Toronto Blue Jays News

Baseball is back: Blue Jays vs. Athletics fast-facts preview

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Apr 23, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar (11) scores a run during the sixth inning in a game against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 23, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar (11) scores a run during the sixth inning in a game against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Toronto Blue Jays are set to exit the All-Star break with a three-game set in Oakland against the Athletics

The drought is over. With the four-day All-Star break now in the rear view mirror, the Blue Jays and Oakland Athletics meet as two teams headed in entirely different directions ahead of the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline.

Oakland sits just narrowly ahead of the Angels for fourth place in the American League West at 38-51, a full 15 games behind the first-place Rangers as they prepare to enter “sell” mode with some intriguing assets.

Rich Hill, the A’s top starter and premiere trading chip at the upcoming deadline, was scheduled to pitch against the Blue Jays on Friday night but Susan Slusser now reports he will go on Sunday instead as he deals with a blister.

Big Picture Stats

More from Toronto Blue Jays News

  • Oakland’s offence is not to be feared on most nights. With 366 runs scored, they rank 24th in Major League Baseball.
  • Their home field doesn’t help, but Oakland’s 90 home runs rank 21st.
  • The A’s .701 team OPS ranks them 27th, ahead of only Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Atlanta.
  • Pitching has been a similar story, as the A’s rank 26th with a team ERA of 4.73.
  • Opponents are hitting .270 against A’s pitchers, ranking 25th.
  • Oakland has actually fared worse at home this season, going 16-26 compared to a road record of 21-26. They are 3-7 in their last 10 games.

A’s to Watch

  • Former Blue Jay Danny Valencia has become one of Oakland’s most dominant hitters, holding a .304 average with 12 home runs and an .854 OPS.
  • Josh Reddick is hitting .295 and his .795 OPS ranks third on the team behind Valencia and fellow outfielder Jake Smolinski.
  • Everyday shortstop Marcus Semien is hitting .242 but has led the infield in terms of power with 19 home runs.
  • In the outfield, the big bat belongs to Khris Davis who has also hit 19 home runs and leads the team with 55 RBI.
  • With the recent optioning of Billy Burns, Semien (5) and Reddick (4) are the only A’s with more than two stolen bases.
  • Closer Ryan Madson has racked up 17 saves with a 3.62 ERA.
  • Canadian John Axford has struggled to a 5.09 ERA.
  • Ryan Dull is one of Oakland’s best pitching options at the moment, carrying a 2.01 ERA and 0.72 WHIP into the series.

Next: Blue Jays rumours: Internal discussions about Beltran

Scheduled Starters

Game 1  –  Friday, July 15th  –  10:05 ET
Marcus Stroman (7-4, 4.89 ERA)  vs.  Daniel Mengden (1-4, 4.54 ERA)

Game 2  –  Saturday, July 16th  –  4:05 ET
R.A. Dickey (7-9, 3.93 ERA)  vs.  Sonny Gray (3-8, 5.16 ERA)

Game 3  –  Sunday, July 17th  –  4:05 ET
J.A. Happ (12-3, 3.36 ERA)  vs.  Rich Hill (9-3, 2.25 ERA)

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