The Oakland Athletics, with the help of Billy Beane, have used the theory of moneyball, to stay competitive with teams with salaries more than three times more than their own. With the A’s winning run during the first half of the season, they are proving once again you don’t need the biggest payroll in baseball to be the best. The Athletics (68-52) current series loss against the Astros has dropped them two games behind the Rangers(70-51) in the AL West. Even with these losses, A’s fans have not lost hope for their team to make it to the playoffs.
Oakland gave the AL West a run for their money in 2012 with a record of 94- 68, but they fell short of the Championship losing the AL Division Series (3-2) to the Detroit Tigers. The Athletics and their fan base did not see losing the ALDS as a disappointment; they saw it as something to build on for the 2013 season.
The A’s went into the 2013 All star break in first place with a winning record of 54-38 for the first time since 2008. Although Bartolo Colon and Grant Balfour were the only All stars representing the Athletics in the 2013 All-Star game, Yoenis Cespedes partook in the Home Run Derby blowing all of the contenders out of the water with his 17 Home Runs in the first round and 32 overall, really giving the fans something to Bernie lean about.
The Athletics are no longer the team chasing, rather they are the team being chased after, and their reaction to this will determine how they do in the second half. Oakland’s track record with injuries has been a problem in the past; last year 21 players missed over 1,000 games combined. Aside from Pitcher Brett Anderson’s foot fracture in late April of 2013, injuries have not been as much of a burden for the Athletics as the years before. Hopefully the A’s will continue to have a healthy lineup for the remainder of the season.
A great thing about the Athletics is each player’s ability to contribute to the game. From Cespedes’ bat power with 19 home runs to Balfour’s 1.91 ERA or Donaldson’s .296 batting average, every player in this ball club can step up to the plate or on to the mound and do something great.
If the A’s keep their feet on the ground and don’t get too far ahead of themselves while keeping a healthy line-up and pitching staff I belive the Athletics will win their Division and have a high chance of going to the World Series.
Although the A’s have fallen back after the All Star break and have gone 12-13, they still have over a Month left of the regular season to keep Billy Beane’s theory of moneyball alive.