The Oakland Athletics are going to the postseason, that much we do know. What we don’t know is where the Wild Card Game is going to be in the American League. Yankee Stadium or the Coliseum in Oakland. Yankee Stadium would provide a better backdrop for a postseason game, but don’t go about calling the Coliseum dilapidated. It’s pretty rundown, however old ballparks are becoming harder and harder to find as the years pass.
Nevertheless, the Oakland Coliseum doesn’t exactly have the same ring to it as a Fenway or Wrigley does, so I won’t shed a tear when the new stadium gets completed. Maybe the Athletics will have a World Series to celebrate before they say goodbye. They aren’t a favorite this season, but after the run they went on in the second-half, it’s hard to just ignore them. The public will likely hammer the Yankees in that game, especially if it’s at Yankee Stadium.
The offense came to play for Oakland last night despite just clinching the division. I thought they’d play dead and use it as a day to recover after celebrating, but credit the A’s, the offense came to play and look hungry to catch the Yankees. The Yankees pounded the Rays, though, so they definitely haven’t been letting up. Trading wins every night isn’t going to work with a 2-game deficit. They were able to give the Astros a brief scare, but the Astros are just about to wrap the AL West up after another win yesterday. Head below for our free Athletics vs. Mariners pick.
Oakland Athletics vs. Seattle Mariners Pick
Edwin Jackson (6-3, 3.18 ERA) vs. Felix Hernandez (8-13, 5.46 ERA)
Mike Fiers appears to be the logical choice to start in the Wild Card Game. He’s been at the top of his career since starting the season with the Tigers. The Athletics were keeping their fingers crossed that Fiers would keep it together as he came to the west. He’s looked essentially the same, as he went from a losing team to a contender.
They dodged a major bullet by sending Sonny Gray to the Yankees. The A’s got to dump his salary on the Yanks, and he’s regressed ever since landing in the Bronx. In what looked like the beginning of a rebuilding process for the Athletics, they’ve actually gotten much better since he left Oakland.
Edwin Jackson will get the nod tonight for the Athletics. Jackson basically came to Oakland on a flier to see if he has anything left in the tank and he’s exceeded expectations. He’s been a launching pad for hitters for the greater part of the last four years. Jackson looked better in a bullpen and it looked like his starting days were over. But, then he came to Oakland and found a switch.
Has he been perfect? No, he’s been showing signs of slowing down recently, but the A’s got more than their money worth with him. Jackson enters with an ERA of 4.72 in his last three starts. His worst was allowing 5 hits and 4 runs to the Rangers in 3 innings. The Mariners have been good against him with a team batting average of .280 with a .368 OBP. Mitch Haniger, Cameron Maybin, and Nelson Cruz are all hitting above .400 against him.
Earlier this season, it looked like Felix Hernandez was going to go to the postseason before he retired. If there is any guy on this roster that deserves that, it would be him. He’s been through a lot, and if there is anything, he’s been the one variable who stayed constant this last decade. Of course, when they have a decent team, though, he starts to regress.
No one can escape father time, even the King and Tom Brady. Felix enters with an ERA of 5.46, well off his career ERA of 3.33. In his last outing against the Athletics, they got 4 hits, 2 walks, and 4 runs on Hernandez in 5 innings. The A’s have scored 8 runs per game in their previous eight games. So, it hasn’t just been Felix struggling against this pesky lineup. The OVER has gone 5-0 in their last five meetings. It’s also 8-2 in the Athletics last ten games, and 5-1 in the Mariners last six. I would look for another high-scoring game on Wednesday in Seattle.