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MLB OctoberFest: The Oakland Athletics

The Athletics have failed to get through the Wild Card game in their last three postseason trips. Can 2020 break their playoff curse?

Oakland A’s by Aaron Scholl is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

MLB OctoberFest: The Oakland Athletics

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Well, the 2020 MLB Playoffs are upon us.  As baseball finally moves into it’s Bubble phase, 16 teams are squaring off to determine this year’s World Series champion.  While it’s hard to think that there won’t be an asterisk next to the 2020 title, a champion will be crowned.

The MLB is a fickle beast.  Star-driven and tank-friendly, teams in the dumpster one year can be the king of the mountain the next.  With that, stakes are high for almost every team as they make their playoff run, with sought-after stars often heading for greener pastures if they feel their squad can’t get over the hump. 

We’re looking at each of the MLB playoff contenders and diving into what’s at stake for each team, the odds of making a deep run, and key storylines to watch. 

Let’s hit the Oakland Athletics, and their chances at securing a ring in 2020.

The Oakland Atheltics

Expectations: ALCS or Bust

The A’s have finally gotten themselves back atop the AL West after chasing the (Dis)Astros for last few seasons, and won the division for the first time since 2013. They are one of the top teams expected to compete for a birth in the World Series this year. The AL should be a three headed monster with Oakland, Tampa Bay, and Chicago.

What’s Working for Them: Roster Balance

Much like some of the other juggernauts, like the White Sox and Padres, this lineup is pretty solid from top to bottom. There may not be many names that fans recognize, but Ramon Laureano, Mark Canha, and Marcus Siemen are keeping the offense steady and Khris Davis can still rake and provide speed on the bases. Their starting pitching also goes deep and can run out against any lineup on any given night.

What Might Hold Them Back: Injuries

The biggest storyline with the A’s is Matt Chapman’s season ending hip injury. His 10 home runs and .812 OPS may not be his usual offensive numbers, but his bat as well as his Gold Glove at 3rd base will surely be missed if Oakland can go deep into the playoffs.

Storyline to Watch

Oakland can easily be considered as one of the favorites to come out of the American League. But they still need to prove that they have what it takes to make a deep playoff run. Wildcard games haven’t been kind to them over the past few years and, even though this years wildcard round is a 3 game series instead of a single elimination game, the A’s will have a big mental hurdle to overcome in their first series. If they can do that they certainly have a team built to compete in the later rounds of the playoffs and beyond.

After being ditched by both the Raiders and the Warriors, the A’s are the only thing Oakland has left to root for, and they deserve to contend for their first World Series win in over 30 years. But my favorite personal storyline to watch will be this one of the my friend David who is the biggest die hard A’s fan I know:

“And if they make the World Series and have to play the Dodgers, I’ll be doing shots every time they show f**king Kirk Gibson’s walk-off. 😂”

-David Van Gorp

Enter Petty Betty: I do love to remind everyone that the A’s were on the losing end of my most favorite baseball memory ever. I mean, it’s not every day that you decide to go a game last minute for the 30th-anniversary celebration of the ’84 World Champion team and see Rajai Davis hit a walk-off grand slam with 2 outs to go and in a full count in the bottom of the 9th against his former team. Thank you for that, Rajai.

An actor by degree, sports lover by day, and a bartender by night. As a native of suburban Detroit it took moving to NYC for Katie to fully realize her love of all things Michigan and Detroit sports. Feel free to engage her in her love of the coolest city and prettiest state in the country and why she will always root for Ohio State to lose every sporting event ever. No, really I am dead serious about that last statement.

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