The Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics were each involved in a blockbuster trade at the deadline. But while the Rays were shipping away ace David Price, the A’s were reeling in Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester. The A’s have been aggressive in their attempt to win a World Series this season, making multiple moves to stack the deck in their favor. Meanwhile the Rays were closing in on a playoff spot after a lackluster start to the season, but still 8.5 games out of first, the team decided it’d be better to ship Price out before his inevitable raise in arbitration this winter. That’s good news for Oakland with the Rays the next on the A’s schedule. Now the A’s avoid facing a pitcher who had been arguably the league’s best in the last couple months. Oakland Athletics tickets are averaging $45.33 for the series, down 23 percent from their season average.
8/4 TB Alex Cobb vs. OAK Jeff Samardzija | Avg. Price: $40 | Get-in Price: $22
The first game of the series features the other ace the A’s acquired this season. But Jeff Samardzija hasn’t been as good with the A’s as he was with the Chicago Cubs. In five starts he has a 3.19 ERA, but a 4.01 FIP thanks to an unsustainably low batting average on balls in play of .216, and an inability to limit the home run. But he has continued to avoid giving up free passes, and should see those home run numbers go down as he gets more ground balls, something he did with ease to start the season. The average price of the game is $40 and the get-in price is $22.
8/5 TB Drew Smyly vs. OAK Jason Hammel | Avg. Price: $47 | Get-in Price: $30
The get-in price jumps up to $30 for the second game of the series, which is the most expensive of the series. The average ticket price is $47 with Jason Hammel pitching. Hammel was the pitcher acquired with Samardzija, and he’s also struggling with the A’s. His numbers are way worse with a 9.53 ERA in four starts and a 7.32 FIP. While some of the numbers he’s put up are incredibly unlucky, he’s also walking over five batters per nine innings, and has looked off.
8/6 TB Jeremy Hellickson vs. OAK Sonny Gray | Avg. Price: $49 | Get-in Price: $10
Sonny Gray gets the final start, and has still performed like the team’s ace. In his last start he got the tough-luck loss despite only allowing one run to the Kansas City Royals. Overall, he has a 2.59 ERA and a 2.8 WAR in a team-leading 146 innings pitched. His walk rate of 8.2 percent is the highest on the team, but that has more to do with the excellence of the A’s staff. He also gets plenty of strikeouts and ground balls to balance it out. The game is averaging $49 a ticket and has a get-in price of $10.