Surging toward the playoffs

Well-rounded A's, Rangers, Nats and Reds all have look of serious contenders

Updated: September 3, 2012, 3:05 PM ET
By Paul Swydan | FanGraphs
Josh Reddick Brad Mangin/MLB/Getty ImagesJosh Reddick has keyed Oakland's improvement both on offense and in the field.

The Oakland Athletics, Washington Nationals, Texas Rangers and Cincinnati Reds own four of the five best records in baseball, as well as four of the five top spots in the ESPN Power Rankings, and there is a very good reason for that -- they're the most well-rounded teams in baseball.

Breaking down the game into components of hitting, fielding, starting pitching and relief pitching, we can see that entering Sunday's play Cincinnati, Oakland, Texas and Washington were the only teams to place in the top 15 in each category, using the advanced stats at FanGraphs (see chart below).