Happy Opening Day! The first game of the Oakland A’s 2020 season is only a few hours away, and one way you can tell it’s really getting close is that the team has announced its starting lineup.
The A’s are playing the Los Angeles Angels at 7:10 p.m., at home at the Coliseum, and here’s who they’ll have facing Angels lefty starting pitcher Andrew Heaney:
- Marcus Semien, SS
- Ramon Laureano, CF
- Matt Chapman, 3B
- Khris Davis, DH
- Matt Olson, 1B
- Chad Pinder, 2B
- Mark Canha, LF
- Stephen Piscotty, RF
- Sean Murphy, C
Starting on the mound is right-hander Frankie Montas, who was easily the best performer in an otherwise solid (but patchwork) rotation last year. He’ll face superstars like Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Justin Upton, among others, though newcomer Anthony Rendon is out of the Halos lineup with an oblique injury.
There’s only one surprise in the A’s group, and even that was already predicted over the last couple days by the insider writers. While second base looked like it might be a platoon between lefty Tony Kemp and young righty Franklin Barreto, the Opening Day nod goes to super-sub Chad Pinder.
Oakland is facing a lefty in Heaney, so the righty Pinder is getting the call over Barreto in this case, and it’s because Pinder was the team’s hottest hitter during training camp according to manager Bob Melvin (via Susan Slusser, S.F. Chronicle). With only 60 games in the season, hot streaks will be extra valuable and there’s no time to let someone work out of a slump, so the A’s will often be prioritizing whoever is the hottest hand when making some of their lineup decisions. Right now it’s the guy who hit one out to the opposite field at Oracle Park a few days ago.
There are plenty of candidates around Pinder who could get going at any moment as well, and that lineup above looks terrifying for an opposing pitcher, especially a lefty. We’ll find out in a few hours!
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