Bay area baseball is certainly booming during the first month of the 2014 MLB season. The Oakland Athletics just completed a dominating sweep on the road against the Texas Rangers, and in the process made a statement at staking claim as the best team going right now in the AL.
As the first month of the season comes to a close, the A’s have both the offense and pitching working hand-in-hand right now. The 2014 season may finally be the year in which Oakland can get over the hump and make a deep postseason run.
Despite getting swept by the Rangers at home last week, the A’s returned the favor in convincing fashion this week. The two teams came into the series with identical records, and as the dust settled, it is Oakland now with a three-game lead heading into the month of May. The A’s have gotten the better of the Rangers the last two years in winning the division, and a dominating series win like this could be an early indication of a third consecutive AL West crown.
The A’s have certainly done their part in winning the games that they are suppose to. They have the best record in the AL with an 18-10 record, but they are already off to a 14-8 mark within the AL West. Having yet to play a team from the east, it is still to be determined if Oakland is able to compete with those clubs as the season moves on.
However, in their first 28 games, the Athletics have shown that they can win games both with the bats and on the mound. They have scored the fourth-most runs in the league and have a plus-59 in run differential. That total is 19 runs better than the next best team.
The A’s star power may fool you, but Sonny Gray is developing into a star after his first career complete game shutout during the Rangers’ series. Scott Kazmir is also rediscovering the fountain of youth with four wins during the month. That duo has led the A’s in allowing the second-fewest runs scored during the first month of the year.
On offense, Josh Donaldson is having an All-Star caliber start which is being complemented by the cast of Jed Lowrie, Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick among others.
Oakland’s schedule will get tougher in the next few weeks, but as for right now, the A’s are firing on all cylinders. With the best record in the AL they have made a statement as the best team going. However, April is not October.
Nick Schaeflein is a Sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.