KANSAS CITY – The A’s return to the Coliseum Friday night after a six-game road trip and will start a three-game series against Houston, the first of three American League West teams to visit on a 10-game homestand.
At the same time, the San Francisco Giants will be playing across the bay at AT&T Park against Colorado in Games 2, 3 and 4 of a four-game set with the Rockies.
It may seem like the Giants should be on the road when the A’s are at home and the A’s should be away when the Giants are at home. It’s a 162-game schedule, half played at home and half on the road, and you wouldn’t think schedule makers would find it that difficult to set up.
Apparently they do. It turns out that having the teams have the Bay Area to themselves 81 times a year is a Herculean challenge.
Over the course of the last five seasons, the A’s and Giants have played games at home on the same day an average of nine times per season or 45 times total.
In 2013, 2014 and 2016 they did it 10 times. In 2012 it was eight times and in 2015 it was seven home-and-home dates on the schedule.
Since the Giants always pack the place at AT&T, having the baseball market divided would seem to be more of an issue for the A’s. And it is, but perhaps not as much as might be expected.
In those 45 games, the A’s have exceeded that year’s average attendance when the Giants were also home 19 times while failing to do so 26 times.
Until last year, the A’s had more than held their own when the Giants were playing across the bay. From 2012-15, Oakland went 19-16 in that circumstance. In 2016, however, the A’s were 2-8 on days when the Giants were also at home.