Oakland A’s: Now is the time to rest players for the playoffs
By David Hill
The Oakland A’s have a playoff berth and the American League West wrapped up. Now is the time to rest for the postseason.
At this point, the Oakland A’s do not have much to play for ahead of the postseason. They have wrapped up the American League West, taking home their first division pennant since 2013. At this point, they are essentially playing for seeding, looking to get the best playoff matchup possible.
Yet, the A’s may already be in that place. They sit as the third seed in the playoffs entering Wednesday, with the Astros slotted as the sixth seed. The A’s also do not appear to have a reasonable chance of catching the A’s for the top overall seed, leaving the White Sox as the team most they would be most likely to climb over.
The trouble with getting the second seed is that it would lead to a likely matchup against the Indians. While Cleveland’s offense has generally been impotent, with only 228 runs scored in 55 games, the pitching staff has been phenomenal. The Indians have posted a 3.23 ERA, the best in the AL.
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Such a matchup would not favor the A’s. While they are a middle of the pack team in regards to runs scored, they are also in the bottom third of the AL in batting average and slugging. Facing what may well be the best pitching staff in the league is not an optimal matchup.
Fortunately, there is a way for the A’s to avoid that. The A’s can start resting players ahead of the playoffs, looking to keep everyone as healthy as possible. This could include their starting rotation, as their pitchers could essentially get one last tuneup before heading out for the postseason.
There is plenty of baseball sense to resting their players. Without an offday in the first two rounds, the idea of giving as many players a day or two off makes perfect sense. And if that can help the A’s end up with a more favorable matchup in the postseason, then so much the better.
The Oakland A’s have a playoff berth and the division locked up. It is the perfect time to start resting players. And if that leads to a better playoff matchup, then so much the better.