Expect A's to rise to top in West
It's that time of year when the A's pick up their play and make their push for the playoffs. And Rob Neyer likes their chances.
Thru 6/11 Thereafter 2000 .548 .576 2001 .492 .713 2002 .531 .704 2003 .556 .616 2004 .593 .544 2005 .393 .634
In three of those seasons, the A's played significantly better after June 11 than before. Twice they played somewhat better, and once they played somewhat worse. If you combine the last six June 11s, the A's were 40 games out of first place; only twice were they in first place, and both times it was by just half a game. If you combine the last six final standings, the A's were 17½ games out first place. You can do the math as easily as I can, but just to save you the trouble over the last six seasons, the A's have made up 22½ games relative to first place, or nearly four games per season.
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