Make no mistake about it, this past Sunday has probably been one of the most chaotic in baseball. For many teams around the league, they fought to the finish line to secure a berth in the playoffs- or not. For the A’s however, there was nothing at relatively high stakes- nor were they fighting for a playoff berth. They just used this game as a tune up game before their playoff games started next week.
On the final game of baseball, the A’s went out strong, and Frankie Montas threw six sharp innings, notching 13 strikeouts as the A’s defeated the Seattle Mariners 6-2, to finish the regular season at 36-24 (ironically, that number spread out over 162 games would correlate to yet another 97 win season for the club).
The Athletics not only ended off the season on a high note, but with the addition of the Minnesota Twins’ loss, the A’s move up to the no. 2 seed and will face the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday Night. The A’s had their fair share of struggles with a lackluster offense and injuries in the latter part of the season, but on the final game of the season the team was nearly immaculate.
Looking ahead to the Playoffs…..
With the regular season over, on the horizon now is the Wild-Card Best-of-3 round, that will see the A’s play the Chicago White Sox at home.
Even though the Chicago White Sox finished the season in seventh place, they’re a competitive opponent. The Chicago White Sox actually had a better record than many teams above them in the standings (and only had one more loss than the Athletics.) However, because they were playing in a competitive division this year, narrowly coming in third place in their division relegated them to the No. 7 playoff spot. (Note: The Playoff standings were determined as follows: 1-3 seeds Division champs, 4-6 seeds were the 2nd place teams in the division, and 7-8 were the remaining teams with the best records.)
While over 10 games ago the Chicago White Sox had a 90 percent chance to win their division and clinch the no. 2 or 3 seed, they finished 2-8 in their last 10 games and allowed their AL Central rivals, the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins to narrowly edge them out in the standings.
Nevertheless, while the Chicago White Sox have struggled over the the past 10 games, they still remain as one of the hottest teams in baseball, and have completely turned their franchise around from the 70-win franchise it was just one year ago. The Chicago White Sox have tons of offensive production, featuring the likes of Yoan Moncada, Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson and Nick Madrigal. It’s expected that the Oakland A’s will start Chris Bassitt and Jesus Luzardo in games 1 and 2, and for the Chicago White Sox, Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel.
The Oakland Athletics will have their work cut out for them, and even though they got a higher seed in the playoffs, they still will have a lot of work to do if they wish to bring that World Series title hardware back to the East Bay for the first time since 1989.
Next Game: Tuesday at 12:00 pm.