- The Oakland Athletics host the Chicago White Sox in Game 1 on their Wild-Card series on Tuesday, Sept. 29th (3:00 pm ET)
- Chicago’s Lucas Giolito will work his first-ever outing in Oakland, which is also his playoff debut
- For the odds, matchup analysis, and best bets, check out the article below
For a third consecutive year, the Oakland Athletics find themselves in the American League Wild-Card round — only this time, they cannot be ousted in a single game.
The No. 2 A’s host the No. 7 Chicago White Sox in a best-of-three series that begins Tuesday, Sept. 29th at 3:00 pm ET At the most important juncture of the season, these teams will get a look at one another for the very first time.
Here’s how the Athletics vs. White Sox odds look ahead of Tuesday’s game.
Athletics vs White Sox Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Runline||Over/Under Run Total at BetOnline|
|Oakland Athletics||+105||TBD||Over 7.5 (-115)|
|Chicago White Sox||-115||TBD||Under 7.5 (-105)|
Odds as of Sept. 28.
Oakland’s 22-year-old starter, Jesus Luzardo, is ironically the more experienced postseason pitcher in this matchup. Last season, he threw three scoreless innings of relief in a Wild-Card loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Lucas Giolito, meanwhile, is making his playoff debut. The 26-year-old has big-time stuff, as evidenced by his 13-strikeout no-hitter last month.
Lucas Giolito gets the first no-hitter of 2020. Unreal 🔥
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 26, 2020
He has been far less dominant since then (1-1, 4.08 ERA in five starts), but wrapped up the 2020 season with a pair of quality starts against playoff-bound foes (Minnesota and Cleveland).
Luzardo has never faced the White Sox before, so this is entirely new territory. Giolito has faced the A’s twice, going 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 13 innings.
Based on the regionalized approach to MLB scheduling this season, the A’s (36-24) and White Sox (35-25) did not play each other in 2020.
They did meet six times in 2019, though, with both teams hosting a three-game set. Oakland emerged with a 5-1 record in those games and a +24 run differential- but four of the games were decided by four or fewer runs (including one walk-off).
Injury News and Notes
Given the oddities of the shortened season — and the limited prep time afforded to players before the mid-summer campaign began, both the A’s and White Sox are fairly fortunate with their injury situations.
The A’s do have one major absence, however: third baseman Matt Chapman will be unavailable following hip surgery two weeks ago. Chapman, who was an All-Star a year ago and boasts a pair of Platinum Glove Awards, had a 122 OPS+, 10 home runs, and 25 RBI in 37 games this year.
— MLB (@MLB) August 8, 2020
In minuscule sample sizes, Tommy La Stella (124 OPS+) and Jake Lamb (143 OPS+) have filled Chapman’s position admirably. But on the whole, playing without Chapman is a loss to Oakland on both sides of the ball.
The White Sox are just about injury-free, except for outfielder Leury Garcia, who last played Aug. 10. Garcia, who slashed .271/.317/.441 in 16 games this year, could be back as early as October from thumb surgery.
Oakland is the higher seed here, sure, but these teams are only separated by one game in the standings. Given that knowledge, it’s fair to view this series as one with the potential to be awfully close.
For Game 1, we’ll seek the value play of Oakland, a home underdog. Luzardo has postseason experience, where Giolito does not. In pressure-packed moments, that can make a difference.
Pick: Oakland Athletics (+105)
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