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Oakland A’s fan confidence restored ahead of stretch drive

The A’s are playing some of their best ball of the season.

Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse, a survey of fans across MLB. Each week, we send 30 polls to plugged in fans from each team. A’s fans, click HERE to learn more and join FanPulse.

A’s fans were asked last week if they have confidence in the direction of the team, and the result was a resounding “Yes!” The final tally was 85% approval, which is almost a complete rebound after a big dip last week.

In our previous survey, confidence dropped from 87% to 71% after a couple of heartbreaking losses to the Yankees, specifically involving more blown saves by the bullpen. This time the fan support bounced nearly all the way back up to where it had been before, as the A’s settled down and won five out of six games from the Angels and Tigers (plus the end up the suspended Tigers game to effectively make it 6-of-7 for the week).

What’s more, this favorable fan rating doesn’t even factor in this week’s clutch series win in Houston nor the weekend sweep in Arlington, which all happened after the poll was taken. And in the process of all that, Oakland also began to take control of the Wild Card race, which they now lead by one game over the Rays and three over the Indians. Next week’s FanPulse result could be even higher!

Eight other fan bases gave their teams higher confidence marks, including five contenders: the Astros (100%), Braves (99%), Yankees (92%), Rays (91%), and Twins (89%). Also scoring well were the .500ish D’back (89%) and Rangers (89%), and the rebuilding Orioles (88%). The Pirates (3%) and Rockies (8%) continued their longtime poor ratings, joined by the disappointing Cubs (13%) and Red Sox (17%). Overall, 11 teams scored 60% or lower, while 10 scored 80% or higher.

In the other weekly question, manager Bob Melvin continued his enormous fan support. He fetched a 95% approval rating, which is his highest in three weeks and his 12th straight week at 90 or above. Only Houston’s A.J. Hinch has a longer streak of 90+% ratings.

As for the national question, fans think the Twins will win the AL Central, and that was before Minnesota won 2-of-3 in their head-to-head series this weekend. Now that they’re 4.5 games ahead with only around a dozen left to play, and no more head-to-head opportunities left for Cleveland, the odds are pretty high that the fans called this one correctly — though of course it ain’t over till it’s over.