Matt Olson

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Rays, Athletics lineups for AL Wild Card game

Leave a comment

The American League side of the playoff bracket will begin with the AL Wild Card game tonight at 8 PM ET on ESPN, featuring the Rays and Athletics in Oakland. The Rays went 96-66 during the regular season, finishing a distant seven games behind the Yankees. The A’s went 97-65, finishing an even more distant 10 games behind the Astros.

Here are your starting lineups.

Rays

1B Yandy Díaz – .267/.340/.476, 14 HR, 38 RBI (347 PA)
DH Tommy Pham – .273/.369/.450, 21 HR, 68 RBI (654 PA)
LF Austin Meadows – .291/.364/.558, 33 HR, 89 RBI (591 PA)
C Travis d'Arnaud – .263/.323/.459, 16 HR, 67 RBI (365 PA)
3B Matt Duffy – .252/.343/.327, 1 HR, 12 RBI (169 PA)
RF Avisaíl García – .282/.332/.464, 20 HR, 72 RBI (530 PA)
SS Willy Adames – .254/.317/.418, 20 HR, 52 RBI (584 PA)
CF Kevin Kiermaier – .228/.278/.398, 14 HR, 55 RBI (480 PA)
2B Michael Brosseau – .273/.319/.462, 6 HR, 16 RBI (142 PA)

SP Charlie Morton – 16-6, 3.05 ERA< 240 K, 57 BB (194 2/3 IP)

The Rays are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Hard to believe it’s been that long, but the club had strung together five consecutive seasons of finishing in third place or worse.

Morton had a career year and is a solid No. 3 in the AL Cy Young Award race behind the Astros’ Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander. The Rays received a lot of press for popularizing “the opener” plus reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell had a down year, so Morton stepped up as the de facto ace of the staff.

Athletics

SS Marcus Semien – .285/.369/.522, 33 HR, 92 RBI (747 PA)
RF Ramón Laureano – .288/.340/.521, 24 HR, 67 RBI (481 PA)
3B Matt Chapman – .249/.342/.506, 36 HR, 91 RBI (670 PA)
1B Matt Olson – .267/.351/.545, 36 HR, 91 RBI (547 PA)
CF Mark Canha – .273/.396/.517, 26 HR, 58 RBI (497 PA)
2B Jurickson Profar – .218/.301/.410, 20 HR, 67 RBI (518 PA)
DH Khris Davis – .220/.293/.387, 23 HR, 73 RBI (533 PA)
LF Robbie Grossman – .240/.334/.348, 6 HR, 38 RBI (482 PA)
C Sean Murphy – .245/.333/.566, 4 HR, 8 RBI (60 PA)

SP Sean Manaea – 4-0, 1.21 ERA, 30 K, 7 BB (29 2/3 IP)

The A’s are appearing in the AL Wild Card game for a second consecutive year. They lost last year to the Yankees, 7-2. Should they win tonight, the A’s will advance into the ALDS for the first time since 2013.

Manaea underwent shoulder surgery in September 2018 and didn’t return until rosters expanded last month. In five September starts, Manaea dazzled with a 1.21 ERA and a 30/7 K/BB ratio across 29 2/3 innings. Although it is a small sample size, the performance isn’t hard to buy into as Manaea has shown that kind of potential before, particularly when he no-hit the eventual world champion Red Sox on April 21, 2018.