The Oakland Athletics begin a week of baseball that could allow them to further establish their credentials in the American League West. The A's open the week with three games at the Texas Rangers and follow that with three games at home against the Chicago White Sox. The A's are currently tied with the Rangers for second place in the West, which means this three game set could allow one of the teams to put some serious space between them.
The A's and Rangers will be sending out the 1-2-3 members of their rotation in what should make for some riveting pitching battles. The Ballpark in Arlington is known as a hitters park, but often that doesn't become a significant concern until the summer hits. It will be in the 90s today and 80s the next two days, but there is a lot of wind and potential rain on Wednesday.
The Rangers will be without big bat Nelson Cruz, who was placed on the disabled list on Saturday. He joins Josh Hamilton, which leaves the Rangers in a tough position on offense. This certainly benefits the A's already dominant pitching staff. The A's offense is not banged up, but is struggling to get anything going on a consistent basis, so the less offense the Rangers can roll out the better.
The one significant concern for the A's is whether Josh Willingham will face a suspension following his ejection this past weekend. He argued a strike three call and after being tossed appeared to bump home plate umpire Bill Miller. It appeared to me as incidental contact when Miller turned, but MLB might view it differently. Even if he does face a modest suspension, an appeal would likely drag it out beyond this week.
3 game series vs Rangers @ Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
|Tue 05/10 - Brett Anderson vs. Colby Lewis||5:05 PM PDT|
|Wed 05/11 - Gio Gonzalez vs. Matt Harrison||11:05 AM PDT|
3 game series vs White Sox @ Oakland Overstock.com Coliseum
Friday, May 13, 2011, 7:05 PM PDT
Brandon McCarthy vs. Gavin Floyd
|Sat 05/14 - Tyson Ross vs. Mark Buehrle||1:05 PM PDT|
|Sun 05/15 - Trevor Cahill vs. Edwin Jackson||1:05 PM PDT|