MLB Analyst: Oakland’s Hot Start “No Surprise At All”

After winning 97 games in each of the last two seasons, the Oakland A’s have the best record in the American League

The DA Show
August 10, 2020 - 10:14 am

The Oakland A’s are doing it again. After winning 97 games in each of the last two seasons, the A’s (12-4) have the best record in the American League and won their ninth straight game Sunday, beating the Houston Astros 7-2. 

Six of those nine wins have come by two runs or fewer.

Is it surprising to see Oakland off to such a hot start?

“Not at all,” former MLB veteran and current analyst Rex Hudler said on The DA Show. “Heck, we’ve been playing them for the last couple of seasons. They’ve got a couple of stars. Maybe [they’re] not well-known to the rest of the world, but certainly in the baseball world these guys are known. The third baseman, Matt Chapman, he’s an unbelievable wizard with the glove. And then [Matt] Olson across the diamond at first base, both those guys won Gold Gloves last year. Whenever you have one gold in your infield, that’s awesome. But when you have two Gold gloves on the corners, that saves a lot of pitchers’ mistakes. That saves a lot of errors.”

Offensively, the A’s rank 23rd in the majors in batting average (.214) but tenth in OBP (.321) and eighth in home runs (21). Olson and Chapman lead the team with five and four home runs, respectively.

“They got some mashers,” Hudler said. “The kid [Marcus] Semien, the shortstop, man, is he some kind of ballplayer. I love his focus. He’s been a leadoff guy for over 250 straight games. They have some really good pieces. Their pitching has been strong.”

The A’s have allowed the second fewest runs in the AL, and their plus-23 run differential is fourth in the majors. Oakland’s 2.66 ERA is third in baseball, as Frankie Montas is 2-1 with a 1.57 ERA through four starts.

“Bob Melvin’s got a key over there. He’s got a winning key,” Hudler said. “He empowers his players. He does a great job. So there’s no surprise at all what Oakland is doing.”