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Guardians have a chance to get back in way-too-early playoff race against A’s

Four games against a rebuilding team is good for the soul

Kansas City Royals v Cleveland Guardians Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

Look, the Athletics aren’t good and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone arguing that. We don’t have to dance around that fact. Their front office sold off parts from an 86-win team last year and they’re 1-9 in their last 10 and 16.5 games back in the AL West. The team is going nowhere this year, but that doesn’t mean they won’t give the Guardians trouble over the next four days (although Cleveland didn’t have much trouble sweeping them last time around).

The main player to watch from a Guardians fan perspective should be Sean Murphy. His offense has been unimpressive since his hot offensive start to the season, but he could still be a trade target at the deadline if Austin Hedges can’t climb out of the offensive Lazarus Pit sometime soon.

Rookie Cristian Pache, who represented the A’s only real push to “try” in 2022, is off to an awful start for his career. He’s currently slashing .163/.210/.229 and only has one hit so far in the month of June. There is hope, however, in the form of a retooled swing that he’s working on.

The Guardians will start the series with Konnor Pilkington on the mound. The 6-foot-3 lefty has quietly been appointment viewing as he hurls high-90s fastball after high-90s fastball en route to a 2.65 ERA over 17.0 innings. He set a career-high with eight strikeouts in his last outing against the Royals and right now the sky looks like the limit.

Oakland’s Game 3 starter, Frankie Montas, was tagged for five runs in five innings the last time he faced the Guardians. That was by far his worst start of the season, but he already has two double-digit strikeout games and a 2.20 ERA in seven starts since.

Team at a glance

  • Record: 20-38 (14th in AL)
  • Runs Scored: 187
  • Run Differential: -75 (14th in AL)
  • Last 10: 1-9
  • Slash: .210/.274/.320
  • wOBA: .266 (15th in AL)
  • wRC+: 77 (14th in AL)
  • ERA: 4.34 (14th in AL)
  • SIERA: 4.05 (13th in AL)
  • K-BB%: 12.2% (13th in AL)

Projected starters

Thursday, June 9, 7:10 p.m. ET: RHP James Kaprielian vs. LHP Konnor Pilkington
Friday, June 10, 7:10 p.m. ET: RHP Paul Blackburn vs. TBD (RHP Triston McKenzie)
Saturday, June 11, 4:10 p.m. ET: RHP Frankie Montas vs. TBD (RHP Zach Plesac)
Sunday, June 12, 11:35 a.m. ET: LHP Cole Irvin vs. TBD (RHP Cal Quantrill)

Roster

Poll

How many games will the Guardians win against the A’s?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    4
    (17 votes)
  • 66%
    3
    (76 votes)
  • 14%
    2
    (17 votes)
  • 1%
    1
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    0
    (2 votes)
114 votes total Vote Now