Oakland A’s 2024 Season Preview:

In 2023 the A’s increased their win total by 10 going from 66-96 to 76-86. GM Scott Gessford had this to say, “we are looking forward to the 2024 campaign and hope to increase our win total by more than the 10 we did last year. We figure if we can get to 90 wins, we will have a chance to make the playoffs in 2024!” That is a bold goal playing in the AL West with the likes of World Series runner up Seattle Mariners, The Los Angeles Angels who have won the World series 6 of last 9 years, the Houston Astros who only lost the AL West title by 1 game last year going 100-62, and the Texas Rangers who are looking stronger each year. The AL West has won the Series in 8 of the previous 10 years, 2 for Seattle and 6 for the Angels. 

The A’s actually scored more runs than they gave up in 2023 which is a good sign, and this team is built on pitching. Our starting staff was great last year going with a 6-man rotation, in which we return all of them for 2024 said manager Joe Girardi. The place we struggled was the bullpen last year and that was our focus this offseason. We have added Dean Cromwell on waivers, Jesus Luzardo, Kent Cook, Zach Thomas and Alex Manoah via trade. We have made great strides in improving our bullpen along with those additions we hold over Victor Mejia, Brody Matthews and Thomas Zachary. We also added Manuel Reyes in free agency. Girardi said that there is a competition on who will make the squad coming out of spring training. We have 2 on the injured list right now and 17 in camp as we approach the final two weeks before the season starts. 

The A’s struggled at the plate in 2023 and they are hoping that with another year under their belts they will gel more this year. They return most of their starters including catcher Jeff Monken Jr who won the Golden Glove in his rookie year, 1b Brandon Gill who will the fulltime first baseman, the middle infield spots will be handled by Wander Franco and Cesar Lopez, third base will see Corey Seager whom was acquired by trade from Seattle, with Randall Walker backing up the infield. The outfield will consist of Garrett Mitchell playing in left, Gregg Faustini manning center, and a battle for right between Mark Dickey and Robert Bannatyne in which Bannatyne is leading at this time. The DH will be Cam Randall once he is healthy. Jacob Spanarkel has impressed the A’s coaching staff so far this spring and if he pulls out the backup OF spot the A’s will have to decide on if they carry a 5th outfielder or they will have to decide on sending Bannatyne down to AAA or putting Dickey through waivers.

With a balanced schedule which will see the A’s play only 52 games against their own division and 46 interleague games, might just favor the A’s this year. The A’s do not play Seattle or Houston until May and the Angels until June, so they need to get out to a quick start and build momentum before that. As of right now the win total odds in Vegas is 85 for the A’s which would rank them 4th in the AL West, 2 games behind the Angels and 4 behind Seattle. Right now, the bookmakers have the Astros winning the division with 99 wins. Can the A’s find a way to pull off an upset and overtake one of their division rivals to get into the wild card race? Only time and injuries will tell!

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