If you were to tell me that you had just bet a considerable sum on the Oakland Athletics to win the World Series this year, I would probably tell you you were out of your mind.
But if we were to flash forward three months to find the Green and Yellow on top of the baseball world, I wouldn't be considerably surprised.
There is just something about this Oakland team that can't be stopped right now, though nothing about them really seems unstoppable.
Consider yesterday's 16-0 clobbering of the Toronto Blue Jays, without a single hitter in the lineup batting over .300. Consider that the team is now competing for the AL Wild Card lead–and dare I say it, the AL West–without a 10-win pitcher in late July. And consider their recent four-game sweep of the Yankees, and just enjoy that for a second.
As with most predictions, discussing the A's championship possibilities is a little unrealistic at this point, but it's growing more and more plausible to consider that this team can dance their way to an October run. But they still have a long road ahead of them.
What's facing the A's
Let's try to be as realistic as possible.
The A's are probably not going to beat out the Texas Rangers for the AL West crown, they have just been too good the past few years and this season to not win the division again. And more than likely, the Los Angeles Angels will figure out how to use it's collection of talent to body it's way into the postseason.That means that Oakland will have to keep doing close to what it's been doing this past month (16 wins in 19 games) to grab that second Wild Card position over Tampa Bay, Chicago and Baltimore (who should most likely be the other teams fighting for that spot).
Then it will be Oakland versus Los Angeles for a shot at (most likely) the Yankees, where the A's will bout best-player-you-may-not-have-heard-of Josh Reddick against the Angels and their two young stars. And if they can get past that, their recent sweep of New York makes it seem very likely that Oakland will have the firepower to send the Bombers home early.
Then, obviously, that's where the real tests will begin.
If the A's want to be a serious contender for the World Series this year, then in the next few months, they will have to prove that they belong in the same conversation as the Texas Rangers and whoever comes out of the National League. If they can, then you might not be so crazy to bet a couple bucks on Oakland.