There are 13 regular season games left for the A’s and, whilst we’re not quite as high in the standings as we would like to be, a Wild Card spot is still within reach.
If we are to make the play-offs for the fourth consecutive season we will have to do it by bossing things against our nearest rivals in the AL West. We have two weeks of the Mariners and Astros, firstly at home and then in Seattle and Houston.
Seattle Mariners (H)
Season series so far: 4-8
Our season records against the Mariners and Astros put it all into context. Those teams have had the better of us so far this season and we need to turn that around, starting with Seattle.
The Mariners come into this series having taken two out of three against the Royals. They’ve had a bit of a bump in the road of late, going 3-5 in their last eight games, and that leaves them two games behind us in the standings. This series is a chance to not only make some ground on those above us, but to put some separation between us and the Mariners.
Probable pitchers are as follows:
- Gm1. Sean Manaea – Tyler Anderson
- Gm2. Paul Blackburn – Marco Gonzales
- Gm3. Cole Irvin – Chris Flexen
- Gm4. TBD (Chris Bassitt?) – Yusei Kikuchi
The Game Four starter is still to be determined. It would be James Kaprielian’s turn in the rotation but it is possible that Chris Bassitt may make a return depending on how his bullpen session goes earlier in the week.
Houston Astros (H)
Season series so far: 4-9
The Astros blitzed their way through June and July (35-17) and have played some steady baseball ever since to ensure they have a decent lead at the top of the division. They could still be caught if the A’s can really put a blazing run together, although let’s see where we are at the end of the home-stand before getting too optimistic!
There’s a bit more uncertainty on the probable pitchers here depending on how things shake out earlier in the week, but assuming Kap doesn’t start on Thursday it would appear to be set up as follows:
- Gm1. James Kaprielian – Zack Greinke
- Gm2. Frankie Montas – Jake Odorizzi
- Gm3. Sean Manaea – Framber Valdez