There is no doubt that the A’s have the roster to make another run at the postseason going into the 2014 regular season. Even with the injuries sustained during Spring Training the depth of the A’s has a chance to carry the team into October for the third year in a row. Looking at their upcoming schedule this season the A’s have a real chance to make a splash early on and grab a stranglehold of the A.L. West by the end of April. Obviously it is a long season and whoever leads the division at the end of April doesn’t mean much generally. However, a big chunk of division games come in April and the A’s will need to take advantage of them. Here is a look at the month of April for the A’s and why it will mean so much to get a jump-start on 2014.
The opening series against the Cleveland Indians will be important to starting the season off on the right foot. You want to win every game, but a series win would be a nice way to start the season. Outside of that the A’s play only three other games against a non-division opponent with a series against the Minnesota Twins in Minnesota.
The A’s will play 23 games against the four other A.L. West teams in April alone. That’s nearly one-third of the 76 division games played over the course of six months in one month. That’s more than the next two months combined. This is why the month of April will be so critical to the A’s success in 2014. In comparison the Texas Rangers play only 16 division games and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play only 11 in the month of April. With that big of a differential in division games the A’s will need to make the most of it especially in their 14 games against the Seattle Mariners and the Houston Astros.
As we have seen in the previous two seasons, division games become critical at the end of the season in determining the winner of the A.L. West. April will be an early hurdle for the A’s and if they can replicate or improve their record 2013 April record of 16-12 they will be in good shape heading into May with a tougher schedule ahead. A record of 20-9 would be a huge gap early on for the Rangers and Angels and would help lessen the sting of the injuries sustained in March.