MLB Preview: Giants vs. Athletics Statistical Battles

TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 29: Grant Balfour #50 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates victory with team mate Yoenis Cespedes #52 during the MLB Opening Series game two between the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome on March 29, 2012 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Because A's and Giants fans need stuff to argue about when they head to the bars tonight.

Last week we took a look at the fantasy juggernaut created when you combine the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants. Hopefully you avoided drafting your entire team based on those rankings, because neither the A's nor Giants boast much in the way of fantasy gold.

Instead of writing some lengthy team previews that are sure to turn out wildly incorrect, I have a different idea this week.

A's fans and Giants fans aren't exactly simpatico. For example: just in the last two weeks on the Mothership's very own Athletics Nation, there were fanposts titled "Another reason to hate the Giants," "A's fans always smarter than Giants fans......." and "Why There Is Nothing Like Beating The Giants." I'm sure there's a similar list of fanposts at McCovey Chronicles, but they're harder to find with all the Game of Thrones chatter over there.

Since Oakland and San Francisco fans have a tough time agreeing, here are a few A's vs. Giants questions to spur a little friendly discussion. That means no "1989" or "tarps" mentions in the comments.

1. More home runs: Yoenis Cespedes or Buster Posey?

Incredible athlete vs. the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year. Cespedes already hit one in Japan, and could very well play linebacker for the Raiders next season. However, MLB pitchers will make adjustments, and Cespedes' season is bound to have ups and downs. On the other side, Posey's coming off major ankle surgery. Posey's hit 22 home runs in 160 career games, but won't play that many games in 2012.

2. More stolen bases: Jemile Weeks or Angel Pagan?

Weeks -- like Cespedes -- is already on the board with a steal in Japan. He was also caught once, which is a worry since he was only successful on 22 of his 33 SB attempts over 97 games in his rookie year. Still, Weeks will have the green light because ... why the hell not? Pagan's stolen 69 bases in 85 tries over the past two years, but the Giants have only had one player steal 30 bases since 1997 (Dave Roberts stole 31 bases in 2007). It'll be interesting to see if the Giants' focus on speed and aggressive baserunning actually means something during the regular season.

Coco Crisp, who stole 49 bases last year, could easily beat both of these guys. As long as he stays healthy, that is.

3. More saves: Grant Balfour or Brian Wilson?

This question, like the previous two, would've made zero sense a year ago. But Balfour already has a save (is there an echo in here?) and Wilson's coming off a long period of elbow rest. Most people would probably go with the bearded one here, but so far this spring his velocity hasn't reached the same 95-97 range he's been in his whole career. Balfour's battling Brian Fuentes and a lack of closing experience, but elbow soreness trumps all.

4. The butt of more lousy weight-related jokes: Bartolo Colon or Pablo Sandoval?

Colon's the leader in the clubhouse, but he's been pretty much the same shape for the better part of a decade. More observers are monitoring the fluctuations Sandoval's waist size, so if he balloons in the second half he could steal a "win" here.

5. Who gets San Jose: A's or Giants?

You never know, Bud Selig might actually make a decision one of these days.

--

Bay Area Sports Week in Review is an SB Nation Bay Area feature written by Bay Area Sports Guy. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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