Previewing 2019 American League Wild Card Game Tampa Bay Rays Vs Oakland Athletics

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After last night’s thrilling National League Wild Card Game, a great start to the postseason, the American League will have it’s chance to make a more exciting contest as we have the Tampa Bay Rays traveling to Oakland to play the Athletics. Another evenly matched game, baseball fans couldn’t have asked for a better start to the playoffs

Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays on paper don’t look like a playoff contender, but they sure do play like it. They also have a lot of young talent here, so the Rays are a lot of fun to watch. Tampa Bay is lead by youngsters Willy Adames, Yandy Diaz, Matt Duffy, Brandon Lowe, Austin Meadows and Joey Wendle and have veteran players like Avisail Garcia, Travis d’Arnaud, and Tommy Pham leading the way. The Rays will trot out Charlie Morton for this game and even at the age of 35, Morton dominates. Morton allowed only one run in 13.1 innings against Oakland in two starts this season with one victory. Tampa Bay also has a very dominant bullpen with pitchers like Chaz Roe, Ryan Yarbrough, and Oliver Drake, plus two starting pitchers in Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow in there for this game. The Rays are a dark horse team to make the World Series.

Rays lineup

  1. Joey Wendle 2B
  2. Tommy Pham LF
  3. Austin Meadows DH
  4. Travis d’Arnaud C
  5. Jesus Aguilar 1B
  6. Avisail Garcia RF
  7. Kevin Kiermaier CF
  8. Matt Duffy 3B
  9. Willy Adames SS

Oakland Athletics

If they Rays have a lot of talent, then the Athletics are just as or even more rich in young talent. Oakland can hit the ball well and have a dark horse candidate for AL Most Valuable Player in Marcus Semien pacing the offense. There’s a lot of great talents on their team like Ramon Laureano, Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, and Franklin Barretto as well as their big slugger in Khris Davis. The Athletics had started the season slow as they were 19-25, but went 78-40 the rest of the way to earn a postseason berth. Oakland also boasts a very stout pitching staff including their starter for tonight’s game, southpaw Sean Manaea. Manaea only pitched five games this season after coming off the injured list, but it all came in September as he went 4-0 with a 1.21 ERA and is clearly their hottest pitcher. The team also has a very good bullpen in Jake Diekman, Liam Hendriks, and J.B. Wendelken, plus have starters Chris Bassitt and Mike Fiers available tonight which only strengthens them more. The Athletics are another dark horse candidate to win the pennant.

Athletics lineup

  1. Marcus Semien SS
  2. Ramon Laureano RF
  3. Matt Chapman 3B
  4. Matt Olson 1B
  5. Mark Canha CF
  6. Seth Brown LF
  7. Khris Davis DH
  8. Jurickson Profar 2B
  9. Sean Murphy C

Notes: Oakland won the season series 4-3.

Prediction

James Rowe: Rays. Sure the Athletics have a lot of offensive firepower and solid pitching staff, but never count out the Rays as they have really shown how to play baseball the right way. Plus, they have a righty-heavy lineup tonight going against a hot Manaea. It just seems like they are confident enough in beating him.

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