher, bullpen, defense and each team’s offense.
  • The data used in the projection model is based on the current season’s statistics to date and ZiPS projections, with the weighting shifting more toward the actual stats as the season progresses.
  • The estimated run differential is then converted into a projected winning percentage using the pythagorean expectation.
  • Then, it’s converted into an odds of winning the game using the log5 method developed by Bill James

Probables (via MLB.com):

Tuesday, June 19, 7:05 PM: Brandon McCarthy vs. Aaron Harang

Wednesday, June 20, 7:05 PM: Tommy Milone vs. Nathan Eovaldi

Thursday, June 21, 12:35 PM: Jarrod Parker vs. Clayton Kershaw

Odds:

  A’s Dodgers
Game 1 49% 51%
Game 2 49% 51%
Game 3 45% 55%
Sweep 11% 14%
2 out 3 36% 39%
1 out 3 39% 36%
0 out 3 14% 11%
Win Series 47% 53%
Lose Series 53% 47%

On paper the Los Angeles isn’t very intimidating when you get past Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp (still on the DL), yet this year has seen the Dodgers’ role players step up to give them the best record in all of baseball.

The Dodgers’ team wOBA of .318 puts them in a tie for 10th in baseball, a good but not great hitting team. The starting pitching has been very good, posting a 3.64 FIP (tied for fourth best). The Dodgers’ relievers have the worst ranking of the major categories — overall they’re 12th in the Majors in FIP at 3.63. Put it all together with a defense that has been rated as the fourth best in baseball UZR and a relatively  easy opening schedule, and you get the best overall record in baseball.

On the Athletics’ side of the docket, they have finally seemed to have righted their sinking ship. After a brutal stretch in late May where they managed to win just four of 18 games, the A’s have won five of their last six. I guess playing against the National League was just what the doctor ordered. In addition, McCarthy will be back after missing his last start with a shoulder injury.

Overall the A’s aren’t favored to win any of the three games. However, according to the odds they should hopefully have at least a chance in all three and with Oakland actually playing some decent baseball lately maybe they can steal a series victory from the Dodgers.

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