Why AL Wild Card Game Home-plate Ump Could Mean Good News for A's Vs. Rays

The A's have a daunting task ahead as they face the Tampa Bay Rays in Wednesday's AL Wild Card Game.

For starters, they have to face Charlie Morton who has been sensational not only this season but against the A's in 2019.

In his two times facing the A's, he's limited the Green and Gold to just a .133 batting average and one run on six hits. Morton also tossed 13 strikeouts in 45 at-bats across those outings.

Overall, the two-time All-Star boasts a 3.05 ERA with 240 strikeouts in 194.2 innings.

He'll be facing a lineup that loves to hit home runs, which isn't great news for the A's. Morton has an impressive league-leading 0.7 home runs per nine innings pitched rate.

OK, now that we have all the bad news out of the way, there is some good news for the A's -- and it has to do with who will be behind the plate.

San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser says Chad Fairchild, who will be the home plate umpire, does not appear to favor Morton:

That certainly favors the A's.

We have yet to know who will get the ball for Oakland, but there is much speculation it will go to Sean Manaea who has surged since recovering from shoulder surgery.

[RELATED: Why A's should start Manaea in AL Wild Card Game]

In September, Manaea has gone 4-0 with a 1.21 ERA and 0.78 WHIP with 30 strikeouts. 

We don't know who starts for the A's, but we can guarantee there will be a strong turnout from A's fans. The Coliseum is expected to host 50,000 fans for the postseason matchup.

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