Expect A's to rise to top in West

History would suggest that the 2006 Oakland Athletics are in pretty good shape. Here's were they were, percentage-wise, through games of June 11 and then the rest of the way, in each of the last six seasons:

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.