This is what baseball is all about. The weekend is almost here (actually IS here for us in the UK) and we get to start it off by watching the A’s play some baseball against a division rival.
The LA Angels are the opponents on Friday, with first pitch set for 12.05 Oakland time and 20:05 UK time. The game will be reduced to seven innings and coverage is available via an MLBTV subscription.
Both teams are putting out surprisingly strong starting line-ups considering we’re still in early March and whilst “it’s only Spring Training”, you know both teams will be keen to put down a marker in the first of many games between the two sides this year.
Here are the line-ups:
For the Angels, Anthony Rendon is missing but otherwise that starting line-up is likely to be fairly close to their Opening Day group. Shohei Ohtani, “The Sho Pony” as we like to call him, will be on the mound for the Halos, although don’t expect him to go much more than one inning.
As for the A’s, swap out Pinder for Piscotty and Garcia for Murphy and that would equally be the most probable Opening Day starting line-up.
I’m looking forward to seeing Garcia behind the plate as the former Giant reportedly has impressed the A’s coaching staff so far. He would seem to be in a battle with Austin Allen for the back-up catcher role on the Opening Day roster, assuming Murphy doesn’t start the season on the Injured List, so it will be good to get a first glimpse of what he can do in the Green and Gold.
Chappy is making his first start in the field after three DH appearances this week and watching the “Man Chap” playing at the hot corner is always a treat. We’ll also get to see Mark Canha in the lead-off spot, something Bob Melvin has said may be a good option for us in the regular season.
As for the pitching, James Kaprielian will hopefully get a couple more innings under his belt today. We spoke about him in our latest podcast (Season 2 Episode 5, published yesterday) as the sole survivor from the Sonny Gray trade in 2017. Currently it looks like it will be tough for him to crack the Opening Day roster, but the old adage that you can never have enough good pitching comes to mind and he will surely play a part in the Big Leagues in one role or another this season.
The TV coverage available on MLBTV is courtesy of the Angels’ broadcaster, FSW, so they’ll be the focus of the announcing team, subject to us having the ability to turn on alternative audio and listening to the A’s Cast commentary.
Either way, it should be a fun game to watch.