The Athletics Ideal Lineup for the Wild Card Game

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September 6, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics right fielder Josh Reddick (16) hits a two-RBI double scoring third baseman Josh Donaldson (20, not pictured) and pinch-runner Billy Burns (19, not pictured) during the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at O.co Coliseum. The Athletics defeated the Astros 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

4. Josh Reddick, RF

He’s only batted cleanup three times this year, so is it weird that I’m suggesting that he does it in the biggest game of the year?

Not at all.

Reddick has been one of the A’s lone bright spots in the second half, hitting .294 with 8 home runs since the all-star break, and he’s absolutely red-hot in September, with an OPS of .868 for the month. But the most important stat for him is his career numbers against Shields: 7 for 22 with 3 home runs. Batter vs. Pitcher stats can be a trap of small sample sizes sometimes, but combined with his hot streak, Reddick should absolutely bat cleanup.

In terms of his defense, he is still playing a gold-glove caliber right field, even if his traditional stats don’t show it. Although he only has five assists, I’d be willing to bet that teams have learned not to test his arm, and are therefore simply not trying to run on him. Combine that with his incredible range, and he’s in the Gold Glove conversation.

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