2013 MLB Team Preview: Oakland Athletics

Coco CrispThe Oakland A’s were one of the major surprises in 2012. Not only did “Moneyball” do well at the box office, but the A’s made their first playoff appearance since 2001.

The A’s have a few breakout performances last season. Josh Reddick, Yoenis Cespedes, Jarrod Parker and Ryan Cook pushed Oakland to the next level. Manager Bob Melvin really outdone himself with his roster.

Can Oakland repeat last year’s performance or was it a case of being lucky in one-run games?

Are the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers too talented to surpass in the AL West?

Here is the 2013 MLB season preview for the Oakland A’s.

2012 Win/Loss Record: 94-68

Key Additions:OF Seth Smith, SS Hiroyuki Nakajima, C John Jaso, SS Jed Lowrie, OF Chris Young, P Hideki Okajima, P Chris Resop, 3B Scott Moore

Key Losses: C George Korraras, P Rich Harden, Chris Carter, SS Cliff Pennington, SS Stephen Drew, OF Colin Cowgill, 2B Brandon Hicks, P Dallas Braden, P Joey Devine, 3B Brandon Inge, 2B Andy Parrino, P Jeremy Accardo

Interleague Schedule: NL Central + San Francisco Giants

Projected Starters: John Jaso, Brandon Moss, Scott Sizemore, Jed Lowrie, Hiroyuki Nakajima, Yoenis Cespedes, Coco Crisp, Josh Reddick, Seth Smith

Projected Starting Rotation: Brett Anderson, Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, Dan Straily, A.J. Griffin

Closer: Ryan Cook

Fantasy SleeperSS Hiroyuki Nakajima - After failing to sign with the Yankees last season, Nakajima went back to Japan. He had a fantastic year,  .311/13/74, which is excellent number for a shortstop. MLB teams did not need to have a bidding war for a posting fee since he went back to Japan last year. He signed with Oakland and the A’s will move Jed Lowrie to third base in order to have them both in the starting lineup. Because it’s getting harder to find power at the shortstop position, Nakajima will put up double-digit home runs and steals. You should be able to get him late in your draft. He’s worth a couple dollars in an auction format.

Team Analysis: Oakland has a lot to overcome in 2013. The Rangers and Angels added to their already stacked rosters. Every major publication has one of them winning the AL West this season. Oakland was one of the best “teams” in the Majors. They didn’t have any stars on their team, yet they worked together to win close games. Was their success too soon? I would agree with that question. I believe they are another year away from being on the same level as the Rangers and Angels. They could push towards the second Wild-Card spot, but that would be the best they can hope for this season. I love their pitching staff and some young pieces in their starting nine. Jarrod Parker is a future Cy Young winner and Ryan Cook could lead the league in Saves are some point in his career. I believe they are one of the best six teams in the American League, but not yet good enough to make the playoffs consistently

Sportsbook.ag’s 2013 Wins Over/Under Line: 84.5 (Prediction: OVER)

2013 Projected Win/Loss Record: 86-76 (3rd in AL West)

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