The Oakland Athletics travel on the road to Guaranteed Rate Field for a series that could preview a playoff series later this year. Oakland has tightened the AL West race with wins in seven of their last ten games, trailing the Astros by just 2.5 games and are in a tight-race with the Yankees and Red Sox for the AL Wildcard spot. Chicago has built on their AL Central lead all season long, it’s now up to 11 games, everything but securing the playoff bid with just over a month to go.
The White Sox have been among the best offenses in the MLB this season hitting .251 as a team, and are seventh in scoring offense averaging 4.96 runs per contest. They’ve had health issues throughout the season but are finally starting to get healthy at the right time, first baseman Jose Abreu is leading the way with 24 homeruns and has driven in a team-high 86 runs on the season.
Lance Lynn, the ace of the rotation and Cy Young hopeful, will get the start and hope to continue his dominant start to the season. Lynn is 10-3 with a 2.26 ERA in 119.2 innings of work, with an impressive 137 strikeouts to just 37 walks in that time. Lynn’s last start was in the Field of Dreams game where he pitched a solid 5 innings allowing four runs on four hits and struck out seven in the dramatic win over the Yankees.
Oakland has had struggles at the plate this season and comes in hitting .237 as a team, ranking 20th in the MLB, and are 13th in scoring offense averaging 4.57 runs per game. First baseman Matt Olson has shouldered the load, leading the team with 30 home runs and 79 RBIs while batting .281. Across the infield, third baseman Matt Chapman has struggled hitting .224 on the year, one of the lowest marks of his career.
The young lefty Cole Irvin will get the start for the Athletics, he’s having a solid first full season in the bigs and despite a 8-11 record, has posted a 3.52 ERA (23rd in MLB) and 1.18 WHIP (28th in MLB). Irvin struggled in his last outing allowing five runs on eight hits and walking one in five innings of work as the A’s were upset by the Rangers.