You always have to keep the faith as a fan; however being swept in Toronto, and the manner of those defeats, makes it hard to not feel like the A’s play-off hopes are beginning to slip away.
Even though the A’s are still in the Wild Card hunt, we’ve taken so many blows of late, both on and off the field, that expecting us to go on the sort of winning run necessary over our remaining games seems like expecting too much.
We have 25 games left and currently sit on a 74-63 win-loss record. The Boston Red Sox currently hold the second Wild Card with a 79-60 record so I think we have to assume 90 wins would be needed to have a shot (projecting Boston to struggle a bit, but not fall apart, going 10-13 over their remaining games to leave them on 89).
The A’s going 16-9 from here is a huge ask, but if we could go 5-1 this week at home then 11-8 the rest of the way suddenly looks very achievable. Whichever way we look at it, we need a big week to give us a chance.
Chicago White Sox (H)
Season series so far: 1-3
Dropping three of four in Chicago in mid-August arguably was the start of our recent decline, not least with the Chris Bassitt injury in Game Two that took out our ace starting pitcher.
The White Sox have gone 8-7 since that series and have a commanding lead in the AL Central, so for all their obvious talent, they have been good rather than great of late. Hopefully the A’s can find some great form out of nowhere and take the series. Here are the probable pitcher match-ups:
- Gm1. James Kaprielian – Michael Kopech
- Gm2. Frankie Montas – Dallas Keuchel
- Gm3. Sean Manaea – Reynaldo López
Texas Rangers (H)
Season series so far: 9-7
A 9-7 win-loss record against the Rangers so far is no disaster, but you only have to look at the way the Mariners (13-6) and Astros (11-4) have beaten up on them to see that we haven’t taken advantage of the rebuilding Rangers as much as we could have done.
Sweeping them up at the Coliseum would go some way to putting that right and, again, feels almost a necessity if we are truly to get back into the Wild Card hunt (2-1 would be okay if we’ve swept the Sox, but that’s clearly the harder of the two series in which to get the brooms out).
The probable pitching match-ups are as follows:
- Gm1. Paul Blackburn – Kolby Allard
- Gm2. Cole Irvin – Dane Dunning
- Gm3. James Kaprielian – Taylor Hearn