Why the Bay's baseball teams might not be that great in 2019

Sushi aside, the A’s are probably looking back on their trip in Japan with little fondness. In the two-game series against the Mariners in Tokyo that formally kicked off the MLB season, the A’s didn’t just lose both games. They also found out that top pitching prospect Jesus Luzardo would be shut down with a shoulder injury and lost Matt Olson to a hamate bone fracture after the first baseman fouled a ball off of his hand. All in all, a rough go.

But the baseball season, after all, is a long one. There are still 160 games left in the regular season. After a 97-win campaign last year, the A’s should still be optimistic about their chances to compete for a wild-card berth and potentially the AL West, if things break correctly. Right?

Not so much, it seems. In fact, it seems like the A’s might struggle to top the Angels for third place in the division.

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At Fangraphs, a website dedicated to chronicling the game through the lens of advanced statistics, Oakland is projected to finish with an 82-80 record. At Baseball Prospectus, another stat-friendly website, the A’s are pegged for a 77-85 finish.

Across the Bay, expectations are probably a little bit lower. 2018 marked the Giants‘ second consecutive losing season, as the team limped its way to a 73-89 record. The projection systems think they’ll finish right around there in 2019; Fangraphs thinks they’re a 75-win team, and Baseball Prospectus has them finishing at 72-90.

Why do the numbers think both of the Bay Area’s teams are destined for rough seasons? For the A’s, it’s a little complicated; for the Giants, it’s less so.

In the slideshow above, check out the reasons why the A’s and the Giants might be painful to watch this season.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/athletics/article/giants-oakland-as-2019-prospects-preview-13718591.php.

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