It was famously stated in Moneyball that a team of nine Scott Hattebergs would score more runs than the Yankees. That got me thinking... What player, multiplied by nine, would be equivalent to the A's current offense?
Right now, Oakland is sporting a truly ugly .234/.309/.355/.654 line of avg/obp/slg/ops, roughly the same as the season that Carl Everett put up in Seattle (.227/.297/.360/.657) last year -- before being cut for offensive ineptitude.
No wonder it's been so painful to watch the A's hit this season. We're watching a circa-2006 Carl Everett go out there and hack.
As bad as the hitting has been, though, the pitching has been superb. The A's current stat line of a 3.26 ERA in 243.0 innings with 184 strikeouts and 80 walks is strikingly similar to the excellent season posted by Bronson Arroyo last year in Cincinnati. Arroyo had a 3.29 ERA in 240.1 innings with 184 strikeouts and 64 walks.
So, then, the A's have been a team composed of a National League-level elite pitching and terrible American League DH flailing at the plate. No wonder they have a record of 13-14. Nine Carl Everetts in the lineup and five Bronson Arroyos in the rotation seem to add up to a near-.500 record -- not to mention one very strange clubhouse.
Looking at the big picture, with a current runs scored to runs allowed ratio of 104:99, the A's would be expected to be one game over .500 at this point. With 27 games played, at the current rate, this team should score just 624 runs, but only allow a measley 594. That would be the first time since 1990 that Oakland has allowed less than 600 runs. It would also be the fewest runs scored by the A's since 1979. What do 624 runs scored and 594 runs allowed project for an expected record? 85-77.
I've got to believe that the hitting will improve (and get healthier) much more than the pitching will falter over the course of the rest of the season, though, so 85 wins is probably a little low.