Oakland A’s: X-Factors for the stretch run

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(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

The Oakland A’s are staring down the home stretch to the playoffs. Let’s take a look at three players that could make a difference.

Seemingly every year, there are anonymous players that end up making a major difference in a team’s playoff hopes. Those unheralded pieces suddenly become folk heroes, a beloved player who got that key hit or out to help solidify a playoff spot or to win a series in October.

The Oakland A’s have several possible candidates who could rise to the occasion. Whether it is due to injuries or being in the right place at the right time, these players could end up making a bigger impact than may have been expected.

Let’s take a look at three possibilities for the A’s.

Chris Bassitt

Statistically, Chris Bassitt is currently the best starter on the Oakland A’s.

Heading into Wednesday’s action, Bassitt had posted a 3.12 ERA and a 1.200 WHiP, striking out 34 batters with just 12 walks in his 43.1 innings. He has thrown the most innings of any pitcher on the A’s staff, providing a valuable boost to a rotation that needed one.

The A’s will need him to keep up the solid effort. Frankie Montas, the A’s Opening Day starter, has struggled of late. Jesus Luzardo has had an up and down rookie season. Sean Manaea is getting over a slow start, and is starting to look like himself, but is still a bit of a question mark at this point.

Chris Bassitt, meanwhile, has potentially pitched himself into a spot in the Oakland A’s playoff rotation. However, how he will need to continue to pitch well over the next three weeks for that to remain the case.

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