The last time the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s met in a World Series (1989), not even an earthquake could deny the Athletics from decimating the Giants in four straight games to earn Oakland its first title since the 1974 season.
Since then, however, it seems as though the tables have turned in the favor of San Francisco. Though Oakland returned to the World Series the very next season in 1990, and they’ve had more postseason appearances in that time frame, the Giants have won two World Series titles compared to Oakland’s zero.
Now, just weeks away from Opening Day, both San Francisco and Oakland are currently entrenched in Spring Training games, where new faces are pit against the old in competition for a guaranteed roster spot. Neither team thus far has been turning any heads in terms of their respective records – Oakland is 5-6, while San Francisco is right behind at 4-5, both being at the middle to near last place in the Cactus League – but, as we all know, Spring Training games rarely have anything to do with how a team will actually play during the regular season.
For example: back at the start of 2011, fresh from winning it all for the first time since moving west following the 1958 season, the Giants were nothing but overly optimistic with their chances to repeat as World Champions. And why wouldn’t they be? Finishing 23-12 (just as they had in 2010), the Giants were Cactus League Champions yet again. Unfortunately, that record meant nothing, as they started the regular season semi-strong, but soon began to falter offensively, with Aubrey Huff, Andres Torres, and Cody Ross all failing to even come close to their numbers they enjoyed only a season prior.
Just across the Bay Bridge lies Oakland, whose Athletics finished 2012 with a surprising record of 94-68. Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Reddick, Josh Donaldson, and a staff built of mostly rookies drove this team to the postseason. But it wasn’t that surprising, as the team has been getting better over the last few years. 2011 was a bit of an aberration, as Oakland has the potential to be one of the better teams in the American League.
But what are the chances that San Francisco and Oakland meet each other in this coming season’s fall classic?
Well, first of all, we must look at the reality that anything can happen over a long 162-game stretch.
Injuries, trades, and sub-par performances (however much unwanted) are all but expected upon entering a new season.
Let’s take a look at some of the notable additions and subtractions both teams have made…