After splitting a four game series with the Texas Rangers, the A’s begin the final home stand and the final six games of the season four games behind division leading Texas and two games up on the Angels for the final Wild Card spot. The Angels are in Texas tonight beginning a three game series with the Rangers and the question A’s fans and A’s players have in mind is, who exactly should we be rooting for?
With only six games left in the season, it would seem that four game lead the Rangers hold is insurmountable. However, with the A’s final three games at home against those Rangers, who knows, crazier things have happened.
Let’s just play out some scenarios. Perhaps the Angels somehow manage to sweep the Rangers and the A’s sweep the Mariners. That would put the A’s just one game back heading into the final series with Texas. They would then just need to sweep the series (meaning Texas lost six in a row to end the season) to win the division or win two of three to force a one game playoff to determine the division winner.
Ignoring the statistical improbability of all that happening, I don’t think anyone on the A’s wants to play a one game playoff and possibly end up in another one game playoff if they lose. The same one game playoff they will be in if…
The Rangers sweep the Angels. This would eliminate the Angels as a threat to the A’s playoff aspirations while clinching the AL West for the Rangers. Even if the Rangers only win two of three, the Angels would be eliminated from post season contention as long as the A’s sweep the Mariners, leaving only the Rays to worry about who are facing the White Sox, a team we can all agree to root for this weekend.
Regardless of which team you are rooting for, the A’s playoff chances comes down to them. They win and they are in. They lose, and they are going to need some help. With the last place Mariners in town before the Rangers show up on Monday, the A’s need to win right now so that regardless of who else wins this weekend, Oakland remains in control of their own destiny.
So who you got readers? Texas or Anaheim?