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Series preview: Guardians at Athletics

The season debut of Zach Plesac and the end of the Guards’ first West Coast trip of the season.

Cleveland Guardians v Seattle Mariners Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

It’s a rough time for the Oakland Athletics, or as their owner probably hopes to be called soon, the Las Vegas Athletics.

This season will be, to put it nicely, one of discovery for the Athletics. Their team has been torn down to the studs in the last year, which leaves virtually every spot in an open competition. That doesn’t mean they couldn’t suddenly rip off three-straight wins and send the Cleveland Guardians back home in the world’s longest cross-country flight, of course. This is baseball, after all.

The A’s dropped two of three to the Angels in their first series and managed just 16 hits with one home run in the series. Following a come-from-behind win on Opening Day, they were outscored 19-1 over the final two games.

The Guardians will be looking to build on an impressive 3-1 series win over the Seattle Mariners, in which the bullpen looked spectacular and the offense showed a mix of their slap-hitting goblinry from last season and a promising power display from new catcher Mike Zunino. Following James Kaprielian tonight in his season debut, the Guards will face a pair of lefties in JP Sears and Kyle Muller to further test out the lineup against southpaws.

Sears, 27, broke into the majors last year with the Yankees, pitching 22 innings with a 2.05 ERA before he was sent to the Athletics in the Frankie Montas trade — a trade that nobody won. Montas’s struggles with the Yankees were well-documented, but Sears didn’t fair much better in Oakland. He finished with a 4.69 ERA with his new team over nine starts and 48 innings. He features a 93 mph four-seamer along with a curveball and changeup.

Muller was acquired as part of the Sean Murphy deal with the Braves last December. The 25-year-old hasn’t found much success in the majors yet either, carrying a 4.17 ERA in eight starts in 2021 and missing time with a broken bone in his non-throwing hand last year. He started just three games for the Braves in 2022 and allowed 11 earned runs in 12.1 innings.

Muller did look much better in his A’s debut on Thursday, however. He held the Angels to one run over five innings with three strikeouts and a walk. He was almost all four-seamers and sliders that game with the occasional changeup and curveball that drops off the table.

This series will mark the end of the Guardians’ last West Coast trip until June. They got one out of the way early this year and will head back to Cleveland for their home opener on Friday.

Team at a glance

  • Record: 1-2
  • Runs Scored: 3
  • Run Differential: -17
  • Last 10: 1-2
  • Slash: .178/.267/.244
  • wOBA: .239
  • wRC+: 47
  • ERA: 6.33
  • SIERA: 4.48
  • K-BB%: 7.6%

Projected starters

Monday, April 3, 9:40 p.m. ET: RHP James Kaprielian vs. RHP Zach Plesac
Tuesday, April 4, 9:40 p.m. ET: LHP JP Sears vs. RHP Shane Bieber
Wednesday, April 5, 3:37 p.m. ET: LHP Kyle Muller vs. RHP Hunter Gaddis



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

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  • 37%
    (96 votes)
  • 55%
    (140 votes)
  • 3%
    (9 votes)
  • 3%
    (9 votes)
254 votes total Vote Now