Who To Root For

**ORIGINAL POSTED DATE 9/13/12**

I’m in the minority when it comes to the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics. While most fans and writers were hoping for at least a split in their current series I was wishing for the A’s to sweep them. You may think that I’m crazy for suggesting this but there are some valid reasons.

First I will start off by saying that the Angels had been surging as of late and I believe they will be a tough team to face in the playoffs. Yes, tougher than the A’s. If Texas keeps winning and the Angels keep losing that pushes them back further out of the division lead and possible wild card.

The next factor to consider is the remaining schedules of the teams. The Angels remaining opponents are the Royals, the Rangers, the White Sox, the Mariners and finally the Rangers again. The Athletics have an even tougher schedule as they host the Orioles before going on the road to play the Tigers, Yankees and Yankees and then returning to home to play the Mariners. That’s a 10-game road trip in which the A’s will face nothing but contenders. Then you have Texas whose remaining opponents are all division foes: Mariners, Angels, Mariners, A’s, Angels. Of the final ten games of the season for Texas, seven are at home are at home. 

There are even more factors to consider such as team offenses. The number one and two teams by batting average are the Rangers and Angels. The A’s are 29th. The Rangers and Angels rank first and fifth respectively in runs scored per game. The A’s are 18th. It’s team pitching where Oakland currently has the upper hand as they are allowing 3.44 earned runs per game which is fifth best in baseball. Texas is 13th at 3.87 and the Angels are 17th at 3.96. However, when your team is near the bottom in offense then the pitching had better be lights out. Based on those indicators I would rather see the A’s make the playoffs than the Angels.

One final thing to consider is the new playoff format. If the current standings hold up then Baltimore and New York would play a tie-breaker game for the AL East title with the loser getting a wild card spot. The A’s would then host the wild-card play in game against either the Yankees or Orioles. The A’s would probably hope for Baltimore. I know I would. Either way it’s a pressure-filled game that the A’s have yet to play all season.  The Angels, and Mike Scioscia, have played under that kind of pressure before.

So as you’re watching things unfold down the stretch keep in mind that as bad as we want the A’s to lose, we want the Angels to lose even more.

It’s all about experience. 

James Holland

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