M.L.B. Playoffs 2018: Yankees vs. Athletics Wild Card Updates

It’s win or go home for the Yankees and Athletics, who face off in a one-game wild-card matchup to advance in the playoffs. Stay here for inning-by-inning updates and analysis.

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The New York Yankees meet the Oakland Athletics in an American League wild-card game at Yankee Stadium. The winner goes on to face the Boston Red Sox in a division series. The first pitch is scheduled for 8:08 p.m. Eastern.

Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees take on the Oakland Athletics at home on Wednesday.CreditChang W. Lee/The New York Times

How to watch (or listen): TBS has the broadcast, or you can listen at ESPN Radio, WFAN 660/101.9 FM and WADO 1280 (local).

  • The Yankees came into the season as World Series hopefuls, having added one of the scariest hitters in the majors to a team that took the eventual-champion Houston Astros to seven games in last year’s American League Championship Series.

  • The Athletics came into the season with extremely low expectations created by three straight fifth-place finishes in a five-team division. Oakland, despite a comical number of injuries to the team’s starting rotation, gave the Yankees a run for the top wild-card spot, finishing with 97 victories to New York’s 100. Now the team everyone expected, and the one no one expected, will face off in a winner-take-all wild-card game that will send the winner to a league division series matchup against the Boston Red Sox.

  • Both teams are making somewhat atypical decisions at starting pitcher, even if neither qualifies as a surprise based on their recent history. The Yankees are starting Luis Severino, who struggled a great deal in the second half, rather than the team’s most consistent starter, J.A. Happ. The Athletics will start Liam Hendriks, a reliever who did not face more than eight batters in a game this season, rather than the team’s nominal ace, Mike Fiers.

  • Khris Davis, the slugging designated hitter, is certainly Oakland’s most intimidating batter. He led the majors with 48 homers — his third consecutive season with 42 or more — and drove in 123 runs. But if you delve into advanced statistics, he actually trails three of his teammates (Matt Chapman, Jed Lowrie and Stephen Piscotty) in offensive wins above replacement. Chapman not only leads Davis by a wide margin in oWAR (5.0 to 3.2) but contributed 3.5 defensive WAR at third base as well. His overall score of 8.2 trailed only Mookie Betts and Mike Trout among position players.

  • Oakland’s infield defense was one of its strengths. Matt Chapman led the team with 29 defensive runs saved, and Matt Olson had a terrific season at first base with 14 DRS. Even Marcus Semien, the team’s shortstop who had been a below average defender in previous seasons, had 9. Combined, the team’s four typical starters in the infield (those three and Jed Lowrie) combined to save 51 runs.

  • The Yankees got power from throughout the team’s lineup this season. They had a record 12 batters hit 10 or more home runs, though none of them topped Giancarlo Stanton’s 38 despite all of the hoopla surrounding the team adding Stanton, who hit 59 homers for Miami last year, with Aaron Judge, who hit 51.

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