AL Wild Card Game 2019: Yandy Diaz starts at first base for Rays, Athletics stick with familiar lineup
An ALDS berth is on the line in Oakland on Wednesday night
Wednesday night the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays will play the AL Wild Card Game in what is now called RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland. The winner moves on to face the Astros in the ALDS. The loser goes home.
The A's and Rays released their Wild Card Game starting lineups a few hours before first pitch Wednesday. First, here is the starting nine visiting skipper Kevin Cash is sending out there:
- 1B Yandy Diaz
- DH Tommy Pham
- LF Austin Meadows
- C Travis d'Arnaud
- 3B Matt Duffy
- RF Avisail Garcia
- SS Willy Adames
- CF Kevin Kiermaier
- 2B Mike Brosseau
RHP Charlie Morton
As expected, the Rays are using a righty heavy lineup against Manaea. Diaz returned from a foot injury this past weekend -- he'd been out since late July -- and was initially expected to be limited to pinch-hitting or DH duty. Instead, he's at first base Wednesday.
Tampa relies heavily on platoons, maybe moreso than any other team, so expect to see wholesale changes once the A's bullpen gets involved. Lefty hitting first baseman Ji-Man Choi and utility players Brandon Lowe and Joey Wendle figure to come off the bench later in the game. Jesus Aguilar gives Cash a big power righty bat on the bench for matchup situations.
Now here is the lineup A's manager Bob Melvin is starting in the Wild Card Game:
- SS Marcus Semien
- RF Ramon Laureano
- 3B Matt Chapman
- 1B Matt Olson
- CF Mark Canha
- 2B Jurickson Profar
- DH Khris Davis
- LF Robbie Grossman
- C Sean Murphy
LHP Sean Manaea
Fairly standard lineup for the Athletics, who stuck with Canha in center field full-time even after Laureano returned from his shin injury. Given his powerful arm, Laureano is capable of shutting down the running game (first-to-thirds, etc.) in right field. It's a sensible move.
Davis endured a tough regular season and has gradually dropped lower and lower in the lineup. Murphy took over as the starting catcher in September and hit .250 with four homers, so he remains behind the plate in the winner-take-all Wild Card Game. Seth Brown and Sheldon Neuse could be used strategically off the bench.
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