SEATTLE -- The A’s have clinched a spot in the American League Wild Card Game for the second consecutive season, and they'll take on the Rays on Wednesday in the first postseason game at Oakland Coliseum since 2013.
Oakland won the regular-season series against Tampa Bay, 4-3, and it clinched home-field advantage for the winner-take-all game on Saturday night.
Here are some questions about what’s ahead for the A’s now that they’re in the postseason.
Q: When is the game and how can I watch it?
The AL Wild Card Game is Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT on ESPN.
All games telecast on MLB Network, TBS and FOX will be available to MLB.TV subscribers who are authenticated subscribers to the applicable network through a participating pay TV provider.
Q: Who starts the Wild Card Game?
After their plan to start Liam Hendriks as the opener in last year's Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium backfired, the A’s are going to start the game this year with a more traditional approach. Left-hander Sean Manaea is getting the nod, and he will be well rested since his last start came on Thursday against the Mariners. Manaea has dominated in five starts back from shoulder surgery with a 1.21 ERA, allowing only four earned runs over 29 2/3 innings with 30 strikeouts and seven walks.
Q: What would the A’s playoff rotation look like?
Fiers or Manea are likely locks to start Games 1 and 2 of a potential AL Division Series, with Fiers pitching first. Homer Bailey came on strong over the past month, and he’d likely get a start in Game 3. The Game 4 starter would come down to Brett Anderson or Tanner Roark. Anderson’s innings have been limited to no more than five per start over the final month, so Roark is the more likely option for Game 4, given his success since joining the A’s at the Trade Deadline.
Q: When does the playoff roster have to be set and who’s eligible?
The AL Wild Card Game roster has to be set Wednesday morning. Any player who was on the club’s 40-man roster or 60-day injured list as of Aug. 31 is eligible for the postseason. The playoff roster can be tweaked in between each round. Don’t expect more than one or two members of the starting rotation to make the one-game Wild Card roster.
Q: Who could the A’s play in a potential ALDS?
If the A’s win the Wild Card Game, they would begin the ALDS against the Astros. Game 1 of the ALDS is set for Friday, with Game 2 to follow on Saturday, and both would be in Houston. Oakland’s home games in the ALDS would be Game 3 (Oct. 7) and a potential Game 4 (Oct. 8). Game 5, if necessary, would take place Oct. 10 on the road.
Q: How many times have the A’s made the playoffs?
This year marks the A's 28th postseason appearance. They made the playoffs three straight seasons from 2012-14, winning the AL West crown in ‘12 and ‘13. Oakland has made the playoffs in five of nine years since Bob Melvin took over as manager in 2011.