6 Challenges the Oakland A’s Will Face in 2013

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# 5 Interleague Play: A big change is set to occur for baseball teams come this April, as Major League Baseball has implemented a newly structured schedule that will bring inter-league play to the sport virtually every day.  And with that, comes the good and the bad.

July 10, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; National League outfielders Andrew McCutchen (left) , Jay Bruce (32) and Bryce Harper (34) talk in the outfield during a pitching change during the 2012 MLB All Star Game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports via USA TODAY Sports

Though Oakland’s tougher American League rival’s lineups will be busy with National League pitching, so will Oakland.  And that could be anunfair trade off, as there are quite a few teams in the National League that boast shutdown pitching.  The frontrunners being; the World Champion San Francisco Giants, Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds, and the Atlanta Braves.

Fortunately for Oakland, they only have to face three out of five of those teams, and only play them respectively once during the regular season.  So the A’s caught a break there.

One thing the club won’t have to worry about is that of the Houston Astros, who are by far the least concerning club going into 2013, despite joining Oakland’s division and being set to face the Athletics twenty time next season.

There is, however, one last club in their division who could potentially represent a problem slightly higher than that of Houston.