Brandon McCarthy

Rivals Week: Bay Bridge Series Preview (plus the final Die Hard contest)

The Bay Bridge series is back for round two on the season.

The Giants took round one in San Francisco, but now the series switches over to the East Bay. The A’s are currently one of the hottest teams in baseball, winning eight of their last nine and finally breaking out of the collective offensive slump that they seemed to be in to start the season. In June the A’s as a team have a 119 wRC+ (second only to the Angels) and are hitting .266/.344/.444.

Overall it should be a fun series and for those planning on making the trip out to the Coliseum, be sure to peruse the good natured insults from yesterday to taunt your counterparts.

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

Friday, June 22, 7:05 PM: Jarrod Parker vs. Tim Lincecum

Saturday, June 23, 4:15 PM: Tyson Ross vs. Madison Bumgarner

Sunday, June 24, 1:05 PM: Brandon McCarthy vs. Matt Cain


A’s Giants Total Runs
Game 1 53% 47% 6.1
Game 2 41% 59% 7.1
Game 3 51% 49% 6.0
Sweep 11% 13%
2 out 3 37% 39%
1 out 3 39% 37%
0 out 3 13% 11%
Win Series 48% 52%
Lose Series 52% 48%

The red hot A’s are projected to have a slight advantage in two of the three games, but in Game 2 the Giants are pretty heavily favored to win behind Bumgarner. The Game 2 margin is enough to tilt the overall series projection in the Giants’ favor, but overall this should be a tight series.

The game that is sure to draw the most attention is game one to see if Lincecum can finally figure “it” out and get back on track. The struggles have been hard on the team and on Lincecum. In USA Today his father Chris had some pretty pointed things to say about the struggles.

“Here’s a two-time Cy Young winner, a four-time All-Star, a World Series champion, and send him to the minors?” Chris Lincecum said, his voice rising. “You do that, and what you’re basically telling the player is, ‘We don’t need you or respect you.’ And this is the kid who helped bring a championship to the city of San Francisco for the first time in over 50 years?’

“It’s like people forget what he’s done. It’s like, ‘What the (expletive) do I have to do. What more do you want? I gave you two Cy Youngs. I was a major contributor to the World Series. And you crucify me now?’ ”

“You keep saying (expletive) like this, and he’ll want to go away. This is the face of the franchise … and now that he’s struggling, as all players do at some point, this is the (bleep) respect he gets? You’re crucifying him.

“It’s like the media is hoping he fails so they’ll have something to write about. If they’re trying to get him to leave that city, they’re (bleeping) on their way.”

Those are some pretty tough words. I have to say that I don’t think he is right about the way that Lincecum has been treated by the media. Overall it seems that the message is one of concern and worry, not one that is ripping anything that Lincecum has done. I’m sure the view is different from the inside, but for the sake of everyone involved I really hope he pitches well to make this story go away.

So while tonight’s game will get the most attention, the one that I am most excited for is Game 3. I think that the McCarthy/Cain match up will be a good one and should give us — on paper, at least — the most even matchup.

No matter which team ends up the winner two of you can still end up winners, with a new shirt from DIE HARD CO., a local apparel company that gives Bay Area fans a way to sport their colors with eye-catching shirts you won’t find anywhere else. Here’s how to win (it’s really easy):

– In the comments, predict who will win each game of the series AND the total runs for EACH game.

– The two commenters who come closest to predicting the outcome of the ‘Battle of the Bay’ will win the shirt of their choice from DIE HARD.

I’ve given you the odds and the projected runs for each game, so let’s see what you all think will happen in the comments.

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