For the first time in the history of the sport, the wild-card team in each league will now be decided by a single-game playoff between the two best teams among non-division winners in the standings. That puts a huge amount of importance on pitching, especially the starting pitcher.
A team may be lacking offensively, but one great start by an ace and suddenly they're only looking for one or two runs to send them to the postseason. It's an exciting new approach to the wild-card race, but it's one that can be fortuitous or deadly depending on your standing and who you draw in the game.
Here are the five teams the A's are would like to face if they make the one-game playoff.