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Game Thread #162: A's at M's

Wash and Valencia celebrate the end of the 2015 campaign.
Wash and Valencia celebrate the end of the 2015 campaign.
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Prior to the season the sports book at the Atlantis Casino Resort & Spa in glamorous Reno, Nevada released its annual Pro Baseball 2015 Regular Season Win Totals for betting enthusiasts eager to wager the over/under wins for the upcoming 2015 MLB season. Our Oakland A's were given a generous over/under win total of 82 1/2. Back in March the line looked about right to me. Like many folks, I optimistically envisioned this team competing for a Wild Card spot with the support of its strong starting pitching, but probably not surpassing 85 or 86 wins. I also thought this team would be dueling all year in the AL West with Seattle and Anaheim.

As it turns out, today the A's go for win number 69 on what is the final day of the 2015 regular season. To many, 2015 is gratefully coming to its merciful end. Just as the Reno odds suggest, 2015 was in many ways a grandiose disappointment. Not to the level of the Washington Nationals, of course, but few expected this A's team to regress so low after three post-season appearances in a row. Such is life, however, and last place is where the 2015 A's will finish in the AL West.

Instead of being all boo-hoo about the season, though, let's get Chris Bassitt his second Win of the year, shall we? Despite keeping his ERA under four all season, Chris has accumulated a depressing 1-8 record. The record is a reflection of his support. In his 12 starts in 2015, Chris has received a pitiful 2.3 Runs Support per Game Started. He probably has sad, droopy hound dog eyes watching his teammates fail to score start after start.

Facing off against Chris today is Seattle starter Vidal Nuno. This season the San Diego native has been in-and-out of the bullpen having made 31 appearances, but only nine starts. Vidal hasn't started against the A's this year, but he has made a handful of scoreless relief appearances. His last three appearances have each been mediocre starts that saw Vidal take two losses against Texas and Anaheim with a No Decision against Houston five days ago. Overall, Vidal is sitting at 1-5 with a respectable 3.80 ERA.

In terms of lineup, the 2015 finale has Marcus Semien at the top of the order with Craig Gentry getting another start, this time in center. The September call-up has been quite the boon for Gentry as his average has climbed from .079 on September 8th all the way up to .104 entering today's game. That's right! His one hit in September and his lone hit last night means Gentry's average has rocketed up a full 30% since returning from Nashville. Don't call it a comeback!

Beyond that exciting bit of news, we have Billy Butler protecting Danny Valencia. Luckily, I didn't bet money on the A's winning over 82 1/2 games in 2015, but if I were betting money today I would put the farm on Valencia drawing at least two walks.

Today's Lineups

Marcus Semien - SS Ketel Marte - SS
Mark Canha - 1B Kyle Seager - 3B
Brett Lawrie - 2B Franklin Gutierrez - DH
Danny Valencia - 3B Robinson Cano - 2B
Billy Butler - DH Mark Trumbo - RF
Josh Reddick - RF Seth Smith - LF
Jake Smolinski - LF Logan Morrison - 1B
Craig Gentry - CF Jesus Sucre - C
Bryan Anderson - C Brad Miller - CF
Chris Bassitt - RHP Vidal Nuno - LHP