The AL Wild Card race is going to be an interesting finish in late September. The Oakland A’s are smack dab in the middle of the fray, and a loss Wednesday afternoon against the Seattle Mariners put the A’s in an even tighter spot.
In a long ball-centric showdown between the second and third best teams in the AL West Division, the A’s lost to the Mariners 5-3 with a total of four home runs and five doubles combined. The much needed win would have moved Oakland a half a game up in a Wild Card Race that is already packed with good teams.
The biggest cause of the Wild Card traffic jam and uncertainty is the AL East’s tie for the division lead between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays. Coming into Wednesday, the Red Sox had two more wins than the Rays but also two more losses, and thus the two teams are knotted up in the race. Because of this tie, Oakland was perched precariously in the second Wild Card spot, now two games behind both teams.
Although it may not seem as if Oakland’s success against the Mariners was crucial, the A’s moved a half game further from the top and a half game closer to the next team in line, the Cleveland Indians. Trailing the leaders by only a game would have meant that, if one of those AL East teams had won and the other had lost, Oakland would have been dangerously close to the top Wild Card spot. This is certainly a position Oakland would feel much more comfortable in and will be fervently pursuing in the future.
Fasten your seat belts and get ready for a wild ride to the end. I would love to hear your thoughts about who you think will win the AL divisions and the Wild Card spots, so leave a comment below!