Editor’s update 10/1 3:01 p.m.: Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin announced on Tuesday that Sean Manaea will get the start in the American League Wild Card game, according to A’s beat writer Ben Ross. He will face Charlie Morton on Wednesday.
The Oakland Athletics host the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, October 2nd, to kick off the American League side of the Wild Card in the 2019 Major League Baseball playoffs. First pitch is scheduled for 8:08 p.m. on Wednesday, with the game airing on ESPN. The Athletics are -129 on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Rays are +114. The winner of the series advances to face the Houston Astros in the ALDS.
The A’s clinched home field on Saturday for this one-game playoff. They have not yet announced the starter, although it is likely down to either Mike Fiers or Sean Manaea. Fiers is the 34-year old veteran leader of the pitching staff, coming off a season in which he went 15-4 with a 3.90 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. The 27-year old Manaea came back from 2018 shoulder surgery to impress in September. In five start since returning to action, Manaea is 4-0 with a 1.21 ERA and 0.78 WHIP. Manager Bob Melvin announced that he would announce his decision after the team’s Tuesday workout.
The Rays are not waiting for their decision. Manager Kevin Cash announced on Sunday that Charlie Morton would get the start. He was the clear choice for the role, and the Rays hope his postseason experience with the Houston Astros gives him a boost. Morton made two starts against Oakland this season, both in the span of ten days. He was 1-0 with a 0.68 ERA over 13.1 innings.
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