One of my pet peeves with baseball analysis is when commentators discuss a team that just missed the playoffs and attribute their missing out on losing games in September.

Games count just as much now as they do in September, though. Win more now, and you can afford to lose more down the stretch.

The A’s face a three-game set with a tough Tampa Bay team before going on the road for three-game sets at Texas and LA before a two-game home series with Seattle that wraps up May 18.

It’s a key stretch, and the A’s would do well to win now so they can relax more in September.

What will they need to find success? Let’s look at five things that would help.

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