The Oakland Athletics return home Monday for a four game series with the scuffling Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays find themselves 9 1/2 games back of the Red Sox and 6 1/2 back of the second place and wild card leading Yankees. The MLB trade deadline is less than a week away, which means Tampa has the next few days to decide whether they'll be buyers, sellers, or holders. If they were to come in and sweep the A's, a climb in the standings could push them further into the buyer category.
The Oakland A's do not face quite the same question marks. At 44-57 and 13 1/2 games out of first place in the AL West, it seems likely they'll be sellers at the deadline. They could hope for a miracle run in August and September, but that would probably be a little foolhardy. They've got some key veteran pieces that could prove valuable to other teams during the stretch run and will likely be fairly active heading into Sunday.
In the meantime, both teams have some baseball to play this week. For A's fans, this series brings some quality pitching matchups worth watching, even if the A's offense may not bring quite the timely pop. The A's were able to bang out plenty of hits against the Yankees this past weekend, but they could not get a couple timely hits that could have ensured a series victory. While a series victory wouldn't exactly lock them into the playoff race, it would been a nice step forward in terms of momentum.
4 game series vs Rays @ Overstock.com Coliseum
|Tue 07/26 - Brandon McCarthy vs. David Price
|7:05 PM PDT
|Wed 07/27 - Trevor Cahill vs. James Shields
|7:05 PM PDT
|Thu 07/28 - Rich Harden vs. Wade Davis
|12:35 PM PDT