Oakland, Astros Face Off For Final Time Of Regular Season
The Playoffs are near, and Oakland has one more chance to cut into the Astros division lead
While the Oakland Athletics currently hold the second Wild Card spot, the American League West Division is still up for grabs.
Well, sort of up for grabs.
The Houston Astros enter play on Monday night with a commanding 9.5 game lead over the second-place Athletics with only 19 games remaining in the season. In all likelihood, anything other than am Oakland sweep could signal the end for the A’s division championship hopes. The division race could be in the rear-view mirror pretty soon for the Athletics, but the Wild Card race is just beginning.
First-place Tampa Bay, second-place Oakland and Cleveland are all separated by 2.5 games or less.
Oakland is fresh off of a home-stand that saw them win five-of-six games to improve to 84-59 on the season.
Sean Manaea has looked incredible since returning from shoulder surgery, giving up only one run and striking out 15 batters over just 12 innings of work. The 27 year-old could be a big boost for Oakland down the stretch, and already looks like a strong possibility for starting a the potential one-game do-or-die Wild Card game.
When the 2019 season is said and done, the Athletics MVP could very well be Marcus Semien. Over his last 21 games, Semien is hitting .315 with 7 home runs and 21 RBI. On top of that, he has only struck out 11 times in that span of time versus 10 walks. The shortstop has already topped his career-high in RBI (77) and is two home runs away from a new career-high of 28.
Semien ranks eighth in the league in wins above replacement at 6.3, which places himself above the likes of Mookie Betts, Anthony Rendon, Javier Baez and more.
Houston has won four games in a row and seven of their last ten contests, including a 21-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday afternoon.
Monday, September 9 – Mike Fiers (14-3, 3.51 ERA) vs Zack Greinke (14-5, 3.09 ERA) – 5:10pm PST
Tuesday, September 10 – Tanner Roark (9-8, 3.86 ERA) vs Wade Miley (13-4, 3.35 ERA) – 5:10pm PST
Wednesday, September 11 – Brett Anderson (11-9, 4.08 ERA) vs (Framber Valdez (4-7, 5.62 ERA) – 5:10pm PST
Thursday, September 12 – Homer Bailey (12-8, 4.87 ERA) vs Justin Verlander (18-5, 2.52 ERA) – 5:10pm PST
Catch all of the action right here on Sports 1140 KHTK with pregame coverage starting at 4:40pm for each game!