Good evening, everyone! Hot off the heels of yesterday’s walkoff win, the A’s will begin the season in earnest with a packed Opening Night and a celebration of the team’s 50th year in Oakland. Just about every noteworthy player to don the green and gold in the last few decades (except the great Daric Barton) will be in attendance. Gaze upon this face and feel the excitement:
I know I already tweeted Swisher photos but these are too Swisher not to include: pic.twitter.com/licgIVVHrD— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) March 31, 2018
Yes, out of all the great A’s present tonight, I chose to lead with Nick Swisher.
After the pomp and circumstance, the baseballing will begin with Sean Manaea facing off against Tyler Skaggs as tonight’s starting pitchers. If you put any stock at all in Spring Training stats (which you shouldn’t), ours is the better lefty, with a 2.53 ERA to Skaggs’s unsightly 9.00. Looking back at 2017, Manaea put up slightly better numbers over roughly double the innings, though both pitchers struggled with injuries.
That’s the run prevention. Here’s the run scoring:
|LOS ANGELES ANGELS||OAKLAND A'S|
|Ian Kinsler - 2B||Marcus Semien - SS|
|Mike Trout - CF||Jake Smolinski - CF|
|Justin Upton - LF||Jed Lowrie - 2B|
|Albert Pujols - 1B||Khris Davis - DH|
|Zack Cozart - 3B||Matt Olson - 1B|
|Kole Calhoun - RF||Stephen Piscotty - RF|
|Andrelton Simmons - SS||Matt Chapman - 3B|
|Chris Young - DH||Jonathan Lucroy - C|
|Martin Maldonado - C||Chad Pinder - LF|
|Tyler Skaggs - LHP||Sean Manaea - LHP|
One of yesterday’s heroes, Marcus Semien, is leading off. The other, Boog Powell, is taking a seat against Anaheim’s southpaw. Other than that, there are no huge surprises. Jake Smolinski, lefty masher extraordinaire, has worked his way into the lineup, and super-utility man Chad Pinder gets the nod over Matt Joyce who is deathly allergic to sinistral pitchers.
Game time is “7:05”, though it is unclear whether that accounts for pregame festivities/50 years in Oakland celebrations. Regardless, get ready for the Coliseum to be loud. Go A’s!
Oh, and just in case you missed it, I’m going to include some important links as we begin the season: