It is safe to say that the Red Sox are red hot right now heading into Oakland. They are coming off three game sweep against the Anaheim Angels, who were also hot going into the series. The offense and pitching did everything right, as they won the first game 10-1, the second game 9-0, and the final game of the series, 8-2. The Red Sox outscored the Angels 27-3 in this series. Pretty amazing. They now begin a three game set against the Athletics at the O.Co Coliseum.
There is one thing for certain. Although the A’s currently sit in fourth place in the AL West, they are not a team to take lightly. There are many things to talk about as far as the bullpen and the rotation go, but we’re going to talk about this lineup they have over in Oakland. To start, this lineup is extremely underrated. It might very well be the most underrated offense in the game, a big reason being that there are lots of overlooked hitters alone in that lineup. They can really kill you with the long ball, as they are third in the majors in home runs. Khris Davis, and Jed Lowrie, who is one of the hottest hitter on the planet right now, are two of the bigger power threats in that lineup.
Don’t Sleep on Oakland
Matt Chapman, who broke onto the scene last year, has had a monster start to 2018. So far, in 82 plate appearances, he is riding a .296/.390/.563 slash line with a .954 OPS. Not only is he producing greatly at the plate, but he has one of the best gloves in the game, along with one of the best arms in the game over at the hot corner. Matt Chapman is one of the more underrated players in baseball. He has shown that he can hit for power along with getting on base at a good rate, something that he’s done much better this year. He will certainly be someone to look out for.
Now back to Jed Lowrie, who I mentioned before. Lowrie, who was on two very good Oakland teams back in 2013 and 2014, went to Houston for a year. After a down year in 2016, he came back strong in 2017. He has come back even stronger in 2018. His bat is on fire right now, as he is hitting .346/.404/.605 with an OPS over 1.000. He leads all of baseball with 21 RBIs, if you’re into that sort of stat, and is tied for third in all of baseball for home runs at six.
Lowrie vs. Mookie
Who is he tied with? Mookie Betts. Pretty cool coincidence that the two possibly hottest hitters in baseball will be facing off. After a huge series against the Angels, the A’s will have to be careful pitching to Mookie. It will also be the same with the Red Sox pitching staff with Jed Lowrie. The way those two hitters are going right now, if you leave a ball over the plate to one of them, you better be praying to the heavens.
The last but not least of the honorable mentions of the scariest hitters in this underrated lineup, Khris Davis. Davis, one of the more impressive power hitters in the game, is tied with 13 people (it’s very early) with five home runs. What makes him so impressive is he plays half his games in a park that’s meant for football, and still hits 40 a year. Most of his home runs also go to left and right center as well. It’s pretty incredible.
As a team, the A’s are fourth in batting average, third in On base, and second in slugging. Who else is in the top four of those three stats? Boston. The Red Sox are first in average, first in on base, and first in slugging. This is going to be another exciting series against an Oakland Athletics team that is much better than most would assume. Two very talented offenses will be facing off as the Sox will be looking to keep it rolling.