After losing two straight to open the season, the Oakland A’s are scorching hot. They have won eight consecutive games, including three most recently against the Los Angeles Angels. Oakland’s 8-2 record leads the American League, and trails just the Atlanta Braves’ 8-1 record for the MLB’s best mark.
During their win streak, the A’s have outscored their opponents 65-24, and they’re batting .331 as a team along with 17 home runs. Not only does this put them atop a slew of offensive categories—they lead the majors in runs (66), hits (103), doubles (26), home urns (18), walks (39), slugging percentage (.524) and extra base hits (45)—but it also has supported their pitching, which has also been very good. Oakland’s staff leads the American League with a team 2.90 ERA.
In short, the A’s have been very good in every area. Perhaps now pundits and fans around the world are beginning to realize that this team wasn’t a fluke in 2012, rather, a peak into the future.
But a weekend set against the defending AL champions isn’t an easy assignment. Not to mention that the Tigers knocked them out of the playoffs last year despite having the series go five games.
Bartolo Colon will take the ball in Game 1. He pitched six innings in his season debut against the Houston Astros, allowing three runs on a three-run homer off the bat of Jason Castro.
Colon, who is 8-10 with a 5.60 ERA lifetime against Detroit, will face a Tigers offense that plated 11 runs against the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday, and scored a grand total of 17 runs in a three-game series against the Toronto. The quartet of Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, Torii Hunter and Austin Jackson went a combined 8-for-16 against the Blue Jays, driving in nine of the Tigers 11 runs. Shutting these four down would bode well for Colon.
What’s more, in nine games, Torii Hunter has seven multi-hit performances. He’s the first Tigers player since 1916 to do that.
Max Scherzer will oppose Colon. He struggled in his first outing of the year, permitting four runs over five innings to the New York Yankees. He struck out seven and issued only two walks, but his command wasn’t sharp.
The AL West seems to be a friendly sight for the Scherzer, as he’s 12-3 with a 3.14 ERA against AL foes in his career, including 131 strikeouts in 120.1 innings. More specifically, against the A’s, he’s 2-1 with a 3.79 ERA in four starts.
- Alex Avila is 4-for-5 with two home runs against Colon in his career
- Torii Hunter has two home runs off Colon in 58 career at-bats
- As a team, the Tigers own a slash of .328/.366/.577 against Colon in 137 combined at-bats.
- Colon will be making his first start at the O.co Coliseum since Aug. 18, his last start before being suspended for 50 games for PED use.