Legends On Deck

Rays, Athletics Battle at the Coliseum Tonight

The Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics are set to do battle tonight at 8pm Eastern Time at the RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland, with the game being televised on ESPN. The Oakland A’s lead the season series with a record of 4-3. This is the first time the Rays have made the postseason since 2013 and the 5th time in franchise history with a playoff appearance. For Oakland, this is their 28th postseason and 4th Wild Card Berth in the franchise’s history.

Tonight should be a compelling pitching match up with Charlie Morton and Sean Manaea on the mound for their respective teams. Manaea is making his first start against Tampa on the season, while Morton made two starts against the A’s, including a start in the Coliseum.

I like the Rays going with the 35-year old veteran. For one, Morton has experience playing against the A’s, obviously pitching for the Astros from 2017 through the 2018 season. Not only that he is also the only starter to have playoff experience as guys like Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow do not, so having Morton, a guy who won the World Series with the Astros, has had playoff experience and is very familiar with this Oakland ball club, helps the Rays chances tonight. But the Rays will still have a tough test with Manaea on the mound.

Manaea is 4-0 on the season and has a 1.21 ERA and 30 strikeouts. But the only thing I would worry about is he hasn’t had much work throughout the season, only pitching 29.2 innings of work and only appearing in 5 games up to this point, so it will be interesting to see if that will effect the outcome of tonight’s game. But offensively I like both clubs. They both are smart ball clubs and are both very young in talent, which is one of the other reasons this match-up is as intriguing as it is.

With both clubs able to hit the ball well, it should be a good offensive game, but if Manaea and/or Morton are on point, we may not see too much of that. Now that we’ve got into the pitching matchup, lets look at the lineups:

Rays Lineup

  1. Yandy Diaz, 1B
  2.  Tommy Pham, DH
  3.  Austin Meadows, LF
  4.  Travis D’Arnaud, C
  5.  Matt Duffy, 3B
  6.  Avisail Garcia, RF
  7.  Willy Adames, SS
  8.  Kevin Kiermaier, CF
  9.  Michael Brosseau, 2B

Athletics Lineup

  1. Marcus Semien, SS
  2. Ramon Laureano, RF
  3.  Matt Chapman, 3B
  4.  Matt Olson, 1B
  5.  Mark Canha, CF
  6.  Jurickson Profar, 2B
  7.  Khris Davis, DH
  8.  Robbie Grossman, LF
  9.  Sean Murphy, C

There you have it. If anything shows from last night’s NL Wild Card Game never count any team out. I wouldn’t be surprised if this game goes to extras tonight. I think with this Rays lineup and Athletics lineup we could see a major offensive scoring matchup but as a said it all comes down to the pitching. We will just have to wait and see tonight on ESPN at 8pm et.

Dylan Spaulding

Dylan was born in Tampa, FL, and is the Founder of the FSL Radio Network, the unofficial Podcast of the Florida State League. He has covered many FSL Games and interviewed countless players including former 2-Time World Series Champ Jonny Gomes, Drew Stankiewicz, Cord Sandberg, Travis Swaggerty, and Milton Smith. Friends with FSL(Florida State League) players and staff/broadcasters. Favorite teams are Phillies and Rays. Reason Phillies is Because he loves going to their Spring Training facility and Rays because it’s his home town team.
Dylan Spaulding

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