Series Preview: Oakland A's

The Mariners throw three of their best starters at the Athletics as they start a three-game series in Oakland on Monday. Which three starters? Does it really matter? Not to the team with the best five-man rotation in baseball. But you'll still find the answer in InsidethePark.com's exclusive Series Preview!

Network Associates Coliseum, Oakland, CA

Seattle (52-28, 28-11 away) 1st place: AL West
Oakland (46-34, 28-11 home) 2nd place: AL West

Monday, June 30, 7:05 p.m. FSN
Seattle: Jamie Moyer (L) (10-5, 3.13ERA)
Oakland: Aaron Harang (R) (1-1, 4.98)

Tuesday, July 1, 7:05 p.m. FSN
Seattle: Gil Meche (R) (10-3, 3.27)
Oakland: Tim Hudson (R) (6-4, 3.09)

Wednesday, July 2, 7:05 p.m. FSN
Seattle: Joel Pineiro (R) (8-5, 3.67)
Oakland: Ted Lilly (L) (5-6, 4.83)

Thursday, July 3, 12:35 p.m. No TV
Seattle: Ryan Franklin (R) (6-6,3.49)
Oakland: Barry Zito (L) (7-5, 3.17)

News & Notes
This series matches the team with the leagues' best road record against the team with the best home record...

The record for the Mariners on the road for the M's is identical to the A's home record...

These two teams of course are one and two in the division and a pennant race is almost assured. The Mariners can distance themselves even more than their six game lead. However, the Athletics can try to take advantage of the slumping Mariners and possibly make the distance behind the M's as few as three games...

The Mariners have lost two of their last three series, but don't expect them to fold against the A's.

The Mariners are throwing two of their 10 game winners in the series. The best pitching match-up of the series will probably come on Tuesday when Mariners' ace Gil Meche will pitch against one of the aces from the A's, Tim Hudson.

Meche, of course, has 10 wins and Hudson has pitched his way into the status of one of the games' best...

The Mariners find themselves fortunate not to be facing 11-game-winner and possible All-Star game starter Mark Mulder...

Who's Hot:

Seattle:
Ichiro comes into the series second in the Major Leagues in hits with 115. He also boasts the AL's third highest average (.344) and stolen base total (21)...

Mike Cameron had the team's highest batting average last week at .381. He also had two homeruns - most on the team, as well...

Joel Pineiro pitched impressively in his last start (7.2 IP, 2R, 4H). He picked up his eighth victory on the season and fourth in his last six starts...

The Mariners bullpen hasn't been too strong of late, however they are still getting Shiggy with it.

Shigetoshi Hasegawa remained hot out of the bullpen, as he has not given up a run all month...

Oakland:
The A's have been Byrne-ing up of late. Rookie outfielder Eric Byrnes, who has burst onto the scene and now leads the team in average, has led the sudden resurgence.

Byrnes has the only batting average above .300 among Oakland players with more than 200 at bats. Oh yeah, and he also hit for the cycle on Sunday...

Third baseman Eric Chavez has put together another strong season for the Athletics with 16 homers and 46 RBIS - second on the team to last season's MVP Miguel Tejada (55 RBIs)...

Who's Not:

Seattle:
The Mariners are coming off a series loss against the Padres once again this past weekend.

Rondell White and the rest of "the Fathers'" offense killed the Mariners. White had three homeruns and nine RBIs...

Their hitters really teed off on the Mariners bullpen, especially ersatz closers Arthur Rhodes and Jeff Nelson.

In Sunday's contest, Rhodes allowed the game tying grand slam to White and then Nelson gave up a hit to Keith Lockhart to give the Pads the lead...

Oakland:
Off-season pick-up Erubiel Durazo started out hot for Oakland, but he has definitely cooled off of late.

Over the last week, he has only hit .167 with no homeruns. The slump has prompted the A's to put someone else in the DH spot, especially when a left-handed pitcher is on the mound...

Ted Lilly lost his last start in which he gave up five runs in six innings...


Richie Stone is the brain behind the series previews at InsidethePark.com. Let him know what you think at richietstone@aol.com.


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