Last night’s game set a pretty high bar, but if nothing else tonight we have two teams with a great number of similarities. The Rays and A’s aren’t just linked by a rhyme - they share stadiums commonly derided as the league’s least-pleasant, reputations for analytical savviness, bottom of the barrel spending on their teams, and decent track records of winning in spite of all of those things. Both teams also sport some of the more unique (and in my opinion better) color schemes/uniform sets in the league. We’ll see the Athletics don their kelly green tonight, with the Rays hopefully countering in their Mariners-spring-training blue, as it’s officially known.
The visiting Rays will run out Cy Young contender Charlie Morton, giving them a Nationals-like edge to start things off. They will also be starting something called Mike Brosseau, who I am told went to high school with A’s starter Sean Manaea and I would not bet against that factoring into his presence.
Oakland counters with the aforementioned Manaea, as well as the two best position players on either side of the field in Matt Chapman and Marcus Semien.
Oakland also boasts a sold-out Coliseum, which is a boon in its own right, since that place gets pretty noisy even without a full house. Matthew and Kate think that could be the difference-maker, but most of the staff feels hopeful the Rays can pull this one out, although it’s close. It should be noted, though, that every single staffer is pulling for the Rays, aka Mariners Southeast.
Who you got tonight... Cardinals or Braves?
This poll is closed
The Ones With The Arch (Cardinals
The ATL (Braves)
Who you got tonight... Nationals or Dodgers?
This poll is closed
Our Nation’s Capital (Nationals)
Our Nation’s Most Inscrutable Public Transit (Dodgers)
How to watch:
If you don’t have MLB TV, these games are on mostly-basic cable.
Rays - A’s: 5:08 PM PT, ESPN
If you have a cable login, the game will also stream on ESPN. MLB TV might work for you, but there’s a chance it will be audio only even if you have a cable login.
Also, over on ESPN2, there’s a Statcast broadcast (lovingly called the NerdCast), because MLB knows what kinds of fans like a Rays-A’s Wild Card Game, and it is the NERRRRRDS. [runs to TV to find ESPN2]