The Oakland Athletics are just a half game back in the wild-card standings, but if they want to secure a postseason spot and stay longer than the first round, they'll need key guys to step up, rivals to falter and even a little luck along the way.
The A's have shocked many.
No one truly expected this team to be in the thick of playoff contention deep into August.
In order to prove their wonderful July stretch of 19-5 wasn't a fluke, the A's will need to keep playing quality baseball and finish the season strong enough to earn a wild-card spot.
It can be done. They just need a lot of help.
Furthermore, this team has the potential to go deep into playoffs. The A's made playoffs four years in a row (2000-03), only to be defeated in the first round each time. In 2006 when they finally made it to the American League Championship Series, they were swept.
It's time to go farther.
These are the things that need to be done for the A's to get into playoffs, and then win some more.