Oakland Athletics

Series Preview: A’s vs Twins

The A’s are .500 at the break and just 2.5 back of the last wild card spot after the all star break.

It seems like they are close to being in contention, but in reality, they are still probably a full year away from realistically having a shot at the playoffs.

This series against the Twins will be a matchup against the two teams that in the late 90’s, bucked the trends and contended with a small payroll only to fall by the wayside. Now, it is a battle of also ran’s who try to claw their way to respectability.

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 MLB.com):

Friday, July 13, 5:10 PM: A.J. Griffin vs. Francisco Liriano

Saturday, July 14, 4:10 PM: Tommy Milone vs. Cole De Vries

Sunday, July 15, 11:10 AM: Jarrod Parker vs. Brian Duensing

Odds:

Twins Athletics
Game 1 62% 38%
Game 2 57% 43%
Game 3 51% 49%
Sweep 18% 8%
2 out 3 42% 32%
1 out 3 32% 42%
0 out 3 8% 18%
Win Series 60% 40%
Lose Series 40% 60%

The A’s are the underdog, according to the model. Still, I think that they should have better odds than what this suggests.

The A’s have been playing well going into the All-Star break, and I think that they are better than the Twins on a pure talent level, especially now that they have had a few days off.

I would give them a pretty decisive advantage in games two and three. Both teams are equal in the first game of this series.  The model says different, but this is one of those spots that I am not inclined to trust what my numbers are telling me, even if it is not the most prudent move to make.

At a neutral field, the A’s would be favored. Even on the road, their talent level advantage would prevail, no matter what my own numbers say.

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