The Oakland A’s are 1.5 games back of the New York Yankees in the AL Wild Card race. Can they pull off the improbable and host the Wild Card game?
The Oakland A’s have already had an improbable season this year. In 2017 they lost 87 games, and this year, with two series left the A’s already have 94 wins. The turnaround in one-year is beyond impressive for Bob Melvin’s club.
Oakland has six games remaining and they’re 1.5 games back for the lead Wild Card spot from the New York Yankees. Can they pull off the upset?
The Athletics are set to start a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners in Seattle. So far this year, the Mariners have had the edge winning 9 of the 15 meetings. Although Oakland has struggled against the Mariners this year, Seattle’s been struggling. They’re 5-5 in their last 10 games.
It’s a completly different team than what the A’s were facing the last time they played them. Seattle, at this point, has nothing to play for.
After that the A’s head over to Los Angeles to face the Angels. LA is 7-5 against Oakland this year too. Although the A’s have losing records against the Mariners and Angels they have the much easier schedule when you compare it to the Yankees.
Even though the Yankees have 95 wins this year, they’ve struggled against the Rays who are a much inferior team. The Yanks have a 7-8 record against Tampa Bay this year, and in Tropicana Field, the Yankees notoriously struggle. The Bronx Bombers head there for a four-game set and have to hope for at least a split.
Following the series against the Rays, the Yankees head up to Boston. The Red Sox have everything clinched up but they’re salivating at the chance to make the Yankees go to Oakland.
For this scenario let’s say the A’s take two-of-three in one of the series and sweep the other while the Yankees split with the Rays and lose two-of-three to the Red Sox. That would have the A’s at 99 wins and the Yankees at 98 wins.
That’s the only scenario in which the A’s will host the Wild Card game. If they finish with the same record the Yankees have the tiebreaker over the A’s so it would be played in the Bronx.
It’s a bit of a long shot, but with the Yankees struggles in the second half and their struggles against bad teams it would be fitting that the losses to the Rays and Orioles would knock them to the second Wild Card.