Sep 5, 2013, 10:15 AM PST
The Oakland Athletics should be considered favorites to win the American League West for a second year in a row. Here’s why: After taking five of six against the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers, both teams they trailed heading into each series, their next seven games are against bottom of the barrel teams.
Their schedule doesn’t get much tougher, either.
The A’s only have three more games remaining against a team with a record over .500, when they take on the Rangers in Arlington September 13-15. That’s it. As of now, they are tied atop the division and minus that three-game series in Texas, they play nothing but games against the Astros, Twins, Angels and Mariners. The Rangers next three games are against the Angels, then they play 13 consecutive games against teams with a winning record, before finishing the season against the Angels and Astros at home.
The A’s have 11 home games and 12 road games remaining. Good teams take care of business against teams they are supposed to beat. If the A’s do so, they will be spraying champagne all over the clubhouse again.
Championships aren’t won on paper, and the Rangers will have plenty to say about how the west will be won, but you have to like the A’s chances. Especially after watching them destroy the Rangers on Wednesday 11-4. Oakland’s hitters plated five runs against Rangers ace Yu Darvish, as frustrations bubbled over between catcher A.J. Pierzynski and the Japanese-born pitcher.
Jarrod Parker hasn’t lost a decision in his last 18 starts and Brett Anderson picked up his second save. Back in Spring Training, Parker said he considered himself and Anderson options 1A and 1B in the starting rotation. Now they can shut down teams in the same game. The A’s pitching depth is ridiculous.
Speaking of ridiculous, the A’s sit atop the AL West without consistent contributions by Yoenis Cespedes, Coco Crisp, or Josh Reddick. Crisp is having the best year of the bunch, but all three have combined to miss 60 games on the disabled list this season. They’ve also gotten very little from Chris Young and Seth Smith. The outfield was supposed to carry the team’s offense. If they can get Cespedes really raking, and Reddick back to any version of his 2012 self, they could be very dangerous.
The A’s have also found a way to defeat good pitchers; the kind they will seeing exclusively in the postseason. They beat Darvish, David Price, and Justin Verlander recently, and would have saddled Max Scherzer with a loss if it wasn’t for a blown save.
It’s too early to call, but there’s plenty to be excited about for the green and gold.
Field of Links:
— Red Sox fans do their best Three Stooges routine. Keep an eye on the lady in the top left of the screen.
— Mike Tyson was headbutted by his tiger.
— A lot of Golf Tournaments have sponsors, but the Douchebag Championship? I don’t think that’s one of them, terrible anchorman.
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