Legends abound for A's in Dream Bracket 2

May 20th, 2020

The MLB Dream Bracket is back, which means the A’s have a shot at redemption after elimination in the Round of 16 during the first edition. But the format this go-around has a different look.

The first Dream Bracket pitted each franchise’s all-time team against each other. MLB Dream Bracket 2 is a Dream Seasons edition, which will feature the the two greatest single-season clubs in each franchise’s history along with three Negro Leagues teams and the 1994 Montreal Expos to assemble a 64-team tournament that begins Thursday and runs through early June.

Fans can make their picks in the MLB Dream Bracket 2: Dream Seasons Challenge and compete to win an MLB prize pack featuring a $500 Fanatics gift card and more. Game simulations will begin with 16 round-of-64 matchups being played on Thursday, followed by the remaining 16 round-of-64 matchups on Friday. The finals, which will feature the top teams from the American League and National League squaring off, will take place on Monday, June 8, and Tuesday, June 9.

Select games will be broadcast by MLB Network’s Scott Braun and Jon Paul Morosi, and streamed live on MLB.com and the MLB and MLB Network Twitch channels.

With 15 AL pennants and nine World Series titles, there were several great A’s clubs to choose from. Representing the franchise in Dream Bracket 2 are the 1972 and '88 teams.

1972 A’s
Record: 93-62
Finish: Won AL West, won World Series
Top bWAR getter: Joe Rudi (6.1)

The 1972 Swingin’ A’s birthed a dynasty with the first of three consecutive World Series titles. There was no shortage of stars all around. From the fearsome foursome of , Ken Holtzman, Blue Moon Odom and that comprised the starting rotation, to a stacked lineup that featured , , and ‘Captain’ Sal Bando, this club was loaded. But even though they were talented and won 93 games in the regular season, the A’s were still heavy underdogs entering the World Series against the "Big Red Machine" from Cincinnati. It took seven games, but the A’s knocked off the Reds to bring the franchise its first World Series title in the Oakland era.

In Dream Bracket 2, which, like the first Dream Bracket, will be a best-of-seven series produced by Out of the Park Baseball 21 -- MLB‘s most realistic strategy game (PC and Mac) -- the 1972 A’s will square off against the '85 Royals in the first round.

1988 A’s
Record: 104-58
Finish: First in AL West, lost World Series
Top bWAR getter: Jose Canseco (7.3)

Kirk Gibson broke Oakland hearts in the World Series, and this A’s club will always be remembered as one of the greatest teams to never win a world title. These A’s won a Major League-best 104 games in the regular season. They were powered by a dangerous middle of the order that included , Dave Henderson and the first 40-homer, 40-steal in Major League history by , who won the AL MVP Award. and anchored the starting rotation while was finishing games off as one of the most dominant closers in baseball. After a four-game sweep of the Red Sox in the ALCS, expectations were high but ultimately crushed after Gibson delivered one of the most memorable moments in MLB history with his walk-off homer off Eckersley in Game 1 of the World Series. It was a devastating blow the A’s never recovered from, but their overall dominance throughout this season makes them a strong candidate to go deep in the Dream Bracket.

The 1988 A’s will get a shot at revenge against Gibson in the first round of Dream Bracket 2, as they face his '84 Tigers.