The Oakland Athletics are coming off a solid 2020 season in which they dominated the AL West. However, the team was unable to take out the Houston Astros in the AL Divisional Series. However, despite the young and solid core, fans prepared for the worst as the Athletics are notorious for destroying their promising young team due to budgetary concerns. Luckily for fans, this did not happen, and the Oakland A’s are quietly an extremely strong team going into the 2021 season.
The A’s go into the 2021 season as second-favorites to win the AL West. The Houston Astros have a minuscule lead in odds sitting at +125, with the A’s at +145. For the AL Pennant, the A’s are ranked 6th in odds at +900, and for the World Series, they are 10th with +2,500. While these odds will change during the course of the season, it is clear that Vegas also sees that the A’s are a talented roster with the potential to become big winners.
Oakland Athletics World Series Odds
|Oakland Athletics World Series||+2,500|
|Oakland Athletics American League||+900|
|Oakland Athletics American League West||+145|
The Oakland A’s are a team that is never going to get a ton of attention. However, the team is simply good going into 2021. It is filled with talent.
The Lineup is led by Matt Chapman and Matt Olson. These two Matt’s are projected to both have some serious power numbers in 2021. Many would not be surprised if either or both of these two stars hit the 40 homerun mark during the 2021 season. The team also has some serious depth and lefty/righty matchup ability, with Jed Lowrie and Chad Pinder as possible bench pieces.
This team will most likely be saved by the longball, but there is also some decent speed on the team, with Elvis Andrus and Ramon Laureano on the starting roster. The Oakland A’s have the ability to pull out some victories with small ball.
Last year, Chris Bassitt had the greatest season of his career, and it was not really close. If Bassitt can get even close to that level again, the Oakland A’s become extremely scary. Jesus Luzardo, the young star lefty, will only be getting better, and if he continues on his current track, the A’s have one of the best 1-2 combos in the bigs. A combination of Matt Fiers, Sean Manaea, Frankie Montas, and A.J. Puk will most likely round out the rotation.
While this starting rotation has a ton of talent, I would argue that this is the biggest question mark—the range of outcomes for this starting rotation include one of the very best rotation to a below-average rotation. The team’s AL West’s chances somewhat hinge on the young arm of Luzardo and the uncertainty of Bassitt as an Ace.
The bullpen is where things really pick up. The team has one of the best, if not the best, pens in the league. Trevor Rosenthal, Jake Diekman, and Sergio Romo lead an experienced and dominant bullpen. While the bullpen is aging, I do not think that many project a major drop-off this season from the three leaders of the bullpen.
California is stacked with some of the best teams in all of baseball. However, are the Oakland Athletics real contenders, or are their odds overrated at this point? The biggest concern with the Oakland A’s is their fellow California team in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. While the Angels did not seemingly do enough to really change their title odds, the dominance of their team in Spring Training has to be terrifying for teams in the AL West.
If Ohtani, Trout, Rendon, and Upton all begin really producing, then it will be extremely tough for the Oakland A’s to secure that playoff spot they need to even start their World Series run. Due to how awful the AL Central is, you can almost pencil in one wild card spot from the Twins or White Sox. Then, the Blue Jays will also benefit from a subpar division. Meanwhile, if the A’s have to deal with the Astros and the Angels both producing and becoming elite squads, then it makes a playoff not extremely likely.
There is also the fear that when you bet on the A’s, they will not go out at the trade deadline and make a real move to compete. This is because the A’s thrive off of young players and trading away their young players for even more prospects. If there is one thing that the A’s do not do, it is give out big contracts or trade their young and cheap players. This means that the likelihood of them making a deadline deal to push them over the top is slim.
With all this said, I just cannot back the +2,500 odds with the Oakland A’s. There are much better values to be had at the start of the season.