For the greater part of two months, the Athletics were heavy favorites to be in the ALCS and even win the AL pennant. Now, many are wondering if they will be playing in the one-game Wild Card matchup against the other team many were linking with the Athletics after the trade deadline, the Detroit Tigers.
The Athletics, however, have not been playing like the same team we saw from earlier in the season. In fact, most things have been going wrong for them lately. Their pitching has been mediocre since they traded for Jon Lester, and the offense has been slacking lately as well. And while it is easy to point to the fact they traded Yoenis Cespedes to the Boston Red Sox in the Lester deal, that is not the only factor in Oakland’s slump.
They have been playing some good teams with good pitching such as the Kansas City Royals, but that is exactly what they will be up against with 16 games remaining against the Angels and Seattle Mariners. The A’s still lead all of baseball in run differential, but they are not producing runs, and until they do, their struggles will continue to magnified even more. This is also a team that has 82 defensive errors, and they are all looking bigger now.
If the Athletics want to return to the form they had entering August, they will need to do something and quick because the Angels can get better. They are regarded as the best team, and MVP candidate Mike Trout and Josh Hamilton are both in a slump lately. Imagine what would happen when they figure things out before the Athletics do.