Hottest Team Since the Break: Oakland A's?

7/24/12 in MLB   |   AJ_88   |   166 respect

The Oakland A's entered the All-star break overachieving.  The Athletics have not been relevant since they had the deepest pitching rotation in the MLB in the early 2000's, highlighted by Barry Zito. They are in a division with the back-to-back AL champion Texas Rangers and the revamped Los Angeles Angels and they played pretty solid ball throughout the first half, posting a record of 43-43. There is not a soul on planet Earth who might have predicted the second-half surge the A's have put together recently. 

July 19, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics center fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) at bat against the New York Yankees during the fifth inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRENo one outside the A's clubhouse believed they would drastically improve upon their success in the first half as they do not possess the star power or consistency necessary for a strong push at a wild-card spot, or dare I say it, the division. The A's currently sit at 51-44, having gone 8-1 since the break (best in the big leagues), fresh off a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees. They are the hottest team in the majors and they show no signs of slowing down. 

Oakland has won games in a variety of ways as they defeated the Yankees by one-run in each of their four games, while they outscored the Minnesota Twins 24-10 in a three game sweep to begin the second half. After 

Yoenis Cespedes has raised his batting average from .263 to .299 in the nine games played since the break while blasting four home runs, with nine RBI.  The highly-touted Cuban signed a four year deal prior to this season and the A's had high expectations for his on-field production.  Josh Reddick has led the weak Oakland offense all season long, putting up 21 home runs and 46 RBI and Cespedes has now joined him at the top of the RBI list as he now has 13 home runs and 45 RBI on the year. 

The Oakland rotation heads to Toronto and Baltimore for a six-game trip as they look to extend their impressive play deeper into the second half. 
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