Athletics, Angels and Mariners all face stiff challenges in second-half.
This is a great time for baseball fans all around the world, as we get to see our favorite players in the All-Star Game at Target Field later on tonight. The other impressive thing is that it allows us to reflect on what happened during the first-half of the season. There are some teams that played really well, while other teams have yet to figure things out.
The Oakland Athletics are one of the clubs that has played terrific since Opening Day, as they have the best record in MLB at 59-36. Oakland has the look of a team that is destined for greatness, as this could be the year they win the World Series.
The first step in reaching that goal is winning the American League West division. That is easier said than done, as the A’s have two teams in the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners that could prevent this. The Angels enter the All-Star break winning five straight games and nine of their last 10, while the Mariners just took two of three games from the Athletics. Los Angeles and Seattle trail Oakland by 1.5 and eight games respectively in the division.
In looking ahead at the schedule for Oakland, it looks favorable for them as July continues. The A’s take on the Astros six times and have a three-game road series against the Texas Rangers. The only possible challenge is three games at home against the Baltimore Orioles right after the break.
The month of August will be a big test, as they have a three-game set on the road against the Atlanta Braves in the middle of the month. Oakland will also face the Angels seven times in August, and this is one way they could create some separation.The last month of the season begins with a six games at home against the Mariners and the Houston Astros. Oakland will have one more series against Seattle in the middle of September.
The biggest series of the season could be Sept. 22-24, as they face Los Angeles for the last time at home. They end the season with four games on the road against Texas. One interesting part about their schedule is that six of their eight series in September are against teams in the AL West.
For the Angels, the second-half starts off with three games at home against Seattle. They also have six games against the Orioles, and a four-game series with the Detroit Tigers at home. The high level of competition continues in August with four games against the Los Angeles Dodgers (two at home and two on the road). The Angels will face the A’s in seven of their final 10 games in August.
The Angels will begin September with a 10-game road trip against the Astros, Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians and Rangers. The Angels will end the season on the road with six games against Oakland and Seattle.One intriguing part of the Angels’ schedule has them facing the Astros and Rangers a combined 11 times in September. These games can be a way for the club to keep pace with Oakland.
The Mariners start the second-half on the road against Los Angeles, and end the month of July with three games at Cleveland. Seattle has two games at home against the Braves in the early part of August, and later in the month has a three-game series against Detroit on the road. They will end August with six games at home against the Rangers and the Washington Nationals.
The Mariners will play the Athletics six times in September, a three-game set on the road to begin the month and another three games at home in the middle part of September. Seattle will face Los Angeles seven times in this month, including the last series of the season at home.
The Mariners have a chance to make up plenty of ground in the division during September, as they face the Angels and A’s a combined 13 times. One interesting part of the schedule for the Mariners is taking on the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies in the second part of the season.
The AL West race will be fun to watch, as anyone of these three teams could emerge as division champion.