Reading time, two minutes
Forget the wild card and even just winning the American League West. The surprising A's – at least to those on the East Coast who haven't been paying attention – have their sights on home-field advantage for the American League Division Series and perhaps even the American League Championship Series. Entering Friday's opener of a critical series at Texas, the A's had the second-best record in the A.L., and their offense appears to have come to life at just the right time, with Yoenis Cespedes driving in runs and Josh Reddick looking strong after returning from the disabled list. We're thinking Friday, Oct. 4, at O.co Coliseum for the opener of the ALDS in a rematch with the Tigers.
Once you get past all the talk about rivalries and record-setting noise, Sunday night's game in Seattle between the 49ers and Seahawks is about who takes early control of the NFC West. Look for 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin to beat the Seahawks' tough guy, cornerback Richard Sherman, for at least one touchdown. But this one could come down to the running game and who gets more yards, the 49ers' Frank Gore or the Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch. We don't usually make predictions, but here goes: 49ers 31, Seahawks 28.
The biggest sporting event of the weekend might be tonight's championship bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and challenger Canelo Alvarez. The smart money says Mayweather stays unbeaten, but fight folks are talking about it being Mayweather's biggest challenge since he beat Oscar De La Hoya four years ago. Alvarez also is unbeaten – and he's 23, 13 years younger than the champ.
How will the A's finish the regular season?
Win A.L. West, earn home field for ALDS
Win A.L. West, but open ALDS on the road
Win wild-card berth
Miss the playoffs
Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports
Friday's poll results
Who's the greatest lineman from the Sacramento area?
Justin Bannan: 8%
Gene Cronin: 8%
Jason Fisk: 7%
Mike Flanagan: 9%
Gordon King: 8%
Charles Mann: 37%
Total votes: 153