The San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics are currently the top two teams in Major League Baseball thus far during the 2014 season. Both teams have continued to represent the Bay Area, as San Francisco holds a major league leading 42 wins, and are an impressive 19 games over the .500 mark. Oakland holds the best record in the American League at 39-26.
San Francisco is hitting a major league-best .283 with runners in scoring position. The Giants continue to get great contribution from all parts of the roster. The pitching has been superb, led by their ace Madison Bumgarner, who has been dominant as of late, only allowing two runs in his last 23 innings of work as of early June. Bumgarner has a team best eight wins. San Francisco has also got exactly what they had hoped for from the 38-year-old veteran Tim Hudson when they signed him this past offseason. Hudson had his 2013 season cut short due to a torn Achilles, but has bounced back and been terrific so far this season, leading the team in innings pitched with 82 1/3, along with holding onto a stellar 1.97 ERA. The starting pitchers have had no problem handing the ball over to a bullpen that has been solid as well. Closer Sergio Romo leads the majors in saves with 20.
Offensively, the Giants are led by their all-star catcher, and former MVP, Buster Posey. Along with Posey, San Francisco has several pieces that have fit well into their lineup. Outfielder Hunter Pence, is following up his career year last season with an even better 2014 campaign as he leads the team in hits and runs scored. The top of the San Francisco lineup has set the table all season. Along with Pence, leadoff man Angel Pagan is batting a team best .323 as of early June. Hudson was not the only player that was brought to San Francisco this past offseason, as Michael Morse also agreed to a deal, and has supplied plenty of power to the Giants order, leading the team in home runs and RBI.
Oakland has been much different in their success. Unlike San Francisco, the A's did not make many big offseason signings, but have called upon a mix of young and veteran players to carry the team. Oakland currently has the best run differential in the major leagues with a plus 128.
The offense is lead by Josh Donaldson, who had an all-star season last year, and is quickly turning into one of the games best third basemen. Donaldson is tied for the league lead in runs scored, and has 17 home runs, which is a team best. Along with Donaldson, Brandon Moss and Yoenis Cespedes have provided a ton of power in the middle of the A's lineup combining for 93 RBI and 28 home runs.
Oakland's starting rotation has been anchored by the young arm of Sonny Gray, who arrived on the scene last October, when he pitched games two and five of the ALDS. They have also been blessed with the resurgence of Scott Kazmir who may be a comeback player of the year candidate, holding onto a record of 7-2 with a 2.20 ERA.
With both teams being so efficient in all aspects of the game, it is crazy to think what could happen if both teams remain hot, and carry their solid play into, and throughout, the postseason, possibly ending in a Bay Area World Series.
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