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Earlier in November, we asked Oakland A’s fans if they have confidence in the team’s chances in 2020, and the result was a resounding “Yes!” A total of 95% of fans answered Yes to the question, “Can your team contend for the World Series next season?”
That result is no surprise. The A’s won 97 games in each of the last two summers, earning themselves Wild Card berths both times. They lost those one-and-done playoff games in each of 2018 and 2019, but the point is they at least qualified for the postseason tournament crapshoot. And what’s more, they could be even better in 2020, after debuting some impact rookies this year who could become big factors moving forward.
Oakland’s 95% fan approval is about as strong as anyone else in the league. Only four other teams scored higher marks: the Astros (100%), Twins (100%), Rays (96%), and Yankees (96%), though unfortunately all of them are fellow American League contenders. Four NL teams also exceeded 90%, in the Nationals (95%), Braves (94%), Dodgers (93%), and Brewers (91%). A total of 13 teams notched 70% or higher.
On the other end of the spectrum, two fan bases put up goose eggs for their rebuilding clubs, with the Mariners and Tigers each receiving 0% confidence. The Marlins (3%) and Orioles (7%) also finished in the single-digits. A total of 10 teams clocked in at 30% or lower.
Unfortunately for the A’s, one of the few teams who scored higher than they did happens to be in their own division, as defending AL champion Houston figures to continue being a juggernaut even despite any potential upcoming offseason losses. On the bright side, though, the rest of the AL West is looking relatively weak: Angels (62%), Rangers (26%), and Mariners (nada).
The offseason is still only beginning, and there are some moves the A’s need to make to gear up for the upcoming campaign, but there’s every chance that they’ll enter the spring among the upper echelon of serious title contenders.