Sox AL seed for ALDS: Focusing on the Oakland A’s
Citizens of Red Sox Nation should be paying careful attention to the Oakland A’s scores between now and Sunday; the outcomes will determine which of the two teams will draw the Wild Card team [Tampa or Cleveland] and which one will take on last year’s AL Champs, the Tigers.
UPDATE: With 3 games remaining for each team, the Sox [96-63] have a 2-game lead on the A’s [94-65].
Let us now turn our gaze westward and focus our ship’s telescope on Seattle, where the A’s will play their final three games against the “Ain’t Shit” Mariners [69-89].
Q: Will “King Felix” pitch against the A’s?
A: Yes! Friday.
The bad news is that Oakland will roll out “El Viejo Gordo” who is having a career year and has won his last three starts. The worse news is that Hernandez has been in a major slump, losing his last 4 starts and has not posted a W since August 11.
Parker is emerging as the future A’s Ace and is 6-1 in his last 10 starts’ take a look at his 10-game ration for Ks to Ws: 3-1 [45/15]. Seattle’s batters have managed a cumulative .214 BA against Parker.
In his last 10 starts Maurer is 2-1 and his last win was against Oakland on 8/20; when a pitcher gets only three decisions from 10 starts, it makes you wonder.
Former Sox Reddick [.667, HR in 3 ABs] and Lowrie [.571] have had the most success against the RHP and Oakland’s batters have smacked a cumulative .340 BA/ .700 SLG/1.089 OPS against Mauerer.
The bookies will make the A’s heavy favorites for this game.
The fate of the Red Sox may hang on two Rookie starters in this final game and, it looks like a toss-up, but Oakland manager Melvin will go pitching staff “all-in” to get the best record in the AL and the advantage of playing the AL WC team.
In his last 10 starts Gray has been inconsistent [4-3], but his 3.00 ERA and 56/17 K/W ratio are impressive.
Raul Ibanez and Nick Franklin are 1 for 3 against Gray and Franklin nicked him for a HR.
Rookie lefty Paxton allowed just 4 hits and no walks while striking out 10; since making his MLB debut on Sept. 7, Paxton has 21 strikeouts while allowing just 18 baserunners over four starts with a 1.50 ERA and a 21-7 K-W ratio.
“We are also in a position where we control our own destiny — the rules are the rules,” Farrell said. “The schedule is not going to be fair to everybody. Everybody plays 162, but the fact is we played more games than anyone before the All-Star break, so you can say that might be a benefit on our part to get off days late in the season. Hopefully it doesn’t come into play.”
Seattle Manager Eric Wedge is a Red Sox alum:
“Began his professional career in 1989 after being selected in the 3rd round of the June draft by Boston coming off a National Championship at Wichita State… made his ML debut Oct. 5,1991 with Boston…in 1992 he belted all 5 of his ML homers in 27 games for the Red Sox…selected by Colorado in the November, 1992 expansion draft in the 2nd round…spent most of the 1993 season on the Major League disabled list with an elbow injury…signed back with the Red Sox in 1994...made it back to the big leagues for the final time with the Red Sox in 1994……embarked on his managerial career in 1998 after undergoing 8 surgeries over the course his playing career that ended his career after the 1997 season.” http://mlb.mlb.com/team/coach_staff_bio.jsp?c_id=sea&coachorstaffid=124029
"So, if all the marbles are on the line for the Red Sox, will Wedge go “all-in” and treat the game like the 7th game of the World Series?"
For a quick overview of the Oaktown Boyz, see our previous post:
Who ARE these guys? Sox ALCS Foe, Oakland Daze
And read the team’s beat writer’s explanation of how the A’s won the AL West:
Jane Lee http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/oak/ten-reasons-oakland-kept-the-al-west-crown?ymd=20130923&content_id=61473100&vkey=news_oak
ALSO SEE: The Red Sox side on this website: https://bosoxinjection.com/2013/09/26/theres-place-like-home-field-advantage/
If the Sox wind up with the same record as the A’s or Tigers:
1. The first tiebreaker is head-to-head play.
The Red Sox lose that one to the Tigers but are even (3-3) with Oakland.
2. The next criterion is winning percentage within a team’s own division.
The Sox and A’s are within 1 game of each other.
The A’s final four games are against AL West rivals (Angels and Mariners), while the Red Sox have three more AL East games, against the Orioles. The Red Sox are 43-30 (.589) within their division, while the A’s, who lost to the Angels last night, are slightly behind at 42-30 (.583).
3. If one more tiebreaker is needed, it comes down to the best record since the All-Star break against AL teams.
Sox lose to the A’s.
If they sweep Baltimore, they would finish with a 34-20 record (.629) against the AL since the break. If the A’s win their last four, they would finish at 42-23 (.646), far better than the Sox.