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Oakland A’s Game Thread: Game 1 vs. Chicago White Sox

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Wild Card Round, best-of-3

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San Francisco Giants v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The playoffs are here! The Oakland A’s take on the Chicago White Sox in Game 1 of the best-of-three Wild Card Round, taking place at home at the Coliseum.

This is the first time these two teams have ever met in the postseason. It comes with the A’s as the No. 2 seed, as AL West division winners, and the White Sox as the first-ever No. 7 seed in the expanded bracket. Chicago tied for second place in the Central but finished third due to a paper tiebreaker.

Oakland calls on rookie Jesús Luzardo to start. It will be his first time facing the White Sox, this year or ever, so they’ll have to figure out one of the nastier pitch arsenals in the league on the fly. They went 14-0 against lefty starters this year, but the list of names wasn’t impressive and that’s not a split I’d take seriously in a small sample anyway. They have some righty power for sure, but Luzardo is capable of beating them if he’s on his game.

Chicago puts Lucas Giolito on the hill. The right-hander faced the A’s once last season and struck out 13 of the 24 batters he faced over six quality innings, but still took the loss when his teammates were shut out. He also allowed a homer to Matt Olson in that game. Overall he had a wonderful 2020 season, including a no-hitter, and fully backed up his performance from 2019 when he finished sixth in Cy Young voting.

As an extra twist, both starting pitchers began their pro careers as Washington Nationals draft picks. Luzardo came to the A’s in the Doolittle/Madson trade, and Giolito went to the Sox for outfielder Adam Eaton, and both at one time qualified as national Top 10 prospects.

Click here to see the full rosters for both teams.

First pitch is 12:00 p.m., with the following options to watch or listen:

A’s lineup (home)

  1. 2B Tommy La Stella (L)
  2. LF Robbie Grossmn (S)
  3. SS Marcus Semien (R)
  4. 1B Matt Olson (L)
  5. LF Mark Canha (R)
  6. 3B Jake Lamb (L)
  7. CF Ramon Laureano (R)
  8. DH Chad Pinder (R)
  9. C Sean Murphy (R)
  • Jesús Luzardo, LHP

The interesting move here is Pinder at DH, especially against a right-hander. He’s 2-for-5 with a double in his career against Giolito.

White Sox lineup (away)

  1. SS Tim Anderson (R)
  2. 3B Yoan Moncada (S)
  3. DH Yasmani Grandal (S)
  4. 1B Jose Abreu (R)
  5. C James McCann (R)
  6. CF Luis Robert (R)
  7. RF Adam Engel (R)
  8. LF Leury Garcia (S)
  9. 2B Nick Madrigal (R)
  • Lucas Giolito, RHP

Eloy Jimenez is out with continued foot discomfort, but could pinch-hit. No Edwin Encarnacion, and of course no Nomar Mazara against the lefty.

Let’s Go Oakland!