Series Preview: Twins vs. Oakland

Get used to seeing Josh Reddick everywhere.

Schedule (all games on FSN and at Target Field)

Twins Notes

  • Matt Capps has returned from the DL, with Kyle Waldrop making way to head to Rochester. The Twins will be hoping he pitches well and can command some kind of value on the trade market.
  • Using Baseball-Reference.com WAR, your most valuable first-half Twins were Denard Span (2.6) among position players, and Scott Diamond (1.8) among pitchers. Josh Willingham (2.3) and Joe Mauer (2.1) were the only other Twins to be worth two or more wins over a replacement player at their positions.
  • The Twins used eleven different starting pitchers in the first half, tops in the American League. Naming all eleven should get you free ice cream at the concessions stand.
  • Ben Revere has 738 major-league plate appearances without a home run, second-most in Twins history. The famously powerless Al Newman had 1876 PAs for the Twins without ever hitting a homer, so Revere has some way to go to catch up. Jamey Carroll is already up to sixth place, with 312 plate appearances and no homers.

Athletics Notes

  • The A's sit right at .500 for the first half, 43-43. Unfortunately they are in a division with the Rangers and Angels, and so are five back of second and nine back of first, but hey, there's always that second wild-card spot, and they're only 2.5 back of that one. Oakland finished the first half 21-13 to get this close.
  • Keep an eye on Josh Reddick, who has without a doubt been Oakland's first-half star. According to B-R.com WAR, he was the second-most valuable outfielder in the American League in the first half, behind only breakout star Mike Trout. Reddick is hitting .268/.348/.532 with 20 home runs, and let's not forget, is just 25 years old.
  • You might not be impressed by that .268 batting average, but keep in mind that only one other Oakland regular - CF Yoenis Cespedes - is batting over .250, and that the team as a whole is hitting .225.
  • Another bright spot for Oakland has been Jarrod Parker, a 23-year-old starter that came over last winter when the A's traded Craig Breslow and Trevor Cahilll to Arizona. Parker is 5-4 with a 2.86 ERA, and given the A's modus operandi, I suppose we can look forward to him being traded in a couple of years for four more young pitching prospects. So it goes.
  • You may read something about how the A's have re-invented their lineup with dynamic players who do more than just walk, strike out, and hit homers. Athletics Nation went inside the numbers and discovered that, despite the new look, Oakland is still all Jack Cust and Dave Kingman at heart.
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