The Oakland Athletics have not been to the American League playoffs since 2006 and it might take a one-game playoff to break that drought in 2012.
The A’s are the epitome of an anomaly. Fielding a roster of relatively unknown players, Oakland has remained a front-runner for a Wild Card playoff spot.
Overcoming a nine-game losing streak early in the season, the A’s registered the best performance in the month of July (19-5) in franchise history.
Now a winner of four games in a row, including a sweep of the Cleveland Indians this weekend, Oakland is poised to play ball through September and into October.
Glancing at the AL standings, there is a chance that it will need to earn one of two Wild Card berths by winning a one-game playoff by regular season’s end.
The A’s have a propensity for winning close games, with 19 wins of one run this season, including a league-leading 15 walk-off wins at home.
That leaves six teams currently vying for three playoff spots. The Chicago White Sox are in the AL Central lead as Detroit looms 1.5 games behind. Four teams are currently within 1.5 games of each other in the Wild Card standings, including the ChiSox (65-55), Tampa Bay Rays (67-54), Baltimore Orioles (66-55) and A’s (65-55).
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are sliding out of the playoff picture, currently 4.5 games off pace. Still, if Oakland must face any team in a one-game playoff, a matchup against the Halos would be least favorable.