The Oakland Athletics enter the third week of the Major League Baseball season sitting at 8-8. They split their four game set with the Detroit Tigers and now face off against the Boston Red Sox for two games. While it's still incredibly early in the season, every win will be important in an AL West race that could very well go down to the wire. None of the top three teams in the division appears significantly better than anybody else, and each has a strength that should keep them in the race. Until the Seattle Mariners prove otherwise, they will remain out of the discussion.
The first place Texas Rangers lost Josh Hamilton for six to eight weeks but still bring an assortment of solid bats. The Hamilton injury opens up the race a bit more and the A's and Angels will need to take advantage of that while they can. The second place Los Angeles Angels bring a more balanced approach to the ballpark. They're getting some big numbers from their offense as well as some strong starting pitching at the top of their rotation. The third place Athletics are struggling on offense but their starting pitching is once again dominant, as is par for the course.
This could be an intriguing nine days of baseball coming up for the A's. They face the Red Sox for two games followed by four at Seattle and three at the Angels. This isn't exactly make or break time for the team, but if they could pull out a 6-3 record on this swing, that would be a huge confidence builder. 5-4 could also be enough, but why not hope for more?
AL West Standings
American League Wild Card Standings
|Kansas City||10||6||.625||0||Lost 2|
|Los Angeles||10||6||.625||0||Lost 1|
|Tampa Bay||7||9||.437||3||Won 1|
(updated 4.19.2011 at 8:18 AM PDT)