2021 Oakland Athletics: Home Opener Series Preview

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The day baseball fans have been dreaming of all offseason has finally arrived, Opening Day. The 2021 Oakland Athletics are set to kick off the 2021 season at the Oakland Coliseum against the Houston Astros in a four-game series starting this evening.

2021 Oakland Athletics: Opening Day

Coming off a 2020 season where the A’s won the AL West division but lost to division rival the Astros in the American League Division Series, the A’s are hoping to get over the hump and make a deep push into October.

Starting Pitchers: Thursday 4/1: Zack Greinke (Astros) vs. Chris Bassitt (A’s). First Pitch is at 10:07 ET.

For the first time in his career, Chris Bassitt will be the Opening Day starter for manager Bob Melvin and the A’s. In what has been a career of ups and downs, injuries, and setbacks, Bassitt finally has the confidence as a pitcher to go out every five days and get the job done. Last season, Bassitt was 5-2, with a 2.79 ERA in 63.0 innings pitched. Bassitt hopes to carry that success into this season as he had a great spring record of 2-0, 1.74 ERA in two appearances.

Countering Bassitt on Opening Day will be Zack Greinke for the Astros. With Astros ace Justin Verlander out as he continues rehab from Tommy John surgery, the Astros and manager Dusty Baker will turn to their next seasoned veteran in Greinke. This will mark the fifth time in seventeen big league seasons that Greinke has been the Opening Day starting pitcher. This Opening Day will be special for Greinke as he will be making his 460th career start, most among active Major League pitchers.

2021 Oakland Athletics: Injury Report

The A’s will open the season with two of their starting pitchers on the Injured List, Frankie Montas, and Mike Fiers. Montas was injured on March 25th with an apparent injury to his pitching hand. Montas sustained a “ripped” cuticle on his right middle finger. Depending on the injury’s significance, Montas will be listed as day-to-day but will likely miss Opening Day.

A’s pitcher Mike Fiers has been battling some injuries this Spring. On March 13th, Fiers was shut down due to a minor back injury. For precautions, the A’s sent Fiers to have an MRI done. Aside from the minor back issues, Fiers has also been dealing with a hip injury. This particular injury is one that the A’s have been keeping an eye on. Fiers is all but certain to miss Opening Day, but the A’s hope to have Fiers back sometime in mid-April.

2021 Oakland Athletics: Opening Series Prediction

Optimism is key for A’s fans. The A’s are coming off a season that won them an AL West Division title in 2020 but lost in the ALDS. If the A’s want to repeat in the AL West, they will have to get off to a hot start in April. The A’s made some moves this offseason and lost a couple of keys pieces from last season’s team. Going up against a division rival to start the season is no small task, but thankfully fans will be back in the stands to help that A’s along the way.

This series will not make or break the season by any means, but starting the season by taking three out of four against the Astros will definitely set the tone for the long season ahead.

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Jeff "Rip" Griffin is a current MLB writer covering the Houston Astros. Rip is also the host of The Rip Griffin Show on Apple Podcasts. Rip holds a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, focusing in Sports Management from the University of Houston - Victoria.