Playoff Odds on 3/21: 29.9%
Playoff Odds on 5/9: 5.0%
The A’s are likely still basking in the glory of Mike Fiers‘ second career no-hitter. It won’t completely erase a 17-21 start to this season, which had them in the AL West basement entering action on Thursday. Even with that dominant performance on Tuesday night, Fiers’ season-long ERA is just 5.48, while Marco Estrada (6.85) and Aaron Brooks (5.74) both own numbers north of 5.50.
One would imagine the offense will get a boost with the return of Matt Olson from the injured list. He hasn’t been around since the season-opening series in Japan. Oakland replaced him by trading for Kendrys Morales, which hasn’t gone well — the veteran switch-hitter posted a lackluster .213/.318/.277 triple slash through his first 110 plate appearances with the club. That was good for a very uninspiring 71 wRC+.
The Houston Astros are expected to take the division once again, and they’ve only strengthened their playoff odds since Opening Day (currently 98.7%). However, Oakland seemed to have a chance of making the playoffs according to FanGraphs’ algorithms because none of the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, or Los Angeles Angels were expected to be very good.
They’ve all been better than expected, though — at least, mostly better than or the same as the A’s — through the season’s first six weeks, which is why Oakland’s playoff odds have taken a nosedive.