Oakland Athletics versus Pittsburgh Pirates: World Series preview? After rolling your eyes, consider that this upcoming series starting Monday night pits the American League West leaders (52-37) against the top team in all of the National League (53-34, tied with the St. Louis Cardinals), for three games in the Steel City.
This should be one of the more exciting interleague series in 2013, a matchup between two of MLB’s best teams this season. More intriguing is the fact that both these ball clubs are seemingly defying the odds: Oakland began the season with the 26th highest payroll in the majors ($66.6 million); Pittsburgh falls in right behind at 27th ($66.2 million), according to Deadspin.
It’s looks to be quite a surprising yet inspiring series for two franchises that have had their respective fair shares of limited success over the past couple of decades.
This will be just the second visit to PNC Park for the Athletics, whose last appearance in Pittsburgh came in 2001. The A’s have considerable albeit limited ownage of the Pirates: Oakland is 9-0 all time in their interleague series against Pittsburgh.
The A’s look to continue that dominance this week. However, this season the Athletics face a talent-laden Pirates team that is on pace to halt the franchise’s streak of 20 consecutive losing seasons.
It will be a formidable challenge for the A’s, who own an 11-4 record against the NL this season. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, has an impressive 11-3 record versus the AL. Something's got to give. The Bucs also have the second-best home record in the league (29-15).
Can the Athletics take down the Pirates in their NL ballpark? Will the A’s again prove they can beat a team with a winning record, on the road? Here are five things to look for during the Athletics’ upcoming series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.