It’s not much of a revelation to say that the Oakland Athletics have been really bad this season regardless of whether they play at home or on the road. As of Tuesday morning, first-year manager Mark Kotsay’s team is 20-36 which means that the Oakland Athletics record is the second-worst in the AL and the third-worst in MLB.
That’s not particularly surprising, either, as the Athletics let a ton of talent go in the offseason from Matt Olson, Chris Bassitt and Sean Manaea via trade to Starling Marte and Mark Canha in free agency. So, the Oakland Athletics season results thus far are right in line with preseason predictions and, frankly, the Oakland front office’s plan. But, how the Athletics have gotten to their ugly record is very interesting.
Oakland Ugly at Home
Oakland is a very respectable 13-13 on the road, which is a similar road record to that of many other MLB teams that are above .500 or even currently in playoff spots; however, the Athletics are somehow an absurd 7-23 at home. As you’d expect, the Oakland Athletics record away from home – where they tend not to draw particularly strong crowds – is by far the worst mark in baseball.
To highlight just how bad the Athletics’ home record is, the team with the worst road record in MLB ,the Detroit Tigers… they are just 6-18 away from home. On a winning percentage basis, the Tigers’ road record is still better than Oakland’s home record. It doesn’t get much worse than that.
The Athletics’ home issues have also kind of masked that, for a team so low in the MLB standings, they haven’t been such a bad option to bet on this year. If you were to wager $100 on the A’s’ moneyline for each of their games this season, you would have profited around $91 on Oakland’s road games but would have lost $372 on Oakland’s home games. If those numbers seem confusing, remember how the A’s are big underdogs in a lot of their games so the few home wins have cancelled out a lot of the home losses from a betting perspective.
But Is it a Trend?
So, is this “trend” worth tailing for the rest of the season? It’s an interesting question even with the understanding that the Oakland Athletics record won’t get much better as the 2022 campaign rolls on. If anything, there’s an even greater chance of further roster teardown in the few months with Frankie Montas firmly on the trade block. Couple that with the limited offensive weapons that Oakland can boast in its lineup and it’s not hard to imagine this team continuing on the roughly 100-loss pace that it’s currently on.
On the other hand, the 7-23 home record almost certainly will improve. It’s much more likely that the Athletics’ home struggles are due more to their overall youth and lack of MLB-caliber talent than it is a specific problem that only troubles them at RingCentral Coliseum. The same can be said for Oakland’s .500 record on the road which is probably going to get worse as the home record gets better.
In terms of overall play, though, the Athletics shouldn’t be as bad as the other cellar-dwellers they’re in contention for the No. 1 overall pick in the MLB Draft with, like the Washington Nationals, Kansas City Royals and Cincinnati Reds. For now, at least, Oakland has three solid starters in Montas, Paul Blackburn and Cole Irwin… the latter two of which are having career years, and a pretty good back-end of the bullpen.
The main issue has been on offense and while the Athletics certainly don’t have any stars in the lineup, guys like Sean Murphy, Ramon Laureano, Seth Brown, and Chad Pinder are much better players than they’ve shown so far in 2022. That’s not an elite offensive core, by any means, but with them and the decent pitching staff, Oakland should not be 20-36, or 7-23 at home.
The offensive stats are basically at the bottom of the AL so, there isn’t much room to get worse either. The A’s are playing well below their ability right now which is being reflected in their home record but that’s a sign of positive regression to come. Consider making Oakland one of your go-to value pick underdogs over the next few months regardless of where the A’s are playing.Follow us on Twitter