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Game Thread #103: A’s at Astros

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Oakland Athletics Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Good evening and welcome to a hot summer Tuesday night, where the A’s are in the middle of a pennant race, and also in the middle of a series against the Houston Astros. Since the last two games for the A’s can best be summed up as “mistakes were made” (one ninth inning blown save on Sunday, one horrific blowout last night), it is very important for the A’s to get back on track tonight against a very, very good Astros team.

As we saw in graphic detail last night, the real difference between the A’s and the Astros is, of course, the starting pitching; the A’s can have the best offense in the league, but it doesn’t matter when they’re facing Gerrit Cole, who at his worst, will allow a couple of runs. The A’s starters need to keep the club in the game long enough to complete in a pitchers’ duel, and spotting the Astros’ pitchers 11 runs before the third not great.

Mike Fiers will try his hand against the explosive offense tonight as the A’s will battle against Wade Miley. I wouldn’t say this game is a must-win in late July, but with the A’s already 7.5 games back, having lost three full games in the standings this week and with Justin Verlander on the mound tomorrow morning for the series finale, it’s probably their best chance to stay relevant in the AL West.

Here are tonight’s lineups:

Today's Lineups

Marcus Semien - SS George Springer - CF
Matt Chapman - 3B Jose Altuve - 2B
Matt Olson - 1B Alex Bregman - SS
Mark Canha - RF Michael Brantley - LF
Ramon Laureano - CF Yordan Alvarez - DH
Khris Davis - DH Yuli Gurriel - 3B
Chad Pinder - LF Josh Reddick - RF
Josh Phegley - C Aledmys Diaz - 1B
Franklin Barreto - 2B Max Stassi - C