Athletics choose Sonny Gray over Bartolo Colon for ALDS Game 5 start versus Tigers

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We finally have an answer to the question of who the A’s will start in their decisive ALDS Game 5 against the Tigers on Thursday evening at O.Co Coliseum.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that it will be 23-year-old Sonny Gray rather than veteran Bartolo Colon. Gray had a 2.67 ERA in 64 regular-season innings and hurled eight scoreless innings in the A’s Game 2 win. Colon posted a 2.65 ERA in 190 1/3 regular-season innings — a much larger sample size — but the Tigers tagged him for three runs on 10 hits in his six-inning Game 1 defeat.

The winner of Thursday’s ALDS Game 5 will face the Red Sox in the best-of-seven ALCS.

Detroit will be starting ace right-hander Justin Verlander against Oakland.

2017 Preview: The American League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East

Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams.  The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.

Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:

Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.