After an astonishing run-up to October, the Oakland A's are proving their mettle against the Detroit Tigers, which has become a shining example of how Moneyball can win games. On Tuesday night, they came back to avoid being swept by the midwestern team, 2-0. Though the A's are seen as the underdog in the series, they have more wins under their belt than the Tigers and have been picked by a number of experts to advance to the ALCS.
The Baltimore Orioles made these playoffs for the first time in 15 years, and similarly, lived to die another day against the New York Yankees, who have the most expensive roster in Major League Baseball.
The stats don't lie, and Billy Beane has been redeemed yet again this season. As far as regular season records go when compared with total salaries, an extra $150 million got the Yankees one more win than the A's. The New York powerhouse pays its players nearly $200 million, while Oakland's budget sits at just $55 million.
"I think most people predicted that not only would we lose 100 [games], maybe 110, so this has been satisfying," Beane told CBS News in an interview.
In July, the A's were 13 games behind the first-place Texas Rangers. Just two months later, not only had they recouped the gap to the lead, they had won it.
On the East Coast, the Orioles have managed to tie their series with the Yankees, 1-1, as they head to New York to fight out the rest of their games.
It just goes to show that you don't have to have star players or power hitters to be successful in baseball. A good coach who thinks strategically about the game can build up a great team, and they don't necessarily need Beane's mastermind formulas to do so.