Sep 19, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcherJon Lester
(31) throws a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during the seventh inning at O.co Coliseum. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 3-1. (Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports)
Jon Lester started off the season with the Boston Red Sox and was very solid for the Yankees’ AL East rivals. In 21 starts with Boston, Lester went 10-7 with an ERA of 2.52, which is impressive when you consider how bad the Red Sox’ offense was this season. On July 31, he was traded to the Oakland Athletics for left fielder Yoenis Cespedes. A lot of experts thought that this was the piece that would get Billy Beane and company past the first round of the playoffs.
Despite’s Oakland’s offensive struggles in the second half of the season, the 30-year-old brought his A game to the table. In 11 starts, he went 6-4 with a 2.35 ERA. He has not given up more than three earned runs in any start with the Athletics. Overall, Lester’s 16 wins and a 2.46 ERA were top-five in the American League.
He also has 29 strikeouts in his last four starts (seven or more in each). He faced the Royals in his A’s debut back on August 2, where he gave up three runs on nine hits over six innings in an 8-3 Athletics win. One important stat to note as Lester heads into Kauffman Stadium Tuesday night is that he has dominated Kansas City over the course of his career. In 13 starts vs. KC in his career, he is 9-3 with a 1.84 ERA, but has a 5.00 ERA in five starts on the road vs. the Royals. Which stat will hold true on Tuesday?