Previewing 2018 American League Wild Card Game

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After a thrilling game last night between the Cubs and Rockies, it is time to sit back, relax, and enjoy another potential thriller between the Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees as this game will be held at Yankee Stadium in the American League edition of the Wild Card Game. The Yankees had a great season despite finishing in second place in their division as they won 100 games. The Athletics on the other hand were a bit of a surprise as most didn’t even see them having a .500 record by the end of the season, but they got hot at the right time and won 97 contests. With that being said, let’s look at both squads.

New York Yankees

Let’s call them what they really should be called, the Baby Bombers (a play off their nickname the Bronx Bombers). This team is technically in a rebuild as they are still transitioning their older players out for newer ones, but they have a plethora of young and exciting talent that still makes them a strong team with the likes of Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, and Miguel Andujar. Tonight they will send out Luis Severino to the mound who at this point in his career should be considered a bonafide ace pitcher. This team can absolutely mash as they set a new MLB record for team home runs, but they also have great pitching and solid defense. They are the perfect storm for a deep playoff run.

Yankees lineup

  1. Andrew McCutchen LF
  2. Aaron Judge RF
  3. Aaron Hicks CF
  4. Giancarlo Stanton DH
  5. Luke Voit 1B
  6. Didi Gregorius SS
  7. Miguel Andujar 3B
  8. Gary Sanchez C
  9. Gleyber Torres 2B

 

Oakland Athletics

This young and exciting talented roster surprised every one a year earlier than they were expected to compete, but nonetheless, here they are in the playoffs. They have an incredible crop of players like Matt Chapman, Marcus Semien, and Matt Olson, which could make them a playoff contender for a long time to come. They have one of the best defensive third basemen in the game in Chapman, but their defense overall is pretty solid. They can hit the ball well, but they seem to come up in the clutch more often than not. And their pitching is solid. However, in this game, it seems like they are going with a bullpen type of approach as they will send out Liam Hendriks to “start” as he’s more of an opener and then trot out more arms from the bullpen as the game goes along. It’s a very interesting approach.

Athletics lineup

  1. Nick Martini LF
  2. Matt Chapman 3B
  3. Jed Lowrie 2B
  4. Khris Davis DH
  5. Matt Olson 1B
  6. Stephen Piscotty RF
  7. Ramon Laureano CF
  8. Marcus Semien SS
  9. Jonathan Lucroy C

 

Notes: The season series was split at 3-3, however the Yankees won two out of three at Yankee Stadium where this contest will be held tonight. New York hit the most home runs in baseball while Oakland finished third, so this could be a slugfest.

 

Predictions

James Rowe: Athletics. The Yankees are the better team, but the Athletics have won a staggering 63 of their last 92 games. They are the hottest team going into the playoffs. I do think it will be a good game as both bullpens are great and both have the ability to slug, but this contest could go any way, however, I feel comfortable predicting Oakland to win.

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