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Game Thread #55: Oakland A’s at Los Angeles Dodgers

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Manaealator!

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Oakland Athletics v Colorado Rockies Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s and Los Angeles Dodgers have both clinched their respective division titles, but they still need to play out the string before the postseason begins next week. The A’s will host a three-game Wild Card Round series starting Tuesday, and the Dodgers on Wednesday, both at their own home parks.

While we wait for all of that, the two sides still have a pair of games to finish this week. The Dodgers have already somewhat checked out, as they pulled their scheduled starter Julio Urias and replaced him with a bullpen game, led by reliever Joe Kelly. The right-hander hasn’t started a game since 2016, and this year he’s thrown eight innings in 10 appearances, so don’t expect him to go too long tonight. There will probably be lots of relievers after him.

On the other hand, the A’s are sticking with Sean Manaea. The lefty has looked sharp in his last several outings, only once allowing more than one earned run in five games. Oakland is surely lining up their playoff rotation, and Manaea is clearly going to be a part of it — maybe even the Game 1 starter, in the best estimate of Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle.

Of course, do the A’s even want to win this game? Right now they’re lined up to play the Houston Astros in the first round, a team they’ve beaten in every single full-length meeting this year. If they win too many games this week, they switch to the Cleveland Indians, who have a better record, and who have Cy Young favorite Shane Bieber in Game 1, and who the A’s haven’t played all year. Sounds sub-optimal to me.

First pitch is 6:40 p.m., with the following options to watch or listen:

  • TV: NBC Sports California
  • Radio: 960 AM
  • Online video stream: fuboTV
  • Online audio stream: iHeartRadio

A’s lineup (away)

  1. 2B Tommy La Stella (L)
  2. LF Robbie Grossman (S)
  3. SS Marcus Semien (R)
  4. 3B Jake Lamb (L)
  5. 1B Mark Canha (R)
  6. RF Stephen Piscotty (R)
  7. DH Khris Davis (R)
  8. CF Ramon Laureano (R)
  9. C Jonah Heim (S)
  • Sean Manaea, LHP

Matt Olson gets a day off to rest.

Dodgers lineup (home)

  1. RF Mookie Betts (R)
  2. SS Corey Seager (L)
  3. 3B Justin Turner (R)
  4. 1B Max Muncy (L)
  5. C Will Smith (R)
  6. DH A.J. Pollock (R)
  7. CF Cody Bellinger (L)
  8. LF Chris Taylor (R)
  9. 2B Enrique Hernandez (R)
  • Joe Kelly, RHP

Turner back in there at third base. Kelly starts on the mound, but it’s probably a bullpen game.

Let’s Go Oakland!