Last season, the Oakland Athletics needed all 162 games of the regular season to capture the American League West Division crown. They did it with miracle walk-off wins, stellar rookie performances and the chance of the Rangers losing steam towards the ends.
This season, the Athletics ran away with the division title and in doing so, have convinced me that they are the best team in the American League.
This may be me being biased, but it’s hard for me not to think the Athletics are the best. Their pitching has driven them to this amazing September run and their offense has shown a consistency that was unimaginable when the season began. More importantly, the Athletics are just putting together great at-bats and stellar performances out on the defensive end.
Of course, a lot of this also has to be determined by seeding and how the rotation is set up. The Athletics appear to be the second seed, which means they will be the host team of Games 1 and 2 against the Detroit Tigers. Unlike last year, the A’s are now a better and stronger team that matches well with the Tigers. Even though Justin Verlander isn’t having a stellar year, Max Scherzer is and that could be a problem for the Athletics. But if their last road trip to Detroit is any indication, they can very easily handle the best the Tigers have to offer.
I do wonder how the A’s would handle a matchup against Boston. On one hand, they can also match up well against them. But there comes the added pressure or playing in Fenway. Can the A’s handle that? The mettle and belief in this team is strong and should be able to withstand all the pressure and just play their style of ball. But Boston is no pushover either.
Regardless, I am happy to see the A’s back in the playoffs and with a firm grip of their own destiny. They have what it takes to win the World Series. They are good enough to do it. Now let’s see if it happens.