I had a nice long post three-fourths written earlier this morning, but my browser window just suddenly closed on me, and poof!--it was gone. I think there's a conspiracy behind this mysterious disappearance. Somebody doesn't want you to know what I know. I'd explain more, but then I'd have to write the darn thing over again, and there's no time.
Instead, I'll just present this little chart of some post-break numbers for the AL playoff contenders. I checked these numbers to see how good the A's hitting has been since the All-Star Break, in comparison to their competitors. Answer: pretty good.
Sum of Diffs Avg+OBP+SLG
Interesting: the stat that separates the top three teams from the second three is mostly OBP. On the other hand, the stat that separates the top three teams from each other is mostly slugging percentage.
Maybe Billy Beane knew something when he predicted before last year's playoffs that the winner would be the team that hit the most home runs.