After falling 11.5 games out of first place in the powerhouse American League West Division about 2 months ago, the Oakland Athletics were written off as contenders and were expected to finish the season where they were expected to this offseason, near the bottom. What would happen next was incredible.
The Oakland began to win games left and right, becoming an almost unstoppable force in their home ballpark while also dominating on the road. The Oakland A’s pulled off a comeback similar to the Cleveland Indians in the comedy “Major League” (If you haven’t seen it, treat yourself) and after winning Saturday’s matchup against their Division rivals’ the Houston Astros, 7-1, the Oakland A’s have tied the reigning World Champions for first in the American League West.
The Current Standings in the American League West Division are as follows with the exception on the Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Angels who are no longer contenders in 2018:
Oakland Athletics 74-49 (.602)
Houston Astros 74-49 (.602)
Seattle Mariners 70-53 (.569)
The Oakland A’s on paper should not be a contending team with no real standouts in their starting rotation that is headed by Sean Manaea and Mike Fiers with Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahil, and Edwin Jackson capping off the back end. The A’s have also had breakout seasons from reliever Lou Trivino and closer Blake Treinen. Jeurys Familia, Shawn Kelley, and Fernando Rodney were picked up this Trade Deadline to bolster their bullpen for the Playoff race.
On the offensive spectrum, the Oakland A’s have been lead by the likes of Khris Davis who is well on his way to his 3rd consecutive 40+ home run season, 2018 American League All-Star second baseman Jed Lowrie, stud first baseman Matt Olsen, catcher Jonathan Lucroy, and Matt Chapman who is quickly becoming one of the best third baseman in the game.
No one picked the Oakland A’s to win the Division and if anyone did, they were most likely intoxicated at the time. The Oakland Athletics, on paper, should not be winning like this, but it seems that everything has clicked. Oakland is finding ways to win games, however, hey can and everyone knows their role and is playing a part in this streak. The Oakland A’s could even with the division with the season closer to its end than its beginning.
Baseball is the only sport where a team like the Oakland A’s could be competing right now with their minuscule salary. The Oakland A’s have always done this, they are never expected to do anything with no real high priced talent and yet they still manage to pull off a winning season or a postseason appearance.
Isn’t baseball amazing?