The Oakland A’s are currently 56-39 at the All-Star break, which puts them on top of their division by a couple games. The Athletics continue to prove that they’re an incredibly well-coached team with an abundance of talent, as they are 17 games over .500 at the break.
It’s always key to get off to a good start, although the second half of the season is crucially important. Oakland had one of their best starts of a season in years, however they need to continue everything they’re doing. It’s a long season in the MLB, and consistency can become your worst nightmare.
Nevertheless, Oakland has remained consistent dating back to the end of the first half of the season last year, and I expect it to continue.
Oakland’s stud power hitter, Yoenis Cespedes, did not have the first half that fans expected out of him, as he is batting just .225. I anticipate a much better second half of the season out of him, with more hits and home runs. Cespedes has tremendous skill in all areas, but he needs to learn to not chase high and outside pitches, which has hurt him badly all year. The youngster has recorded 15 jacks thus far, but with his power he should be in the 20’s by now.
As long as he begins to swing at pitches in the zone, his stats will improve tremendously. I expect him to end the regular season with a batting average of at least .270 and close to 30 home runs.
Oakland’s third baseman Josh Donaldson has been the story all year. He has unquestionably been the team’s most valuable player, as he has showed great fielding ability along with power and a great batting average.
Donaldson is batting .310 with 16 bombs and 61 RBI’s, which ranks one of the tops in the AL in every category. He is on pace for over 100 RBI’s, and he has already recorded over 100 hits. He has shown his versatility by playing outstanding defense, with one of his best weapons being his powerful arm strength. I expect Donaldson to continue the way he’s been playing and lead the Oakland A’s to another postseason appearance.
There is no question in my mind that the Athletics are a playoff team. I believe they are going to continue to play extremely well and finish on top of their division. That is my boldest prediction about the Oakland A’s.