The Athletics have not qualified for the postseason since 2006, the year Frank Thomas went from DH flier to MVP candidate by hitting .270/.381/.545 with 39 homers. Oakland comes into today in a virtual four-way tie for one of the two AL Wild Card spots, and they’ve won 34 of 51 games (.667) over the last two calendar months. They lead the league with 13 walk-off wins.
GM Billy Beane swung two of the best trades of the offseason by acquiring Josh Reddick (for Andrew Bailey) and Jarrod Parker (for Trevor Cahill). Reddick is hitting .257/.330/.510 with 25 homers while Parker has pitched to a 3.55 ERA in 19 starts. Tommy Milone, who came over in the Gio Gonzalez trade, has a 3.91 ERA in 22 starts. Add in a strong performance from bargain signing Bartolo Colon (3.38 ERA in 22 starts) and big performance from big money signing Yoenis Cespedes (.307/.368/.515 with 14 homers), and you have arguably the best Athletics team in the last six years.
The A’s are currently in second place in the AL West but sit just a half-game ahead of the Angels. They’re 5.5 back of the Rangers. To finish with their first winning season since 2006, they’ll need to win at least 22 of their final 50 games. That seems like the easy part considering the tough competition for a playoff berth.
Without getting into a long explanation, I think the A’s make the wild card.
I love their outfield it’s solid, Reddick, Crisp, Cespedes, and Smith.
I think this is the best job that Billy Beane has done in his long tenor as A’s GM.
I think he’s brilliant and I didn’t always feel that way.
I thought it was going to be a long season for the A’s and it’s turned out to be a very pleasant surprise for not only the A’s players, but for their fans.
PS I hope they stay in Oakland and not move.
Their pitching certainly gives them a shot
How long would your “long explanation” have been out of curiosity?
above .500, no playoffs. i see them fading down the stretch. angels and rays will be the 2 wildcards.
The Angels are a mess right now….They are far from a shoe-in for a wild card spot
Yes, but they are only half a game out, and with a rotation of Greinke, Haren, Wilson, Weaver, Santana. And a much better lineup I think they will end up ahead. I also expect Parker and Millone to fade slighty down the stretch.
It is certainly possible I do think the Angels have more talent..The Angels bullpen is pretty scary however in their recent series with the White Sox and Rangers they gave up 23 runs in 21 1/3 innings
They have to fix that bullpen
i think replacing the tigers will make it opposed to the angels. I wouldn’t be surprised if the A’s pulled it off and I’m rooting for them to do so. I think they will come up a game or 2 short.
The A’s are getting an ace pitcher in Brett Anderson back soon, been out all season. He will be a huge addition to what is already one of the best pitching staffs in baseball.
If the A’s continue to pitch brilliantly they might even overtake the Rangers. Angels and Rangers pitching staffs have been less than stellar.