Giants/A's Series Preview

Ah, A's/Giants. There's nothing quite like a forced rivalry filled with mostly one-sided hate. Check this out: Dave Stewart. Did you grit your teeth? Get all red in the face? Feel your stomach turn? Yeah, me neither. But for some reason, some people (check the page sponsor) really believe the Giants and A's have a two-way rivalry. In the past, I've likened the A's to Canada and Corn Flakes -- if I have to think about them, I kind of like them, I guess. But I don't think about them. What was this post about again?

Oh. Right. The A's. They've been on a little bit of a roll lately, winning eight of their last ten, even though their offense almost outgiants the Giants. For all of the teeth-gnashing about Edgar Renteria, Orlando Cabrera has been even worse. Now, Cabrera's also $14M cheaper, but I'd like to think that there's a 5% chance that Tommy Joseph is an All-Star one day, and we'll applaud the decision by Sabean to target the compensation-free Renteria, completely forgetting about the extra money paid to Renteria. Or something. Maybe not. What were we talking about again?

Oh. Right. The A's. They're my second-favorite team, really, even if that's kind of like Candlestick Park being the second-favorite Giants ballpark of my lifetime. I love the youth, and I love the risks Billy Beane takes. I mean, I sure as hell don't want my general manager making decisions like a coked-up Gordon Gekko, but I really like to watch it from a distance. Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill give Giants fans a pretty good idea of what it would be like to watch Madison Bumgarner and Tim Alderson in the rotation right now, and the A's duo is kind of holding their own, K/BB wonkiness aside. While it's been fascinating to watch Cahill and Anderson this year, I'm really, really, really glad there wasn't a temptation to put either Bumgarner or Alderson in the rotation.

Hitter to Watch

The first preference is for Matt Holliday to go oh-for-the-series, of course, but I'm also hoping all of the outs will come on blistering line drives hit right at Giant fielders. See, Holliday will be a Giant next year. Look in your reason pouch; you know it's true. Randy Winn a free agent + Fred Lewis playing himself out of Giants Brass's favor + need for dingerz + iffy 2010 free-agent class = Guaranteed Matt Holliday contract offer. Now, it'll be up to Holliday to accept, of course, but I'm sure the Giants will put the most money on the table. So I'm hoping for Holliday to conceal his talent with low BABIP chicanery for the entire season, which will lead to a 4 yr./$55M deal instead of a 6 yr./$100M deal.

Pitcher to watch

Vin Mazzaro is a pretty good prospect -- a younger Kevin Pucetas, maybe? And he's going to absolutely dominate the Giants tonight. A young pitcher without much of a track record? Who doesn't have overpowering stuff, but has shown plus control in the minors? Flail, hack, dribble, whiff, flail. Maybe I should re-title this section "Pitcher we'll probably wish we didn't watch.

Prediction

Someone shows up wearing the hat on the right, and everyone throws stuff at him.

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