A’s and Rays are Equally Matched in AL Wildcard Game
It took 162 games to decide the two AL Wild Card teams, but it was well worth it for the Oakland Athletics and the Tampa Bay Rays. They’ll meet this tonight at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum to determine who will move on to face the league-leading Houston Astros in the AL Division Series. The Rays make their first appearance in the playoffs since 2013. They beat Cleveland in the AL Wild Card Game and lost to Boston in the AL Division Series. Oakland lost in this spot against the New York Yankees last year.
TV: 8:09 p.m. ET, ESPN; LINE: Athletics -125; O/U: 7 Over -120.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Charlie Morton (16-6, 3.05 ERA) vs. Athletics LH Sean Manaea (4-0, 1.21)
Tampa Bay went 48-33 on the road this year, which was second best in the AL. Oakland had the third-best record in the league at home at 52-29. “Their pitching, those guys are electric,” Rays manager Kevin Cash told mlb.com. “I know that we have our hands full. We mirror each other in so many ways. Whatever way they go, we like to think we can combat it, but they can come back and flip it on us. It’s going to be a very interesting game and how it’s managed.” Matt Olson and Matt Chapman tied for the team lead with 36 homers. Olson batted .318 with three blasts against Tampa Bay this year.
Austin Meadows led the way for the Rays all season, registering team highs with 33 homers and 89 RBI’s. Tampa Bay will hand the ball to veteran right-hander Charlie Morton. He posted career highs in wins (16), strikeouts (240) and innings (194-2/3) this season. The Athletics turn to Sean Manaea after the lefty finished the regular season with four straight victories.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
Sean Manaea will get the nod for the Athletics. Manaea was expected to miss all of 2019 after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum. Instead he made his debut on September 1st and led Oakland to a victory in four of his five starts. The Under went 4-1 in the process. To say Manaea has been dominant in his first five starts of the season is an understatement. Manaea was 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA in two starts at home this season. He only permitted four runs on 16 hits with 30 strikeouts over 29-2/3 innings. Manaea went 12-9 with a 3.59 ERA in 27 starts last season, including a four-run, five-inning loss to Tampa Bay. Travis d’Arnaud is 2-for-2 with a walk against Manaea.
The Rays‘ Morton signed a two-year, $30 million contract in the offseason and hasn’t disappointed. He has churned out his best season since he turned pro in 2008. Tampa Bay went 22-11 in his 33 starts with the total split down the middle at 16-16-1. Morton has allowed two or fewer runs in 22 of those 33 starts. He went 3-0 with a 2.73 ERA in September. The crafty veteran pitched the final four innings to get the win in Game 7 of the World Series with Houston in 2017. Jurickson Profar is 4-for-11 with a homer and a double versus Morton. He is 1-0 with a 0.68 ERA in two starts against Oakland in 2019. Morton allowed only one run on six hits over a combined 13.1 innings of work.
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The Dart Throw: Rays 5, Athletics 2
AL Wildcard Game Trends
Oakland A’s Trends
- Trend Under is 4-1 in Athletics last 5 games with the total set at 9.0-10.5. Hit % 80.00% (5) O/U 1|4 Push 0 W/L
- Under is 4-0 in Athletics last 4 games with the total set at 7.0-8.5. 100.00% (4) 0|4 0
- Under is 6-2 in Athletics last 8 games as a home underdog of +110 to +150. 75.00% (8) 2|6 0
- Under is 5-1 in Athletics last 6 games as a home underdog of +151 to +200. 83.30% (6) 1|5 0
Tampa Bay Rays Trends
- Trend Under is 46-22-3 in Rays last 71 games with the total set at 9.0-10.5. Hit % 67.60% (71) O/U 1|4 Push 0 W/L
- Over is 21-7 in Rays last 28 games with the total set at 7.0-8.5. 75.00% (28) 0|4 0
- Under is 39-19-1 in Rays last 59 road games with the total set at 9.0-10.5. 67.20% (59) 19|39 1
- Over is 4-1-1 in Rays last 6 games as a favorite of -151 to -200. 80.00% (6) 4|1 1
Rays vs A’s Meetings Trends
- Trend Under is 10-4 in the last 14 meetings in Oakland. Hit % 71.40% (14) O/U 4|10 Push 0 W/L
- Under is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings. 71.40% (7) 2|5 0
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