Not many people would be willing to argue that the Oakland Athletics are one of the top five AL teams headed into 2018. However, with a few things falling in their favor, the A’s have a legitimate chance to be a Wild Card team.
Many Oakland Athletics fans have high hoped for 2018: finding a location for a new stadium. However, Bob Melvin’s staff has a legitimate shot at making the playoffs in 2018. Granted, it will require other teams to stumble, but no one should rule the A’s out just yet.
The AL West is considered to be the Astros’ division to lose. After all, they just won the World Series, and haven’t lost a significant piece of their core. They just added Gerrit Cole as well. The Angels, adding Shohei Ohtani from Japan, seem to be next up on the pecking order. If Ohtani shines, then the Angels have a chance to challenge the Astros for the top spot in the West.
The two Wild Card spots can go to a variety of teams outside the Al West as well. The Red Sox and Yankees will duel for the top slot in the East while the Twins try to catch the Indians in the Central. In this scenario, six teams are fighting for five American League playoff spots. This would leave Oakland on the outside looking in. So what has to happen? Maybe the Yankees’ power duo strikes out- literally and figuratively. Ohtani may fail to be the two-way player the Angels wanted. Miguel Sano could get suspended for sexual misconduct by the commissioner. There are a lot of possible scenarios that the A’s would benefit from, but they also must play quality baseball to succeed in 2018.