WinView Games Playbook: A's vs. Giants - July 21
Steve Pimental breaks down Saturday's matchup between the Athletics and Giants to give you his take on what to watch for in this MLB contest on WinView Games.
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San Francisco Giants @ Oakland Athletics
Games Total: 8
Game Play Predictions
San Francisco Giants
- The Giants will face Oakland for the fifth game in a row, as the A’s won two of three in San Francisco prior to the All-Star Break before San Francisco won on the road 5-1 Friday night.
- The Giants face Trevor Cahill , whose numbers are awfully impressive this season. He is 1-2 with a 3.10 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 50 strikeouts in 52.1 innings.
- Cahill missed more than a month with an Achilles injury, and he struggled in his only start since returning. Cahill allowed three runs on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 3.2 innings against Houston.
- Cahill’s 2.41 BB/9 is his career low, and is much, much better than his 4.82 and 4.80 BB/9 his last two years. His 3.57 K/BB rate is by far the best of his career; his previous career high was 2.25 in 2015.
- The Giants have the eighth highest strikeout rate in baseball against righties and the eighth lowest walk rate.
- San Francisco’s biggest problem all season has been its lack of power. Only five teams have hit fewer home runs and only eight have a lower slugging percentage.
- The Giants will be without their leader in home runs and RBI, as Brandon Belt is away with his wife for the birth of their second child.
- Ryder Jones was called up from Triple-A Friday and his hit a solo home run in his first game of the season. Jones is slashing .299/.348/.447 at Triple-A this season.
- While San Francisco’s offense could struggle with Belt and Evan Longoria out, there are some reasons for optimism. Andrew McCutchen is 6-for-12 with four walks, one strikeout, two stolen bases and 12 total bases against Trevor Cahill .
- Pablo Sandoval , Hunter Pence and Buster Posey have had more modest success against Cahill, going 9-for-26, 8-for-25 and 8-for-25 against him respectively.
- Madison Bumgarner will pitch for San Francisco. He held Oakland to one earned run on three hits, three walks and five strikeouts in his last start.
- Bumgarner has 17 walks in eight starts this season including at least two walks in each of his last six games. He walked 20 batters in 17 starts in 2017.
- On top of his increased walks, Bumgarner is also striking out his fewest batters since 2010. Bumgarner’s 2.41 K/BB rate is low than such aces as Mike Leake and Derek Holland .
- Bumgarner is getting the fewest swings at pitches inside the strike zone (62.9 percent) of his career. That is probably a result of his increased wildness this season. Just 40.2 percent of Bumgarner’s pitches have been in the strike zone this season. That is the lowest percentage of his career, and far below his 45.6 percent career average.
- Part of the reason for Bumgarner’s inability to find the strikezone likely stems from his reluctance to throw his fastball. He is throwing his fastball just 38.3 percent of the time, a career low. That has corresponded with a career-high 10.5 percent usage of his changeup. While Bumgarner has leaned on his changeup heavily in other seasons (it was above 10 percent in 2010 and 2013), he has used it far more than in 2017 (5.5 percent) and 2016 (3.3 percent).
- Oakland is just 24-22 at home this season, mostly because their bats have gone quiet. Only the Marlins and Mets have a lower road OPS than Oakland’s .670.
- Oakland has the eighth highest strikeout rate at home (23.2 percent) and the fifth highest against lefties (23.8 percent).
- The Athletics have a .700 OPS against lefties this season, good for 19th in MLB.
- As you might expect, the current A’s who have faced Bumgarner have largely struggled against him. They are a combined 16-for-78 against Bumgarner in his career.
- While Khris Davis leads the A’s in home runs (21) and RBI (64), you could argue Jed Lowrie has been Oakland’s most complete hitter, batting .282/.356/.488 this season.
- Lowrie is one of three A’s with a 10 percent walk rate or better, along with Matt Olson and Matt Chapman .
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J. Wendle - 2B
Wendle went 1-for-3 with a solo home run, two walks and two runs in a loss to the Red Sox on Sunday.
B. Lowe - 2B
Lowe (quadriceps) went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run in a loss to the Red Sox on Sunday, his first major-league appearance since July 2.
B. McKay - SP
McKay entered Sunday's loss to the Red Sox as a pinch hitter and hit a solo home run in his only at-bat.
W. Myers - LF
Myers was battling an illness Sunday, Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
A. Puk - RP
Manager Bob Melvin confirmed Sunday that Puk will remain in the bullpen for the final week of the regular season, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
J. Luzardo - SP
Manager Bob Melvin confirmed Sunday that Luzardo will remain in the bullpen for the final week of the regular season, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
A. Adams - RP
Adams, who is scheduled to undergo surgery in the near future to address a torn ACL and meniscus damage in his left knee, isn't expected to be ready to pitch for the Mariners until June at the earliest, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports.
E. Sogard - 2B
Sogard continues to struggle with a deep bone bruise in his right foot and remains uncertain about when he'll be able to return to the lineup, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.