By Charlie O. Mallonee
In just over 19 hours, Sean Manaea is going to throw the first pitch in the 2019 American League Wild Card game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland Athletics. In just over three hours (after all, it is an American League game) one team will be leaving for Houston and the other team will heading home to pack up their lockers.
Manaea gets the call
The A’s had to decide between using Mike Fiers and Sean Manaea as the starter on Wednesday night. Fiers has been “the ace” of the staff with 33 starts, a 15-4 record, a 3.90 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.19. In two starts versus the Rays, he gave up just three total runs.
Manaea was activated off the Injured List on September 1st and made five starts in the final month of the season. He posted a 4-0 record with a 1.21 ERA and a WHIP of 0.78. Manaea has always been the heir apparent to the number starter’s role for Oakland.
Jon Morosi was a guest today on the Damon, Ratto, and Kolsky Show. Morosi — who is a reporter for the MLB Network and Fox Sports — said he feels that using Manaea as the starter on Wednesday is the perfect choice between the two pitchers.
Morton is the man for Tampa
Charlie Morton will take the hill for the Rays. He posted a record of 16-6 with 3.05 ERA for the season. After the Rays made “the opener” famous last year, Morton — a classic starter — became their star this season. Morton will use his curveball 37-percent of the time in the game on Wednesday night.
The A’s love the Coliseum
The Athletics record at home this season was 52-29 (.642). You would have to think that the A’s will feel more confident playing on their home field.
The A’s and Rays this season
The two teams played seven games this season. The A’s won four games and the Rays won three. Oakland won 2-of-3 in Tampa Bay and the teams split a four-game series in Oakland.
The A’s are the favorites on the money line -125. The projected run total is 7.5.