Projecting A’s, Yankees rosters and starting lineups for AL Wild Card Game

The regular season has officially come to an end and we can now turn our attention entirely to the American League Wild Card Game. Neither the A’s nor Yankees have announced a starting pitcher, but we can still take a crack at projecting each team’s roster and starting lineup.

Reading between the lines, it appears RHP Liam Hendriks is a strong favorite to start for Oakland, while New York’s decision will probably come down to LHP J.A. Happ and RHP Luis Severino. Based on recent performance, Happ figures to be the likely choice, but we will project A’s lineups for both pitchers.

A’s projected starting lineup (vs LHP J.A. Happ)
1. Ramón Laureano – CF
2. Matt Chapman – 3B
3. Jed Lowrie – 2B
4. Khris Davis – DH
5. Stephen Piscotty – RF
6. Matt Olson – 1B
7. Mark Canha – LF
8. Marcus Semien – SS
9. Jonathan Lucroy – C

Normally Nick Martini would lead off, but against left-handed pitchers, manager Bob Melvin likes to play Mark Canha instead because he tears up southpaws. Canha could potentially hit as high as sixth in the order, but Matt Olson usually bats there to break up the string of right-handed hitters. Ramón Laureano typically leads off against lefties and has been excellent in that role. The heart of the A’s order — Matt Chapman, Jed Lowrie, and Khris Davis — will be the same regardless of who pitches.

A’s projected starting lineup (vs RHP Luis Severino)
1. Nick Martini – LF
2. Matt Chapman – 3B
3. Jed Lowrie – 2B
4. Khris Davis – DH
5. Matt Olson – 1B
6. Stephen Piscotty – RF
7. Ramón Laureano – CF
8. Marcus Semien – SS
9. Jonathan Lucroy – C

This has been the A’s standard lineup against right-handed pitching. Martini had an on-base percentage of .397 during the regular season and has performed extremely well in the leadoff spot. Olson jumps up to the five spot in this scenario because he bats left-handed, and Laureano drops to seven, where he has also produced this season, hitting for average and power. The middle of the order remains the same, and Marcus Semien and Jonathan Lucroy provide production at the bottom of the lineup.

Yankees projected starting lineup (vs RHP Liam Hendriks)
1. Andrew McCutchen – LF
2. Aaron Judge – RF
3. Aaron Hicks – CF
4. Giancarlo Stanton – DH
5. Luke Voit – 1B
6. Didi Gregorius – SS
7. Miguel Andujar – 3B
8. Gary Sanchez – C
9. Gleyber Torres – 2B

Andrew McCutchen has hit well wherever the Yankees put him in the lineup, whether it’s one, two, or three. But with Aaron Hicks swinging a hot bat as well, McCutchen will likely lead off, allowing Hicks to bat third. He will be sandwiched between Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, two of the best power hitters in the game. Luke Voit, Didi Gregorius, and Miguel Andujar are fairly interchangeable, and they all hit for power. The Bronx Bombers lived up to their name this year, setting a new single-season record with 267 home runs. They certainly don’t have any holes in their lineup.

A’s projected roster:
Catchers: Jonathan Lucroy, Josh Phegley
Infielders: Matt Olson, Jed Lowrie, Marcus Semien, Matt Chapman, Franklin Barreto
Outfielders: Stephen Piscotty, Ramón Laureano, Nick Martini, Matt Joyce
DH: Khris Davis
Utility: Chad Pinder, Mark Canha
Pitchers: Blake Treinen, Lou Trivino, Jeurys Familia, Fernando Rodney, Shawn Kelley, Ryan Buchter, Cory Gearrin, Yusmeiro Petit, J.B. Wendelken, Mike Fiers, Edwin Jackson

Yankees projected roster:
Catchers: Gary Sanchez, Austin Romine
Infielders: Miguel Andujar, Greg Bird, Didi Gregorius, Adeiny Hechavarria, Gleyber Torres, Ronald Torreyes, Luke Voit, Neil Walker
Outfielders: Giancarlo Stanton, Andrew McCutchen, Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner
Pitchers: Aroldis Chapman, Zach Britton, Dellin Betances, David Robertson, J.A. Happ, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Chad Green, Jonathan Holder, Stephen Tarpley

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