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Oakland A’s Series Preview #14: Rangers host season series finale

Four games in three days, plus a couple MLB debuts

Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners
Gallo Del Beisbol
Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s lead the AL West by 6.5 games over the Houston Astros, which is their largest division lead since Sept 2013. There are only 18 more games on their schedule, although six of them will happen over the next four days thanks to a pair of makeup doubleheaders.

The A’s now travel to the Lone Star State to face the other Texas team, the last-place Rangers. One of those makeup twin-bills will come on Saturday, making this a four-game weekend series. This will wrap up the season series between the two sides, with Oakland currently leading 5-1.

Texas Rangers

  • 2020 record: 15-28

This isn’t how the Rangers hoped their season would go. They were always a long-shot to make the playoffs, but they weren’t a doormat either and had a chance at joining a Wild Card race — especially when the postseason got expanded with some extra spots. Instead, everything went wrong and they find themselves in the basement of the West.

The Rangers became sellers at the trade deadline, and among other moves they sent 2019 All-Star pitcher Mike Minor to Oakland. They also shipped away a pair of veteran hitters in third baseman Todd Frazier and catcher Robinson Chirinos.

In their places are some newer blood. In particular, the A’s will get to see the MLB debut of catcher Sam Huff, who made the Top 100 prospect lists of both MLB Pipeline and Baseball America last winter. The 22-year-old hasn’t played above High-A, but he hit some dingers down there.

Projected lineup

This is the actual lineup for Friday, against a right-handed starter in a series that should feature Oakland righties in all four games:

  • CF Leody Taveras (S)
  • 3B Isiah Kiner-Falefa (R)
  • LF Nick Solak (R)
  • RF Joey Gallo (L)
  • SS Elvis Andrus (R)
  • 2B Rougned Odor (L)
  • 1B Ronald Guzman (L)
  • C Sam Huff (R)
  • DH Anderson Tejeda (S)

On the bench is Eli White, a former A’s prospect who was sent over in the Jurickson Profar trade two winters ago. He’s 1-for-20 so far, with a double and seven strikeouts, while playing left field (though he can play elsewhere too when needed).

Starting pitchers

These are the four expected starters:

  • Fri: Luis Garcia (R) vs. Mike Fiers (5:05 p.m.)
  • Sat: TBD vs. Chris Bassitt (2:05 p.m.)
  • Sat: Kolby Allard (L) vs. Daulton Jefferies (5:05 p.m.)
  • Sun: Lance Lynn (R) vs. Frankie Montas (11:35 a.m.)

For the second time in three days, the A’s will face an opposing starter named Luis Garcia, after seeing one against Houston. Yes, this is a different person. There’s actually a third player with the same name on the Nationals. (Note: Garcia is only opening, ahead of normal starter Jordan Lyles.)

It’s not yet clear who will start the other game of the doubleheader for Texas, and I’m not sure we know for sure yet which order Bassitt and Jefferies will go in — though we do know Jefferies is making his MLB debut starting one of the games.

Lynn has gone against Oakland twice this year and thrown a quality start each time, totaling three runs in just over a dozen innings.


Here’s the Rangers’ full 28-man roster:

Texas Rangers 28-man roster
Pitchers Hitters

Lance Lynn (R)
Kyle Gibson (R)
Jordan Lyles (R)
Kolby Allard (L)
Luis Garcia (R)


Rafael Montero (R)
Wes Benjamin (L)
Jesse Chavez (R)
Kyle Cody (R)
Nick Goody (R)
Taylor Hearn (L)
Jimmy Herget (R)
Jonathan Hernandez (R)
John King (L)
Brett Martin (L)

Sam Huff (R)
Jeff Mathis (R)
Jose Trevino (R)


Elvis Andrus (R)
Derek Dietrich (L)
Ronald Guzman (R)
Rougned Odor (L)
Isiah Kiner-Falefa (R)
Anderson Tejeda (S)
Eli White (R)


Joey Gallo (L)
Nick Solak (R)
Leody Taveras (S)

10-day IL: LHP Joely Rodriguez (hamstring), IF/OF Danny Santana (elbow), OF Willie Calhoun (ankle), OF Shin-Soo Choo (hand)

45-day IL: LHP Brock Burke (shoulder), RHP Jose Leclerc (back), RHP Corey Kluber (shoulder), LHP Joe Palumbo (ulcerative colitis), RHP Edinson Volquez (oblique)