The difference between a 3-1 series win and a 2-2 series split is huge, especially when you're playing the Houston Astros at home in an early-September stretch that will go a long way towards deciding a division winner.
The A's are going for that 3-1 win today, and will look to veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon (14-6, 2.90 ERA) to return to his mid-season form after a rocky stretch that's seen a few shaky outings from Bartolo, even though they haven't done much damage to his numbers. The Astros are starting Lucas Harrell, who's 6-15 with an ugly 5.69 ERA. The A's obviously have a decided advantage in the pitching matchup today, but as we've already seen four times this year, nothing is guaranteed against the Astros.
First pitch is at 1:05pm from the Coliseum, where several dozen ANers are tailgating and taking in the game from the lower level. That might make for a quieter game thread this afternoon, so if you're wondering about a general lack of comments or new threads or any of that good stuff, there's your answer.
Lineups (Josh Donaldson is out with a quad strain, but it's precautionary):
1:05pm Astros (P. Clemens - R) @ Athletics (B. Colon - R)