2013 MLB Playoffs: Oakland Athletics Should Be Viewed As Legitimate Contenders

By Will Gellman
Oakland A's Celebration
Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

When the Oakland Athletics started their 2013 campaign, many fans assumed they would play second fiddle to the Los Angeles Angels. This was mostly due to the fact that the team brought in the likes of Josh Hamilton and C.J. Wilson in free agency. However, with the horrendous season that the Angels have had, the A’s have asserted themselves as the dominant power in the AL West.

The A’s have now won 20 of their last 26 games, capturing their 15th division title in franchise history in impressive fashion. This team is set up to succeed and should not be overlooked heading into the playoffs.

They have a solid starting rotation with the likes of A.J. Griffin, Dan Straily, Sonny GrayBartolo Colon and Jarrod Parker. They also have a decent closer in Grant Balfour. Perhaps the biggest strength on the team though, is their lineup. They have a nice mix of speed and power and in true Billy Beane fashion, the team knows how to get on base.

The team’s ability to get on base is highlighted by underrated guys like Coco Crisp and Jed Lowrie, who have OBP’s of .327 and .330 respectively.

While these players may not all be household names, they have been very productive for Oakland this year and they should not be discounted. Oakland has been in big playoff games before and they know what to expect. You can be sure that among other things, the moment will not be too big for them.

After years of the A’s not being able to win the big one, they may finally get the opportunity to do so this year. While I do believe that the St. Louis Cardinals will ultimately be World Series Champions this year, the A’s have a legitimate opportunity to oppose them as the AL counterpart.

They could even beat them if a few things were to break their way. After all, as many sports fans know, anything can happen once you get to the big stage.

Will Gellman is a New England Patriots Writer for RantSports.com.  Follow him on Twitter at Will_Gellman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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