Josh Reddick believes he has it all figured out.
In the eyes of the Houston Astros outfielder, all his team needs to do to beat the A's in the best-of-five American League Division Series is conquer Oakland's bullpen.
That's easier said than done.
During the 60-game 2020 regular season, the A's bullpen had a 2.72 ERA, tops in all of baseball. In 208 1/3 innings pitched, A's relievers allowed just 159 hits while striking out 229 batters.
By the end of the season, manager Bob Melvin had eight reliable arms he could turn to, led by Liam Hendriks and Jake Diekman.
Hendriks was lights-out as the A's closer, posting a 1.78 ERA and converting 14 saves (second most in MLB).
If Hendriks was good, Diekman was better. The lefty began the season with 18 straight scoreless outings before giving up one earned run in his 19th outing against the Los Angeles Dodgers. That was the only run he gave up all season and finished with a 0.42 ERA in 21 1/3 innings.
Melvin also feels comfortable handing the ball to Yusmeiro Petit, Joakim Soria, J.B. Wendelken, Lou Trivino, Jordan Weems and T.J. McFarland.
So in theory, Reddick is right. If the Astros score runs against the A's bullpen, Houston likely can win the series. But the smart money is on the A's bullpen winning the battle against the Astros bats.