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Game Thread #142: Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers

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The “I can’t believe the A’s are playing playoff baseball in September” edition

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Happy, happy Friday to you and welcome to yet another meaningful September baseball game! I’m just going to repeat that until I believe it. The 2018 A’s—your A’s, my A’s—are playing meaningful, every-game-counts baseball into the second week of September in a thrilling playoff race that finds the A’s with two ways in; 3.5 games behind the Division leading Houston Astros, and 3.5 behind the Wild Card leading New York Yankees for home field advantage in the Wild Card game. The A’s hold a 5.5 game lead on their closest competitor (Seattle) for the second Wild Card entering play tonight, and if you had given us this scenario for September 7th during Spring Training this year, I doubt you’d find a single A’s fan who wouldn’t have taken that deal six ways from Sunday, and an even smaller number of fans who’d believe it, even now. But here we are, after surviving one of the toughest 10 games of the season, holding steady at 5-5, taking two out of three from the Yankees this week, and after a much-needed day off yesterday, welcoming in the Texas Rangers, whom we can only hope that the A’s beat, and Khris Davis wakes up; he has no better numbers against a team.

In the notes from our scoreboard watching, Houston will finally face some competition this weekend as they play the Red Sox, while Seattle plays the Yankees. I’m feeling very AL-East right now.

But most of all; this is special. This is a bonus season out of literally nowhere, and it’s been fun from basically game one. Enjoy every single game that you get to watch this special team play, and it sounds like the worst sports cliche ever, but we get the privilege—the treat, really—of having nightly entertainment from this awesome A’s team. With only 21 games left to play, enjoy them all.

Tonight’s game is another bullpen special as Liam Hendriks will kick it off, followed immediately by Chris Bassitt. Let’s go offense! Here are your lineups:

Today's Lineups

RANGERS ATHLETICS
Shin-Soo Choo - DH Ramon Laureano - CF
Rougned Odor - 2B Matt Chapman - 3B
Elvis Andrus - SS Jed Lowrie - 2B
Nomar Mazara - RF Khris Davis - DH
Adrian Beltre - 3B Matt Olson - 1B
Joey Gallo - LF Stephen Piscotty - RF
Ronald Guzman - 1B Marcus Semien - SS
Isiah Kiner-Falefa - C Chad Pinder - LF
Drew Robinson - CF Jonathan Lucroy - C

LET’S GO OAK-LAND!