Everything is going right for the Oakland Athletics. The A’s have gone from worst to first over the course of a few weeks, riding a wave of improved play and luck to the top of the American League standings.

An improbable walk-off victory over the Minnesota Twins extended Oakland’s winning streak to 11 games Wednesday. The A’s won 13-12 in 10 innings, executing a two-out comeback without the benefit of a hit. A pair of walks and consecutive errors allowed Oakland to score three runs in the bottom of the 10th frame.

The wild victory was a microcosm of just how crazy the early part of the 2021 MLB season has been for the A’s. Oakland was 0-6 on April 6, starting the season with the longest losing streak of any team in baseball. The A’s defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in walk-off fashion on April 7 to snap their skid.

The Houston Astros beat Oakland 6-2 on April 8. The A’s have been perfect ever since.

“Talk about a complete flip of the script,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said after the game. “Not only did we get [beaten] the first six games, we got trounced. To come back and put together this type of run, it shows the fight of this team. They never got down. Just as dramatic as those games were, is what’s going on right now.”

The first week of Oakland’s season couldn’t be any different from the next two weeks. The A’s were outscored by 37 runs during their 0-6 start. Oakland has a plus-29 run differential over the course of its 11-game winning streak.

Sitting atop the AL West after a week, the Astros had a five-game lead over the winless Athletics. The division has since flipped with the first-place A’s leading the last-place Astros by four games.

Neither Oakland's offense nor its pitching has been particularly great. The A’s still rank 13th among the 15 AL teams with a 4.71 ERA. Eight AL teams have scored more runs than Oakland.

First baseman Matt Olson leads the team with six home runs and a 1.078 OPS. Sean Manaea leads the rotation with a 3.04 ERA.

Walks and home runs have been the A’s bread and butter. The team is tied for the league-lead with 25 homers. No team has been issued more free passes than Oakland. It’s a formula reminiscent of the “Moneyball” A’s, who relied on baseball’s true outcomes to compete with the league’s top spenders in the early 2000s. The team famously overachieved against big-spending clubs.

Not much has changed in terms of Oakland’s spending habits. The A’s have the 23rd-highest payroll in MLB, according to Spotrac. Eight teams are spending at least twice as much on player salaries than Oakland, which has a 2021 payroll of about $86 million.

The A’s early-season success probably shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Oakland made the playoffs with a 97-65 record in both 2018 and 2019. The A’s won the AL West in the truncated 2020 season with a 36-24 record, which translates to 97 wins in a full 162-game season.

Oakland has a habit of starting off slow and making a push toward the playoffs after the All-Star break. 

Despite 11 trips to the playoffs over the last two decades, the A’s have not reached the World Series since 1990.

Oakland Athletics Ryan Christenson Quality Control Coach Mark Kotsay #7 and Bench Coach Ryan Christenson #29 of the Oakland Athletics stand on the field during summer workouts at RingCentral Coliseum on July 11, 2020 in Oakland, California. Photo: hoto by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)