Oakland A’s Preview: A’s prepare to pay a visit to Anaheim to face Ohtani and the Angels

Instead of getting the big fly the Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani flies out against the Minnesota Twins on Sep 24, 2022 at Target Field in Minneapolis. The Oakland A’s open a three game series at the Big A in Anaheim Tue Sep 27, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The A’s have nine games left to play in 2022. Oakland has won 56 and lost 97. The team is hoping not to lose 100 games, but they would have to win seven of the last nine to avoid that fate. Their record would indicate that they would win three and lose six.

They will play the Los Angeles Angels six times, three at Anaheim and the last three at home. The A’s will travel to Seattle for three with the Mariners. Those games will occur after the A’s finish with the Angels on Thursday.

The Angels had high hopes for the 2022 season. The team played well early in the year. Their season derailed when they had a fourteen-game losing streak. The Angels fired their manager, Joe Maddon, in midseason. Maddon had great success managing the Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago Cubs.

Maddon was the skipper of the Cubs when Chicago won its first World Series Crown in 2016. The Cubs ended 108 years of futility. The Angels, like many other teams, lost key players to injury. The Angels’ starting rotation did not live up to expectations.

The bullpen was a problem, too. Their three-time MVP Mike Trout spent time on the IL with a back injury. Their other MVP, Shohei Ohtani, continued to wow the baseball world with his exploits. As a pitcher, Ohtani is 14-8 and has an ERA of 2.47.

Ohtani probably is in the race for the AL Cy Young Award. As the Angels’ DH, Ohtani is hitting .271 with 34 home runs, 93 RBIs, 87 runs scored, and an OPS of .887. The AL 2022 MVP will be Ohtani or the New York Yankees’ slugger Aaron Judge. Judge may win baseball’s Triple Crown. He currently leads the league in hitting, home runs, and RBIs.

The Angels have other players that love to beat the A’s. Their second baseman Luis Rengifo had had key hits against the A’s. First baseman Jared Walsh and outfielder Taylor Ward can give the A’s headaches.

The A’s dismal season is coming to an end. The team has used 63 players. The A’s have made so many transactions in the last month. It’s a case of here today and gone tomorrow. The team will look at many new players to see if they fit into the A’s future next year.

The A’s will send James Kaprielian to the hill Tuesday night. Kap is 4-9, and his ERA is 4.43. Kaprielian had his best outing of the year last week when he went seven innings and allowed two hits. Kaprielian had made 34 prior starts without going past the sixth inning. The big righty would love to finish the season pitching well. Lefty Patrick Sandoval will go for the Angels. Sandoval is 6-9 with an era of 3.01.

Adrian Martinez pitches for Oakland on Wednesday. Martinez came to Oakland from the San Diego Padres in the trade for Seam Manaea. The 25-year-old righty from Mexicali, Mexico, is 4-5 with a high ERA of 6.10. The Angels will have Michael Lorenzen on the mound. Lorenzen is 7-6 and has an ERA of 4.78.

Thursday night’s game features lefty Cole Irvin for the A’s going against Shohei Ohtani of the Angels. Irvin has struggled a bit in the second half of the year. The A’s didn’t give Irvin a lot of run support earlier in the season. Irvin is 9-12, and his ERA is now 4.11. Ohtani is an incredible athlete. Ohtani has a fastball that can exceed 100 miles per hour. His hitting prowess was noted earlier in the preview.

Neither team will be going to the playoffs. Both teams will evaluate players who want to be on their roster for the 2023 season. Some of the A’s players to watch are Shea Langoliers, Nick Allen, Jonah Bride, Dermis Garcia, Jordan Diaz, and Conner Capel. Even though the teams won’t be in the playoffs, the fans should watch the games. Ohtani and Trout are not to be missed.

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