Oakland Athletics Continuing Where They Left Off Last Year

By Andy Schmidt
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Athletics were the biggest surprise team in MLB last season, and has picked up where they left off, beginning 2013 with a 12-4 record.

Oakland has scored 96 runs in 16 games or an average of six per game. It is shocking how well this team is doing, considering the offense they have. The Athletics have missed Yoenis Cespedes in their lineup and were without Coco Crisp and Brandon Moss this week due to injuries and paternity leave. Those factors haven’t slowed down this Oakland team though, and I’m not sure when they will cool off.

It is players like the newly-acquired Jed Lowrie that are carrying this offense. Lowrie has three home runs and 13 RBIs along with a .373 batting average, and was expected to move from his normal shortstop position this year.

That hasn’t happened, and probably won’t now. The injuries in the outfield have allowed for more playing time for Seth Smith, who is taking advantage of every opportunity and is hitting .447 in 38 at-bats.

The team is getting great pitching as well to compliment the strong offense, but that was more expected. I figured that Oakland would be good at pitching even if they took a step back from last season. The offense is something I never saw coming, though.

We may be looking at a team that cruises to another American League West title if things continue the way they are right now. The fans may not be filling the stadium on a regular basis yet but if the Athletics keep winning, they will come back in bunches.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports, like his Facebook page or add him to your network on Google.

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