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How Much Has Oakland Exceeded Expectations Since 2000?


Oakland's Billy Beane, Michae Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Michae Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s are doing it again — winning against the odds/bank accounts. Here’s an infographic to show how much they have exceeded expectations since 2000.

Major League Baseball has certainly turned into the haves and have-nots over the course of the past couple decades. But despite the money poured into franchises from Boston to New York to Chicago to Los Angeles, there have actually been a number of other franchises that have been able to find their way to success, in spite of much shallower pockets.

The Marlins (of the Florida type, not as much as the Miami type) won the second of their World Series with big players only to sell them off in trades in 2004.

The Rays have made the playoffs in four of the past six seasons, which is better than Boston, Baltimore and Toronto, in their same division, and equal to the Yankees.

But it’s the Oakland Athletics that really bring this issue to our attention, as they have the best record in baseball, by a large margin, despite having one of the lowest payrolls in baseball.

It’s Moneyball: The Sequel, and nothing proves that their system works better than the infographic below.

The infographic shows how big each team’s payroll would have been to buy its performance. Over the past 15 years, the A’s have exceeded expectations by about $1.38 billion!

Oakland A's Exceed Expectations

The Royals, meanwhile, underperformed expectations to the tune of a $789 million deficit. That’s wasted money, yo!

Kudos to FiveThirtyEight.com and writer Benjamin Morris for doing this deep dive into the numbers!



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