Sometimes when watching a horse race or an Olympic race, you will hear the announcer talk about a “photo finish.” This, of course, refers to the fact that the race finish was so close, you may have to get the camera shots of the finish line to determine the winner. Different sport here, but I’m going to go ahead and tell everyone to get their cameras ready for the baseball finish this year.
Perhaps I should be a little more specific. A little over three weeks ago, the A’s enjoyed a six-game lead in the American League West over the Texas Rangers. Since then, Texas has gone on a streak to actually take a 1.5 game lead in the division. Texas actually took over the lead in the division last week, and ever since then both teams have played pretty much even baseball. When Oakland wins, so does Texas and if one loses, so does the other team.
Everyone remembers the historic comeback the A’s had last season when they made up five games in nine days. While most of the country expected the Angels to be the winners in the division with the additions they made the last two seasons, it’s been the A’s and Rangers that have battled it out for the AL West crown. Both teams have benefited from the addition to the Astros to the division as well. Texas is 13-2 against Houston while the A’s are 12-3 this year.
There’s still a lot of baseball to be played but I have a feeling the last six weeks are going to be crazy in the AL West. Speaking of which, you may want to clear the calendar for Sept 2-4 and 13-15 as Oakland and Texas will square off in what’s sure to be meaningful games. The first series will be in Oakland while the second will be in Texas. No doubt Texas remember what happened last season and the comeback of the A’s. They will want to thwart those efforts this year down the stretch. On the other side, Oakland wants to repeat as division champions so they can avoid the one-game play in for the Wildcard teams.
Either way you look at it, this should be a crazy month of baseball and we can only hope the finish is as good as last season. No matter who you are cheering for, get the cameras ready because this could be a photo finish in the American League West.