Oakland Athletics clinch first AL West title since 2013

Oakland Athletics (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Oakland Athletics (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The Oakland Athletics clinched their first AL West title since 2013 on Monday.

The Oakland Athletics went into the 2020 season with one goal in mind. After qualifying for the postseason in each of the past two seasons only to be eliminated after one game, the A’s needed something to change.

They didn’t want to sneak in as a wild card team. They wanted to win the division.

And despite not playing a game on Monday, they managed to do just that.

The A’s officially clinched the playoffs on Friday following a victory and a Seattle Mariners loss. Their magic number dwindled to a measly one going into Monday, but with the A’s off, the focus shifted to their division foes.

Oakland needed Seattle to defeat the team that had won the AL West in each of the last three seasons, the Houston Astros. A 6-1 victory was all it took for the Astros to be eliminated from the divisional race thereby clinching the A’s the title.

This is Oakland’s first AL West crown since the 2013 season and their second in the past decade after they won back to back divisions in 2012 and 2013.

And for an A’s team that has seen the Astros shut the door on their chances at a division title in each of the last few seasons, it certainly has to feel good to get some semblance of revenge.

Especially if your name is Mike Fiers.

The A’s are the first MLB team to secure their division in this pandemic-shortened season. And because of the unorthodox nature of this season, the playoff format will be a bit different.

Who might the Oakland Athletics face in the first round of the playoffs?

It’s unclear who exactly the A’s will face in the Wild Card round this year, but they won’t be forced to play just one game with a three-game series — all played at home in Oakland — on tap for October.

If the season ended right now, the A’s would be the No. 3 seed in the American League as they currently have the worst record of all division leaders, although the margin is rather thin.

As for their opponents, that will all depend on where they finish. If they secure the No. 3 seed, the overwhelming odds are that they will play the Houston Astros as the Astros are the worst of all three second-place teams by a good amount.

If not, though, all bets are off.

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Either way, the Oakland A’s are back on top of the AL West and it sure feels good.