Oakland A’s: The perfect bandwagon team for 2021
By David Hill
Let’s face it – even though the season has yet to begin, there are several teams without a chance of reaching the postseason. In fact, Fangraphs gave the Orioles a 0.0% chance of reaching the playoffs, and there are other teams whose chances are not much better.
While those fanbases may not want to completely abandon those teams, there is always something to be said for rooting for a team with a chance. With that in mind, MLB.com listed seven bandwagon teams for the 2021 season, with the Oakland A’s making the cut.
Oakland A’s the perfect bandwagon team for 2021
The A’s make sense as a bandwagon team for those desperate to enjoy the postseason chase. They have reached the playoffs in each of the past three seasons, taking home the AL West crown in 2020. And yet, there is still a distinct underdog factor to the A’s in the form of their lower payroll and postseason struggles.
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Prior to 2020, when the A’s came out of the Wild Card Round, they had not won a playoff series since 2006. The A’s are also projected to finish third in the division this season behind the Astros and Angels. Both teams had far more exciting offseasons than the A’s did, but the games are won on the diamond, not on paper.
The A’s also have some of the more exciting players in the game. Ramon Laureano appeared to be on his way to a breakout season before struggling last year. Matt Chapman is arguably the best third baseman in the American League. Jesus Luzardo is an exciting young pitcher, and could take the next step in 2021.
Even with their collection of young stars and status as a defending division champion, the A’s are not drawing much attention. Perhaps this is due to what had been a quiet offseason until just before spring training began. Or perhaps this is due to the way the Astros almost became the first team with a losing record to reach the World Series last year. But few people are paying attention to what is happening in Oakland.
That is exactly how the Oakland A’s like it. They may be viewed as underdogs, but that does not mean that they are not the perfect bandwagon team for 2021.