(OAKLAND) -- The Texas Rangers could lose today in Kansas City against the Royals, and then the Oakland Athletics would win the American League West in the middle of their own game today against the Minnesota Twins at the O.co Coliseum.
And wouldn't that be odd?
The A's have a magic number of one as they take the field today for their final home game of the 2013 regular season, which means if they win they're in the playoffs for the second year in a row as AL West champions.
But because the Rangers -- trailing Oakland by 7.5 games in the standings -- start their game two hours earlier in Kansas City, a Texas loss would also give the A's the division title, while the Green and Gold are still playing here at the Coliseum.
Imagine that roar mid-game, if you will.
(Of course, the A's simply want to win in front of the home fans on this final home game of the year, so perhaps the Texas score should be considered irrelevant, but it's something to consider still nonetheless.)
Rookie Sonny Gray (3-3, 2.50 ERA) takes the mound for Oakland, and he'll be facing Cole De Vries (0-0, 7.88 ERA) for Minnesota. This matchup seems to favor the A's, of course, but to be sure, the Oakland offense will want to get up early in this game in order to be able to enjoy the possible celebratory moment if and when it comes.
If the A's don't get favorable results today from either the Texas-Kansas City game or their own, they still have six games left on the road next week to get what they need for the AL West crown (either a single win for Oakland or a single loss for Texas).
So in essence, the A's 16th AL West division title is a formality at this point, in all probability. That total of division championships would be the third-most in MLB history since divisional play began in 1969, trailing only the New York Yankees and the Atlanta Braves.
(For comparison's sake, the San Francisco Giants have only won eight National League West titles during the same time frame, showing the A's to be twice as good historically as their Bay Area "rivals".)
In addition, this would be the eighth time in Oakland history that the A's have defended one AL West title with another one the following year: 1971-72, 1972-73, 1973-74, 1974-75, 1988-89, 1989-90, 2002-03 and 2012-13.
(And one more time, for a comparative, those Giants across the Bay actually have never defended one of their division titles successfully. The S.F. franchise has not finished in first place two years in a row since 1937, when it was in New York.)
Of course, a division title is not the end goal for this A's team. After winning the AL West last year and then losing in Game Five of the AL Division Series at home, Oakland would like to advance much deeper into the postseason this year.
Thus, today is as good a day as any to start that push to late October.