6 Challenges the Oakland A’s Will Face in 2013

3 of 7

# 2 The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:

Just when you thought Oakland had caught a break with Josh Hamilton leaving Texas, Dan Haren switching leagues to join the Nationals, and Zack Greinke following the green to wear the blue, you find out where Hamilton landed.  And that would be in the welcoming arms of the Angels, who now, more than ever, present a potentially devastating problem to the Athletics.

Though the Angels don’t hit Oakland too much better than Texas, they still have some solid numbers against the club, relievers included.

Mar 13, 2013; Peoria, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols (5) hits an RBI sacrifice fly during the fifth inning against the San Diego Padres at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, Los Angeles batted .262 as a team against Oakland, with Trout, Pujols, and Trumbo accounting for forty nine hits through forty eight games played against them.  Throw in Hamilton’s numbers versus the green and gold last season, and, coincidentally, it’s an even sixty seven hits through sixty seven games.  Very interesting stat.

But really, you could have a potentially dangerous lineup if only one of the big three were batting cleanup surrounded by a lineup of average to decent hitters.  The fact that there are three of the best hitters in baseball all hitting together, is actually kind of daunting.  Luckily for Oakland, Torii Hunter – who was debatebly Anaheim’s best hitter against the Athletics last season – is taking a shot in Detroit, and the Athletics don’t see much of the Tigers next season.

What I don’t like is the thought of having to pitch against Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Mark Trumbo, and now Josh Hamilton  nineteen times next season. They face the Angles six times in the first half, and thirteen times in the second half, which doesn’t bode particularly well in terms of a hopeful stretch run for Oakland.

Anaheim may have lost Greinke, Haren, and Santana, but the additions of starters Jason Vargas, Tommy Hansen, and closer Ryan Madsen should help mend the wounds.  C. J. Wilson is also bound to have a bounce-back season, after failing to reach expectations in his first of many years with his new club.