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Original Issue

The New Efficiency

The tight budgets of three leading wild-card contenders extend beyond their payrolls to their skimpy run production

Since the wild card was introduced in 1995, no American League team has made the postseason without scoring more than 700 runs during the regular season. That could change this year. If the season had ended on Sunday, the AL wild cards would have been won by the A's and the Orioles—two teams on sub-700 scoring paces. A third such team, the Rays, was only 1½ games behind Baltimore for the last spot. Here are the lowest-scoring AL playoff teams in the three-division era and how this year's runs-hungry contenders compare.

[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

707 2011

741 2005

761 2005

765 2008

768 2003

768 2002

698* 2012

688* 2012

681* 2012

*Projected 162-game total



THE LOWDOWN Josh Reddick and the A's have upped their production in the second half but still could be one of the lowest-scoring AL playoff teams.