Beyond just having a more favorable schedule than the Angels, the A's will also be catching a couple of breaks in two of their next three series, and then likely in another series in September.
Against Seattle they'll miss the suddenly hot King Felix for the second straight time (let's hope he delivers against the Rangers in Texas tonight).
And barring something really strange, the A's are almost sure to miss Halliday, who's scheduled to pitch the Sunday before we arrive for a three game series.
Finally, if Liriano really is out for an extended time, it makes the Twins a much less formidable opponent. The A's could go into Minnesota, regardless of the rotation marshalled against them, thinking reasonably about taking two of three.
Little things like that matter a lot, of course, when you're in a close race. And all of these are very favorable for the A's.