A’s Look To Clinch A Playoff Berth As Well As Win The A.L. West


The Oakland Athletics destiny is now in their own hands. Well, at least for the most part anyway. The A’s magic number is down to one with three games left in the regular season and the division title is still in their reach. The Athletics magic number of one means that they only need to win one of their next three games to clinch a playoff birth. They can also get a little help in clinching a playoff birth with losses to both the Angels and the Rays. The A’s can still win the A.L. West if they sweep the Texas Rangers.

September 30, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics right fielder

Josh Reddick

(16) raises his hand in celebration after hitting a home run during the eighth inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE

A best-case scenario for the Oakland Athletics, would be to beat the Texas Rangers in the first game of the series and for the Rays to win their game against the Orioles.  This would allow the Green and Gold to clinch a playoff berth, tie the Orioles for the first wild card spot, as well as keep the fight for the division title alive.

The A’s could not ask for a better match up for Monday night’s game.

Jarrod Parker, who is arguably the Athletics best starting pitcher, will be starting the first game of the series for the Oakland Athletics. Parker has been very good as of late. In his past three starts he is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA and 20 strikeouts. These three starts include (in order) a win against the Baltimore Orioles, a no decision against the New York Yankees where he pitched eight innings of one run ball and a win against the Texas Rangers. The win against Texas started off a little shaky for Parker, but after surrendering a run in the first and then two runs in the second, he settled in and shut the rangers offense down over the next four innings. Parker is 12-8 with a 3.44 ERA on the season.

On the hill for the Texas Rangers will be left-handed pitcher Martin Perez. Perez, who is replacing the injured Scott Feldman in the Rangers rotation, has not pitched well as of late. Perez is 0-2 with an 8.00 ERA over his last three starts. He has not pitched more than four and one-thirds innings in either of those three starts. He is coming off of his worst start which was against the Oakland Athletics on the 26th of September when he also faced Jarrod Parker. The A’s jumped on Perez early and managed to get six hits while scoring five runs off of him. He only pitched two-thirds of an inning before being pulled from the game. Perez is 1-3 with a 5.03 ERA.

DownSide: The A’s have to complete a sweep of the Texas Rangers in order to win the division.

UpSide: The A’s only need to win one more game to clinch a playoff berth and the division title is still possible.

Probable Starters

Tuesday, Oct. 2nd, 7:05 PM

Matt Harrison (18-10, 3.26 ERA) vs Travis Blackley (5-4, 4.00 ERA)

Wednesday, Oct. 3rd, 7:05 PM

Ryan Dempster (7-3, 4.64 ERA) vs A.J. Griffin (7-1, 2.71 ERA)