New York Yankees: What to expect vs the Oakland Athletics in the MLB Playoffs

New York Yankees. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
New York Yankees. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The New York Yankees have known their fate for MLB Playoffs for some time now and the time has come to host the Oakland Athletics in the do or die Wild Card game on Wednesday Night. Here is what to expect from the Yanks’ enemy.

As the New York Yankees‘ regular season comes to a close, they are ready to enter the most wonderful part of the season: October Baseball where they will host the AL Wild Card Game in the MLB Playoffs on Wednesday night.

October means postseason baseball where, once again, the New York Yankees will take their talents.

After being one win shy of facing the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 World Series, the Yankees come back ready to feast on their October competition. This year, their competition starts in the Wild Card Game with the Oakland Athletics.

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The Athletics, or A’s, as most people refer to them as, are one very confusing, yet dangerous team.

Nobody, and I mean nobody, expected them to get to this point in the season. Now, there is one question. Who are these Oakland A’s?

Well, the A’s did not have the best start to their season. Between April and June, they spent most of their time in fourth place in the American League West, only ahead of the Texas Rangers.

They were as far back as 11.5 games of first place in the middle of June. Then, out of nowhere, they started playing like they were madmen.

They finished the season with a record of 97-65 and had a seven-game lead on the Tampa Bay Rays for the second wild card.

The Athletics are heading into the playoffs for the first time since 2014, and they are looking for their first series win in the playoffs since the 2006 American League Division Series.

So, who are the players that the Yankees should be watching out for?

The Lineup

Well, the first player is Khris Davis. Not to be confused with the worst hitter in baseball on the Baltimore Orioles, Chris Davis.

The Athletics’ Davis has continued to show that he is a force to be reckoned with in their lineup, hitting a league-high 48 home runs alongside 123 RBI’s. He is one of the most dangerous hitters in the majors, and not the only one you need to watch out for in this lineup…

Also, this lineup also features Matt Chapman. Chapman, 25, is already one of the most feared hitters and all-around players in all of baseball.

The third baseman scorched this season, slashing .279/.350/.510 with 24 home runs and 68 RBI’s.

He has some of the best defensive highlights you’ll ever see and is up there in the ranks with Nolan Arenado regarding the glove work aspect of his game.

Also look out for hitters like Matt Olson and Jed Lowrie as they are also solid offensive players that contribute night in and night out on this feisty A’s lineup.

Starting Pitching

Now, the pitching staff, on the other hand, is where they tend to confuse people.

If you took a look at a rotation featuring Edwin Jackson (3.33 ERA), Trevor Cahill (3.76 ERA), Mike Fiers (3.56 ERA) and Brett Anderson (4.42 ERA), I doubt you’d believe they were a playoff rotation, but they are.

Jackson and Cahill have resurrected their careers this season, while Fiers and Anderson have put together solid campaigns to go along with Sean Manaea, their ace, who is most likely out until 2020 with shoulder surgery on his pitching shoulder.

The Bullpen

The key to their success pitching-wise this season, however, was their bullpen.

They have one of the smoothest-sailing bullpens in the majors headlined by Blake Treinen (0.78 ERA, 38 Saves), Jeurys Familia (3.13 ERA), Fernando Rodney (3.36 ERA), and rookie Lou Trivino (2.96 ERA), all of which have pitched 68-plus games this season.

The A’s will likely go with a bullpen game for the Wild Card Game with the possibility of a starter pitching a few innings. It’s no Yankees bullpen, but it is very dominant in high-pressure situations.

Overall, the Yankees have a really good shot at winning this game, but look for Oakland to put up a fight.

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Make sure to cheer on the Yankees as they start their chase for 28 on Wednesday night at 8:05 PM on TBS as they host the A’s in the American League Wild Card Game, and remember, winner plays the 108-54 Boston Red Sox!