The start of 2016 MLB season is just three days away on Sunday, and the LT Profits Group continue to profile every team to help with your MLB picks. Next is the Oakland Athletics.
We are about to commence on a new MLB season with the 2016 campaign kicking off with three games on Sunday and then the rest of the league starting play on Monday. Therefore, we are continuing to profile all 30 MLB teams in advance of opening day in an attempt to assist with your MLB picks, and today we take a look at the Oakland Athletics, who finished fifth and last in the American League West in 2015 at 68-94.
First, here is a summary of the Oakland betting statistics for the 2015 season. Note that these stats are always for regular season games only and that the units won or lost are based on betting one unit every game, with those units and Over/Under records based on the closing lines from Pinnacle.
Oakland Athletics 2015 Betting Stats
The Athletics had a big fall from grace last season, finishing dead last in the American League West after making the playoffs each of the previous three years with two of those appearances being as division winners. Oakland remained overrated though practically from start to finish in 2015, so the -29.42 units lost by the A’s supporters was the second worst mark on the entire MLB Money Line Standings.
Next comes a look at the Athletics’ statistical summary for the 2015 season.
2015 Oakland Athletics Team Statistics
|Runs per Game||4.28||14th|
The Athletics neither hit very well nor pitched very well last season, but it was the latter that was most disappointing as posting a 4.16 team ERA while playing in one of the most pitcher-friendly stadiums in baseball certainly seems very disturbing. As for the offense, the Athletics may rue the day before last season when they traded away Josh Donaldson to the Blue Jays, especially with the only hitter received in return in Brett Lawrie no longer with the team.
2016 Oakland Athletics World Series Futures
Apparently the oddsmakers feel things can only get worse for the Athletics this year as not only do they figure to repeat their last-place finish in the division, but they also have the biggest odds of any American League team to win the World Series. Oakland did improve its bullpen this off-season, but the offense is full of a bunch of replacement level players without much upside.
2016 Oakland Athletics Batting Forecast
The A’s may have had a history of overachieving since Billy Beane became their general manager, but that was not the case last season and the current lineup does not inspire confidence. In fact, based on the ZiPS projections, Oakland has just two batters that project for a WAR higher than 2.0, and not by much at that with Marcus Semien and Josh Reddick each at 2.4.
And yet, even with such modest predicted WARs leading the team, the rest of the lineup is comprised of a bunch of role players. For the record, last year’s American League MVP Donaldson projects for around a 6.0 WAR this year, making him roughly equivalent to the top four Oakland batters this season. And he would have only cost the A’s a relatively modest $11.5 million.
2016 Oakland Athletics Pitching Forecast
The Athletic do have a bona fide ace in Sonny Gray, who projects to a 4.9 WAR this season at the still young age of 26. Unfortunately, that WAR is roughly equivalent to roughly the rest of the starting rotation combined, although Rich Hill is a candidate for a breakout season after an impressive brief stint with the Red Sox last year.
The bullpen also struggled last season but this is one area that the A’s actively improved with the additions of Ryan Madson, Liam Hendriks, and John Axford. That is not to say that those are superstars, but they still represent a step up from what Oakland had last year. That trio will all set up Sean Doolittle, who holds on to his closer job for now.