The Athletics have all the pieces for a World Series title run


Julian Mendoza

A photo of a Chico State baseball player on Feb. 18

The Oakland Athletics are going back to the playoffs for the third year in a row, but for the first time as a division winner since 2013. With the coronavirus pandemic still around, Major League Baseball decided to have a shortened season that was limited to just 60 games.

This season the playoff format will be different as eight teams from each league will join the playoff bubble for the opportunity to compete for a championship.

While the playoffs are about a week away, the A’s currently ride a 33-20 record and are 6 ½ games ahead of the Houston Astros.

The A’s success starts with manager Bob Melvin. Melvin is in his 10th season with the A’s, twice winning manager of the year. This is now his third division title as their manager. He won it in 2012, 2013 and 2020. Melvin has created a winning culture in Oakland and this might be the year they make a deep run in the postseason.

The A’s won the AL West this year with big bats and great pitching. Pitchers that stood out on the team this season were Yusmeiro Petit and Joakim Soria. Petit came out of the bullpen with a 1-1 record and an earned run average of 1.83. Petit also struck out 17 batters in just 24 games.

Soria, a member of the bullpen, had a mediocre record of 2-2 with an earned run average of 3.10 and struck out 23 batters in 20 games.

The A’s also had great hitters that stepped up this season and were key players that helped win the division. Marcus Semian, the A’s shortstop and MVP runner up last year, had seven home runs with 23 runs batted in.

Matt Chapman, the anchor at third baseman, had 10 home runs with 25 runs batted in. Chapman will miss the title run because of pending hip surgery.

The A’s also acquired two veterans through trades. Tommy La Stella, who was acquired from the Angels, and Jake Lamb, from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Two veteran players who can make a huge impact for them in the playoffs.

The A’s are trying to win their first World Series championship since 1989 and their 10th in franchise history. With the young talent they have and a successful manager, I think if they get timely hitting and great pitching, they can bring home a championship to the city of Oakland.

The A’s will be taking on the Houston Astros in the first round of the playoffs. Their toughest opponent would be the Los Angeles Dodgers assuming both Oakland and Los Angeles got to the World Series to face each other.

Alex Martin can be reached at [email protected] or @alexmartinjour on Twitter.