Series Preview: A’s vs Mariners

The A’s were one out away from being swept over the weekend, yet played well enough that they were a couple of breaks away from sweeping the Giants. One of the comments I heard over the weekend from my Giants fan friends is that the A’s actually look surprisingly good. So maybe the A’s didn’t win the series, but they did get people to notice them. That’s a plus for this young team.

A little good fortune in Games 1 and 2 and they could have really opened some eyes, but alas that is baseball sometimes. With interleague done for the year the A’s will now look to improve their results with a trip up to Seattle.

In case you forgot or haven’t seen 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

Monday, June 25, 7:10 PM: Tommy Milone vs. Erasmo Ramirez

Tuesday, June 26, 7:10 PM: Travis Blackley vs. Jason Vargas

Wednesday, June 27, 12:40 PM: Jarrod Parker vs. Kevin Millwood


Mariners          A’s
Game 1 54% 46%
Game 2 45% 55%
Game 3 49% 51%
Sweep 12% 13%
2 out 3 37% 38%
1 out 3 38% 37%
0 out 3 13% 12%
Win Series 49% 51%
Lose Series 51% 49%


The A’s are favored to win this series, which features the two lowest-scoring teams in the American League.

With the A’s playing well (even in the two losses over the weekend), I do expect them to take at least two games in this series. However, this has been the kiss of death for them lately … or so it seems. When I was talking them up a month ago — and they had a better record than the Giants — they went into a nose dive. Now that I have relegated them to rebuilding, they have snuck back to within view of .500.

I hope I didn’t just jinx them. Let’s see if they can take care of business against the Mariners.

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