Athletics

Why A's should hope for MLB playoffs matchup with Yankees, not Astros

Why A's should hope for MLB playoffs matchup with Yankees, not Astros

Boy, that escalated quickly.

After exploding for 21 runs against Seattle on Sunday, the Astros pounced on Mike Fiers and the A's for 11 more in the first two innings Monday night. Houston breezed to a 15-0 win, setting a franchise record with 36 runs in a two-game span. It also snapped the A's stretch of 104 straight games without being shut out, which was the longest active streak in the majors. That now belongs to the Astros at 54 straight games.

Sure, this only counts as one loss in the standings, but it serves a larger point, one we probably already knew. The A's match up far better with the Yankees than the Astros.

Houston and New York are battling for the best record in the American League -- the two squads are currently tied at 95-50. Whichever team ends up on top will face the winner of the AL Wild Card Game in the ALDS. In other words, the A's should be huge Yankees fans for the rest of the regular season.

It's not that the Yankees aren't also a great team, but the Astros are simply at a different level. While both teams feature terrific lineups and bullpens, Houston's starting pitching is vastly superior to New York's.

The ALDS is a best-of-five series, meaning the Astros could run out Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Zack Greinke, and if necessary, Wade Miley. Good luck winning more than a game against that foursome.

Meanwhile, the Yankees' starting pitching ranks 18th in the majors with a 4.65 ERA. Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ, and CC Sabathia have all been shaky this year. James Paxton and Domingo Germán have been a little bit better, but still far from unhittable.

This season, the A's won four of six games against the Yankees, and it probably should have been five of six. Against the Astros, it's been a different story, with Oakland now just 5-11 after Monday's loss.

[RELATED: Re-ranking A's top prospects at end of minor league season]

Of course, the A's primary concern right now is simply making the playoffs, and hopefully winning the Wild Card Game. But Oakland fans might want to keep an eye on the battle between the Yankees and Astros, as well.

A's top pick Logan Davidson among spring training non-roster invitees

A's top pick Logan Davidson among spring training non-roster invitees

The A's aren't playing it safe with 2019 first-round draft pick Logan Davidson.

The No. 29 overall pick is among 10 non-roster players the A's invited to spring training Friday.

Davidson, a shortstop, isn't on the A's 40-man roster, but the invite will give him a chance to compete in big league camp. Barring an incredible showing in the Cactus League, the A's No. 7 prospect won't break camp with the A's. But this opportunity allows him to try to impress A's coaches.

In 54 games with the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters, Davidson slashed .239/.345/.332 with seven doubles, four homers and 12 RBI.

[RELATED: A's compare Davidson to Corey Seager]

The other invitee to keep an eye on in camp is A's No. 6 prospect Nick Allen. While small in stature, the middle infielder is an incredible defensive player and could find himself playing for the A's at some point in 2020. While Marcus Semien is blocking Allen's path at shortstop, the 21-year-old could get a look at second base if none of the other in-house options pan out for Oakland.

Three other top-30 prospects were invited to spring training: Outfielder Greg Deichmann (No. 17), right-handed pitcher Brian Howard (No. 22) and right-handed pitcher Parker Dunshee (No. 24).

MLB rumors: A's 'showing interest' in free-agent reliever Sergio Romo

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AP

MLB rumors: A's 'showing interest' in free-agent reliever Sergio Romo

Sergio Romo might be headed back to the Bay Area -- just to the opposite side.

The former Giants relief pitcher is a free agent, and according to MLB Network's Jon Morosi, the A's reportedly are interested in acquiring his services.

Romo, 36, is a 12-year veteran who spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Giants, playing a major role in helping San Francisco win three World Series titles in a span of five years. Over 60 1/3 combined innings with the Marlins and Twins last season, he posted a 3.43 ERA and 1.11 WHIP with 60 strikeouts and 20 saves.

[RELATED: How Forst thinks state of free-agent market will impact A's]

Liam Hendricks has Oakland's closer spot locked down, but with Blake Treinen being non-tendered, there could be one or more openings in the A's bullpen. Given that Romo has filled just about every possible role within a major league bullpen over the course of his career, he could be an ideal fit if the price is right.