SEATTLE – Oakland acquired a atom in the American League wild-card bold Friday, but the aggregation isn’t absolutely accessible to name a amateur for Wednesday’s game.
Vice admiral of baseball operations Billy Beane hinted to The Chronicle on the A’s Plus podcast Friday that Sean Manaea ability accept the central clue on a wild-card start, with Mike Fiers additionally a consideration, but administrator Bob Melvin said afore Saturday’s bold adjoin the Mariners that annihilation is absolute yet. Oakland could assure home-field advantage with a win, and that could accept address on the decision.
“I anticipate it has a lot to do with area we play,” Melvin said. “We’re still focused on these aftermost brace of games. We appetite to comedy at home. That’s not a secret. We accept to win one of these two games, so we’re activity to go appealing adamantine with a focus on that.”
Really, you couldn’t go amiss with Manaea either way, admitting of beforehand it’s a baby sample size, bristles starts back advancing off the IL on Sept. 1. But he’s 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA and a .178 opponents boilerplate at home, with 14 strikeouts and three walks in 12 2/3 innings. On the road, he’s 2-0 with an 0.53 ERA and .145 opponents’ average, with 16 strikeouts and four walks in 17 innings.
Fiers is 9-0 with a 2.90 ERA and a .217 opponents boilerplate at home, 6-2 with a 5.14 ERA and .273 opponents boilerplate on the alley (including a nine-run adversity at Houston this month, which could agency in should Oakland beforehand to comedy the Astros). Fiers additionally has pitched able-bodied adjoin the Rays this year, with a 2.25 ERA and a .171 opponents boilerplate in two starts; Manaea has not faced Tampa Bay this season.
A wild-card, so to speak: Homer Bailey, who could be fabricated accessible to angle in abatement in a wild-card bold at home: He’s 3-0 with a 2.39 ERA at the Coliseum this season, with 40 strikeouts and six walks in 37 2/3 innings.
The Rays already accept set their wild-card starter, announcement that All-Star right-hander Charlie Morton will get the call; Morton aftermost pitched Wednesday, Manaea formed Thursday and Fiers on Friday.
The A’s aren’t acceptable to booty added than two starters for a one-game playoff, acceptance them to aerate their bench, but they’ll still accept some absorbing decisions to make, decidedly in the outfield – Stephen Piscotty has not been in a bold in added than a ages afterwards advancing off the IL Thursday and the blow of the outfielders are arena well. It’s acceptable the aggregation carries both additional basemen, Jurickson Profar and Sheldon Neuse. It ability appear bottomward to accelerated Franklin Barreto as a accessible pinch-runner and added account amateur vs. a potentially decayed Piscotty.
Piscotty has acceptable postseason acquaintance admitting – he hit three homers for the Cardinals vs. the Cubs in the 2015 Division Series.
Should the A’s beforehand to the Division Series, they’ll lose some agenda adaptability because they’d accept to use four starters, acceptable Manaea, Fiers, Bailey and Brett Anderson. Then some of the discussions about added bank players vs. an eight-man abode ability absolutely appear into play.
Susan Slusser is a San Francisco Chronicle agents writer. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @susanslusser
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