MLB Tipsheet: Athletics looking to lock in October

Oakland Athletics
Seattle icon Felix Hernandez will struggle in his final Mariners appearance
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Fresh from a clean sweep of wins on Monday, Ben Steele takes a final look at the MLB regular season games. The American League wildcard race takes centre stage.

The Seattle Mariners have struggled mightily against teams with a winning record this season (20-57) and have lost their last three games against Oakland

Patchy pitching should mean runs in San Francisco

Colorado Rockies @ San Francisco Giants
Thursday 20:45 BST

The Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants play the final game of their three game series tonight looking to find a winner. After a 16 inning marathon ended 8-5 to Colorado on Tuesday, the Giants won it in the ninth inning last night and the series is split 1-1. Tonight's decider could well be high scoring, given the erratic nature of both starting pitchers. Tyler Beede, of the Giants, makes the final start of an inconsistent rookie season where he has posted a 5.23 ERA and lost 10 games. The 26-year-old also gave up five runs in 3.2 innings against the Rockies last time out so could be set to struggle again. The Rockies will turn to Kyle Freeland, his injury plagued season has seen him lose 11 games and post the worst ERA of his career (6.84).

With the Rockies still managing a half-fit Freeland, according to reports the lefty is unlikely to throw more than 60 pitches, and Beede yet to show he has what it takes in the majors I expect there to be quite a few runs scored tonight.

Civale key for the Tribe

Cleveland Indians @ Chicago White Sox
Friday 01:10 BST

When it comes to the American League Wildcard, the Cleveland Indians are on the outside looking in. The Tribe will be looking to win all of their remaining games, and then hope that either the Tampa Bay Rays or Oakland Athletics slip up. Tonight, they have a good chance of earning a win thanks to Aaron Civale, their most economical pitcher. Civale (3-3) boasts a 1.82 ERA and is yet to allow more than two runs in any of his nine starts this term, facing a Chicago White Sox side who rely on Jose Abreu to score runs he will fancy his chances.

Look for Civale to shutdown the Sox and the Cleveland batting lineup, led by Carlos Santana, to give their pitcher more than enough support. Back Cleveland to win, and win well.

Oakland won't be sleeping in Seattle

Oakland Athletics @ Seattle Mariners
Friday 03:10 BST

One of the teams that Cleveland need to slip up, the Oakland Athletics couldn't have asked for a better opponent. The Seattle Mariners have struggled mightily against teams with a winning record this season (20-57) and have lost their last three games against Oakland, but they will end up relying on a fairytale icon for a Seattle sporting icon. Felix Hernandez makes his final start for the Mariners tonight after a 15 year career and the Mariners will be hoping to send him off with a win. However, the man known as King Felix is no way near the player he once was and has earned just one win this year.

The A's will expect to beat Seattle's star, particularly as their batting lineup has a trio of hitters with over 30 homers in 2019. They know that a series sweep will guarantee them a playoff spot. Expect them to win a high scoring game and Felix Hernandez to end his glittering Seattle career on the losing side.

Ben Steele,

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