The Oakland Athletics have been projected to win only 59.5 games in 2023 by FanDuel, but they keep getting worse as an organization, and it seems highly questionable that they will win even that many.
They made the playoffs each year from 2018-2020, but things have gone downhill since then. Now, they seem to be in financial trouble. Just how interested the ownership is in winning is a question that cannot be answered.
2023 Oakland Athletics O/U: Why the A’s Will Hit the Under
1. Their AL West Competition as a Whole Will Be Getting Stronger
While they did win 60 games last year, their AL West competition could well intensify in 2023, since the Texas Rangers are likely to be playoff contenders, as are the Seattle Mariners. And don’t expect the World Champion Houston Astros to cool off any time soon.
Honestly, it’s difficult to see how the Oakland Athletics are even going to survive. They may actually have to take some at bats against Jacob deGrom, whom the Rangers signed in December. And that is certainly not something they are ready for.
It’s highly reasonable to expect that those AL West teams will feast on the A’s. Even the Los Angeles Angels, who managed 73 wins in 2022, might be a problem, at least when Shohei Ohtani is playing.
2. Their Payroll is Ridiculously Low
As noted above, those AL West teams will give the Oakland Athletics a run for their money. But wait. How can we talk about “a run for their money” when they are not spending any? The A’s payroll was just $49 million in 2022, and that’s terrible. Apparently, not even Billy Beane (currently their Executive VP of Baseball Operations) can fix it with analytics this time.
If 102 losses were bad, it’s just going to get worse if they don’t fix their organizational issues before long. They don’t have the stuff to stand up to their competition.
The A’s stand out as a team that is desperately in need of top-level talent. Even the San Francisco Giants, who are short on superstars, at least have a quality depth that has resulted in a favorable ZiPS projection. But it seems that the A’s lose something for everything that they get, and there is no reason to get excited about them in 2023.
3. There is Not One Word of Playoff Hope on Their Website
Read the description of what the A’s are focusing on in 2023. It’s just pathetic. All they can do is hope for a miracle. The knowledgeable baseball fan will quickly see that they’re not going anywhere.
The highest level of excitement that they have to offer is watching certain interesting players in 2023, many of whom are probably just as likely to perform mediocre or poorly as they are to perform well.
There will certainly be instances in the A’s 2023 season that can teach us more about the details of baseball, and even provide fans with must-see content, but they would be hard-pressed to win even 60 games.
A lot will have to change for the A’s to get anywhere near being back in contention. While there are viable ways of compensating somewhat for a low payroll, they should never be used as excuses for a failure to add top talent when it is both available and needed. The Oakland Athletics front office will need to get serious about things pretty fast, or they will embark on a downhill trend that could last for years.
The days when the A’s had players like Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, Marcus Semien, and Khris Davis are over. Now, they’re in a spot where they need to figure out how to play baseball. The AL West will not become any easier to compete in the near future.
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