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The A's are for real
It's almost August, and none of us should be surprised that the A's are in first place. I'll save you the multiple-paragraph diatribe about Moneyball, Billy Beane and all that jazz, but this franchise knows how to draft and put together a team.
The A's have the trademark of most successful playoff teams: deep pitching and timely hitting. The A's staff leads the majors in WHIP, a category that often gets overlooked. However, one of the best ways to keep team off the scoreboard is to keep the runners off the base paths.
In addition, the A's have one of those offenses that doesn't make sense. Ranking 22nd in the majors in batting average and 10th in runs scored, this team is efficient. Led by the likes of Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Coco Crisp and Jed Lowrie, the team is balanced.
One of the keys for the A's to secure their status as a contender should be acquiring another bat. As efficient as they've been, you can't count on the runs to outpace the team's hitting in this way. The A's should be looking for a solid second baseman to replace Eric Sogard, who really doesn't offer much at the plate.
Though the Rangers have the ammunition to make bigger acquisitions like they did with Matt Garza, the A's have a five game lead and staying power. Expect to see these boys back in October.