AL Wild Card Preview-Oakland Athletics at New York Yankees

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Updated: October 4, 2018
A's vs Yankees

Oakland Athletics at New York Yankees
Date and Time:
October 3rd, 2018, 8:08 PM ET
Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
TV Coverage: TBS

The American League playoffs are set to begin in the Bronx with a Wild Card matchup between the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics. The Bronx Bombers finished the season at 100-62, which was the third best record in the MLB, only behind division rivals, the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros. The A’s were right behind the Yankees, finishing at 97-65. Both teams played extremely well this season, who will win? Let’s break it down.

The New York Yankees season seemed overlooked, per se because of the Red Sox amazing 108-54 record, but that doesn’t take away from this phenomenal season from the Bronx Bombers. We were expecting an Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton show but it was rookies Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar who stole the show. Aaron Judge was hurt for the majority of the second half and he just returned a couple of weeks ago. Gary Sanchez was disappointing this season, injured a bit and didn’t show the effort you would expect from a major league catcher.

The pitching staff had its ups and downs this season. Ace Luis Severino was looking like a Cy Young candidate before the all-star break but he cooled off in the second half. Trade deadline acquisition, JA Happ stood out for the Yankees. Since joining the Bombers, Happ was 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts. Neither Masahiro Tanaka or Sonny Gray were impressive. Severino gets the ball for the Yankees in a do or die, one game round.

Moneyball 2.0 is here, the Athletics had a fantastic season and they were neck and neck with the Astros up until the last few weeks of the season when the ‘Stros won the division by six games. Khris Davis had a dominating year for the A’s with 49 home runs, the best in the AL and a 32 offensive WAR. Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, and Jed Lowrie also had great years for the Athletics. Manager Bob Melvin is believed to be the front-runner for the Manager of the Year in the AL.
Sean Manaea was the ace for the A’s this season, but he is on the DL with season-ending shoulder surgery. The real star of this pitching staff is closer Blake Treinen. He finished the season with 38 saves with only 5 blown saves and a 0.78 ERA. In my opinion, he is just behind Mariners closer, Edwin Diaz in the AL Reliever of the year award. Liam Hendriks, who will be the “opener” in a bullpen game vs the Yankees had an average season. I can’t wait to find out who will emerge as the star in the bullpen game today.
Matchup to watch
Luis Severino vs the Athletics offense.
Luis Severino finished the 2018 campaign with a 19-8 record with a 3.39 ERA. The choice was between Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, and JA Happ but manager Aaron Boone made, what he hopes was the right choice in his ace. The Athletics team is full of power, that can get on base a lot. This is going to be a great matchup, who will be the difference maker today?
Lineups
Yankees
LF Andrew McCutchen

RF Aaron Judge

CF Aaron Hicks

DH Giancarlo Stanton

1B Luke Voit

SS Didi Gregorius

3B Miguel Andújar

C Gary Sanchez

2B Gleyber Torres

SP: Luis Severino (19-8, 3.39 ERA)

Athletics
LF Nick Martini

3B Matt Chapman

2B Jed Lowrie

DH Khris Davis

1B Matt Olson

RF Stephen Piscotty

CF Ramón Laureano

SS Marcus Semien

C Jonathan Lucroy

SP: Liam Hendriks (0-1, 4.13 ERA)
My Prediction: Athletics 6 Yankees 5

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