While uncertainty and turmoil may characterize discussion of the future location of the Oakland Athletics, the team has a stronger starting pitching rotation and a more competitive lineup in 2024 than in 2023. The team reminds me of the Mariners in that there are many new players in their lineup, infield, and outfield.
Mariners vs Athletics: Starting Pitching
The Mariners will see several familiar pitchers on the Athletics: Paul Blackburn, JP Sears, Kyle Muller, and Ken Waldichuk. Oakland now has two starting pitchers from their neighbor across the bay, the San Francisco Giants: Alex Wood and Ross Stripling. Wood and Stripling are expected to lead the Oakland rotation. Wood has 11 years and Stripling has eight years of MLB experience, each with multiple teams. Together with Oakland veteran, Paul Blackburn, they will be important mentors to the pitchers in their mid-twenties.
Oakland has nine pitchers listed in the starting pitcher category. I like that they have four lefties and five right-handed pitchers. As amazing as the 2024 Mariners pitchers are, they are exclusively right-handed.
There are some new pitchers. Joe Boyle is a 6'7" starting RHP out of Notre Dame. He made his MLB debut with three scoreless innings on September 17, 2023, so the Mariners have not played against him. 6'5" Mason Miller debuted on April 19, 202,3 at 24. Baseball-Reference projects that he will have a 3.78 ERA in the coming season.
The Mariners projected cumulative ERA for starting pitchers is 3.95. Oakland’s cumulative ERA is 4.61. Seattle still has a very elite group of starting pitchers. This is the only area where Seattle has the advantage, statistically.