Be wary of the Athletics

The Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees finish up a three-game series on Thursday, and it's one that some might label as a "potential playoff preview." Both teams made last year's tournament and, through two-plus months of the season, are positioned to attend this year's dance with the American League's second- and fourth-best records.

The middle of June is when small-sample-size concerns dissipate, to a degree. Everyday players march toward 300 plate appearances, while teams near the halfway point. But there is still plenty of noise in mid-June numbers, and the noise is ominous for the A's: When considered against their schedule thus far, the A's have yet to prove they're an elite AL team.