October 17, 2021

Attrition is Catching Up to Oakland’s Bullpen and Playoff Odds (FanGraphs)

The A’s are nearly on the outside looking in. With about two weeks left in the season, there’s still room for a pair of AL East cold streaks to swing things around, but the odds of Oakland reclaiming a Wild Card spot and making the playoffs for a fourth straight year are slim.

Those odds cratered in the past month; some of that collapse is more succinctly summarized here. Any four-year playoff run is impressive, but the Oakland teams of the past three years, including two 97-win squads, have been devoid of the quality of starting pitching that their record would suggest. This season will be the first the A’s have had in that stretch with any starting pitcher compiling 3-plus WAR, let alone three of them. But while the gains in starting pitching are most certainly helpful, there has been a considerable dip in the quality of Oakland’s relievers.

The Athletics’ bullpen this season has not been horrible. They sit in the bottom half of the league by WAR but have held a league average ERA up to this point. But over the past month, they’ve had the third worst WPA in the league (-2.97), as well as a 5.85 ERA. About a month ago, I wrote that this was going to be the…

Click here to read the whole article at FanGraphs