Sep 2, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics pitcher Grant Balfour (50) reacts after the Athletics recorded the last out of the game against the Texas Rangers in the ninth inning at O.co Coliseum. The Athletics defeated the Rangers 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Athletics: Will They Win the American League West?


Sep 2, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics pitcher Grant Balfour (50) reacts after the Athletics recorded the last out of the game against the Texas Rangers in the ninth inning at O.co Coliseum. The Athletics defeated the Rangers 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

In a tight race for the American League West crown last season, the Oakland Athletics made a miraculous run which ultimately put them on top of the division over the Texas Rangers.

These two ball clubs have battled for the division title throughout last year and this season. As expected, this is going to come down to the wire for both teams, as the current race seems to be about just as close as last year’s.  Both clubs currently have an equal record with the regular season winding down, as there are about 25 more games left. Wins are incredibly crucial to say the least, it is crunch time for both teams.

The Rangers have certainly had an overall stronger second half than the Athletics. The first half of the season unquestionably goes to Oakland, however the A’s have not looked particularly sharp throughout the second half until recently. Behind the heat of Coco Crisp, Brandon Moss, and newly acquired Alberto Callaspo, the Athletics have begun to catch fire — perfect timing.

If the A’s have shown anyone watching them for the past couple years something, it is the fact that you can NEVER count them out. Just like any other great ball club, their resilience is special. The major league season is a long, tedious one consisting of 162 games. It’s inevitable that teams are going to slump, as consistency is the hardest thing to come across in the majors. Nonetheless, the great ball club’s are the ones who can bounce back at any given time, under any circumstance.

Taking that into consideration, it was just a matter of time before the A’s began to fire up. The Athletics have won seven of their last eight match ups against postseason contenders, and the one game they lost was a rare blown save by their All-Star Grant Balfour in the final inning. I’m sure Oakland gave him a pass on that one.

The start of the A’s hot streak began recently in Detroit, as the A’s took three out of four games against the reigning American League champs. Next, they swept the Tampa Bay Rays in a three game series to take first place in the American League Wild Card standings. Now, they are facing their division rivals the Texas Rangers, and have already took the lead of the series by winning the first game.

If the A’s continue to play as well as they have been the past several games, there’s no question that I believe they can finish on top of their division. They are an extremely well coached team, surrounded by a plethora of young talent. The Athletics will make the postseason, and I truly believe they will win the pennant.

 

 

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