With 12 games remaining in the regular season, the Oakland A’s are currently in the top spot in the AL Wild Card after a six-game winning streak put them over 90 wins for the season. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians are currently on the bubble and 1.5 games out of contention.
The Tampa Bay Rays were holding steady as the top spot in the Wild Card until the A’s embarked on their winning streak. The A’s won 11 out of their last 13 games to become only the fourth team in the American League with 90 wins.
AL WILD CARD
Oakland A’s 90-60
Tampa Bay Rays 89-62
Cleveland Indians 87-63
During this recent streak, Oakland improved to almost a 96% favorite to make the Wild Card and advance to the postseason according to FanGraphs. In the last couple of weeks, they dismantled both the NY Yankees and the Houston Astros.
According to William Hill, the A’s improved to 20/1 odds to win the World Series. The Astros are the overall favorite at 2/1 odds, with the Yankees at 4/1 odds to win the championship.
Surging A’s, Break-Even Cleveland
The A’s recently took three out of four games in Houston against the tough Astros’ rotation. They dropped the opening game of the series, then rattled off three-straight wins. The A’s completed their Texas road trip with a sweep against the Texas Rangers. That puts the A’s with six wins in a row before the return home to Oakland for series against the Kansas City Royals.
With 12 games remaining, the A’s have six home games before finishing the season on the road against the LA Angels (68-82) and Seattle Mariners (62-88). The A’s have the good fortune of closing out the season in Seattle with a four-game series against the bottom dwellers of the AL West. The Wild Card is in Oakland’s hands, and theirs to lose.
FanGraphs AL Wild Card Odds
Tampa Bay 69.7%
Meanwhile, Cleveland went 8-8 over its last 16 games. The Indians dropped two out of three games to the Minnesota Twins over the weekend. Not only did they miss out on a shot at making one last run at the AL Central crown, but Cleveland also put themselves on the AL Wild Card bubble.
“We’re going to keep fighting,” said Cleveland pitcher Shane Bieber.
Cleveland finishes the season with 12 games against the three worst teams in the AL Central: the Chicago White Sox (65-85), Kansas City Royals (55-95), and the Detroit Tigers (45-104).
Despite the easier schedule, FanGraphs only lists the Cleveland Indians as a 33.7% favorite to advance to the Wild Card.
Up and Down Rays
Tampa Bay survived a rough patch in which they went 5-5 over a 10-game stretch at the end of August. The Rays went 8-3 over their last 11 games. However, they started a lengthy road trip with a 3-3 record. The Rays are still on the West Coast with a quickie two-game series against the LA Dodgers (97-54).
The Rays return home to play a four-game series against the Boston Red Sox (79-70) before hosting the first-place Yankees (98-53) and the sizzling Aaron Judge for a two-game series next week. The final series of the season will take the Rays north of the border to play the Toronto Blue Jays (59-91).
According to FanGraphs, the Tampa Rays are a 69.7% chance to advance to the AL Wild Card.