Currently holding a 67-46 record and sitting five games behind the Astros, the Oakland Athletics are one of baseball’s more interesting teams in the hunt for a spot in the playoffs this year. They currently are riding a six game winning streak, sweeping two straight series against the Tigers and Blue Jays as they head home to test their luck against the Dodgers and recent acquisition Manny Machado.
With the injury to Aaron Judge and overall struggling Yankees, the Wild Card is looking better and better for the A’s as long as they can hold off the Mariners, who they currently are still two games above. But how is Oakland achieving all of this success with far less star power than some of the top teams in the AL like the Red Sox and Astros? One of the reasons for their offensive success comes from their slugging left fielder Khris Davis. As of right now he only trails J.D Martinez in RBI’s with 86 and stands in third in homers with 31. But besides Davis, who is generating the offense for the A’s? With solid contributions from the leadoff hitting shortstop Marcus Semien, and above average seasons from Matt Olson and Jed Lowrie, the A’s infield is surely doing their part to carry this team into the playoffs.
When it comes to pitching, their ace Sean Manaea is putting together a nice season with 10 wins so far, including a no hitter against Boston, and a team leading 3.38 ERA. They recently acquired Mike Fiers from the struggling Detroit Tigers to help out their otherwise mediocre starting pitching. It’s surprising to see this team winning so many games especially now that their opening day pitcher Kendall Gravemenn underwent Tommy John surgery.
Personally, I’d love to see Oakland in the playoffs. I’m a fan of the underdog and in the powerful American League, the A’s are sure to have one of the worst odds to win the World Series heading into the Wild Card race. The last time they got past the Division Series was in 2006 when they were swept by the Detroit Tigers in the AL Championship Series. With the Warriors in town, Oakland REALLY does not need any more attention when it comes to playoff runs…But if the Red Sox can’t make a push for the World Series this year, and the Athletics can get past the Yankees or Mariners in the Wild Card game, consider me a fan of the dark horse Oakland A’s.