With 23 games left to play in the 2013 regular season, the A’s find themselves tied with the Texas Rangers atop the AL West. After going 9-4 against the playoff-contending Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays and Rangers, the A’s will be welcoming the Houston Astros, their bestest friend in 2013, into the Coliseum for a four-game set. The A’s are 12-3 against Houston this year.
The A’s can climb a half-game in the division standings with a victory tonight with the Rangers having the day off as they prepare for a weekend series against the Angels. The A’s also find themselves with a nice schedule advantage as they only face one team with a winning record, the Rangers, for the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, the Rangers will have to contend with the Pirates, Rays and Royals in the final weeks of the season. If the A’s are going to win the division they need to capitalize on the prime opportunity they have been given.
Starting for the A’s will be rookie Sonny Gray, making his second start against Houston. Gray is 2-0 with 0.83 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings at home.
Former A’s farmhand Brad Peacock is on the hill for Houston, the third time he has faced the A’s in his young career. Peacock is 0-1 with a 5.19 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings this season against his old team.
With the recent power surge from the offense, combined with the dominance of the starting rotation, there’s plenty of reason to believe the A’s will be standing above the Rangers in the after the final day of the season.
In other news…
- Josh Reddick is making progress in the rehab of his right wrist, but there is no timetable for his return at the moment. Reddick has been taking some swings in the batting cage, but he has yet to take BP on the field. Reddick is eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday.
- With Derek Norris coming off the DL the A’s are expected to juggle three catchers for the time being. Furthermore, it appears more unlikely with each passing day that we’ll see John Jaso taking the field again this season.
- The A’s have issued a traffic advisory for tomorrow with the Professional Bull Riders holding an event at 8 p.m. in the arena next door. Parking is $17 until 7 p.m. and $35 afterward. They also have a show scheduled for Saturday at 7 p.m.