Athletics

A's clear crucial hurdle in push to build new Howard Terminal ballpark

A's clear crucial hurdle in push to build new Howard Terminal ballpark

OAKLAND -- The A's proposal to build a new waterfront ballpark at Howard Terminal cleared a significant hurdle Monday night, as the California State Assembly Committee on Natural Resources voted 7-0 to move the legislation forward.

"With the 7-0 vote, they're really giving a resounding yes that Oakland should have the same time of waterfront [ballpark] as San Francisco, and that's a great thing," A's president Dave Kaval told NBC Sports California. "It's really the key step. These bills never die on the floor, they die in committee. And so the fact that we've gotten out of committee -- and this is kind of the key committee -- this is where we had to bring our supporters, our fans and everyone from the Green and Gold nation to make sure it happened."

Kaval noted that approximately 350 A's fans packed the State Capitol earlier in the day to rally in favor of Assembly Bill 1191, authored by Rob Bonta (D-California), in support of developing Howard Terminal for a new ballpark.

"We're pretty excited about the results and that so many fans came out," Kaval said. "I think that's what I was most excited about -- 350 fans, many of them traveled up from the Bay Area to spend an afternoon in Sacramento supporting the A's and our legislation. That's a big deal."

Kaval and the A's face another important vote Tuesday when they aim for approval to buy half of the Coliseum property from Alameda County for redevelopment.

"That's obviously transformative for our second project in Oakland," Kaval said. "We set forth in November with these two projects -- one at the waterfront and one here in East Oakland -- and we're making great progress on both, which is a great thing."

The next step for AB 1191 comes Wednesday in the Assembly Local Government Committee. As Kaval put it, "It's a week of votes."

Why A's already are nearly locked for playoffs, according to FanGraphs

Why A's already are nearly locked for playoffs, according to FanGraphs

It’s never too early to talk about the MLB playoffs, especially in a 60-game season. So, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

The A’s appear already locked-in for the playoffs, and not just because of the new format.

Entering Sunday, according to FanGraphs, the A’s have a 97.7 percent chance of making the playoffs. To break it down more precisely, Oakland also has a 71.8 percent chance to win the AL West. 

Oakland sits pretty in first place with an 11-4 record, and the Houston Astros are 4.5 games behind them.

The new playoff format, which MLB and the Player’s Association agreed upon, only helps the A’s chances. The expanded playoffs have second-place teams in each of the divisions qualified for the playoffs. So, unless something crazy happens, the A’s still have a huge chance. Plus, compared to the rest of the division, their strength of schedule for the remainder of the season only is a boost for the team.

FanGraphs does have the Astros slightly higher (8 percent) than the A’s (7.2 percent) to win the World Series, but that’s to be expected from a perennial contender.

[RELATED: How Tony Kemp turned into everything A's wanted in 2B]

The new playoff format was brought forth to create a competitive pennant race, as MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said in a statement.

The playoffs are scheduled for Sept. 29-Oct. 2, which will come much faster than it might feel like.

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

Astros vs. Oakland A's live stream: How to watch MLB games online, on TV

Astros vs. Oakland A's live stream: How to watch MLB games online, on TV

The A's are rolling.

Oakland has won six straight games as they welcome the rival Astros to the Coliseum for the first time since Houston's cheating scandal was unearthed in the offseason.

The A's (9-4) are coming off a sweep of the Rangers, while the Astros (6-6) lost two out of three to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Here's how you can watch the A's play the Rangers online (download the MyTeams app here!) and on TV:

Friday, Aug. 7

When: A's Pregame Live at 5:30 p.m. PT -- First pitch at 6:10 p.m. PT
TV: NBC Sports California
Stream: MyTeams app

Saturday, Aug. 8

When: A's Pregame Live at 12:30 p.m. PT -- First pitch at 1:10 p.m. PT
TV: NBC Sports California
Stream: MyTeams app

Sunday, Aug. 9

When: A's Pregame Live at 12:30 p.m. PT -- First pitch at 1:10 p.m. PT
TV: NBC Sports California
Stream: MyTeams app

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]