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Game 119 Open Thread: Oakland vs. Kansas City

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Time to start a new winning streak!

Our Avatar, Sung Woo
Our Avatar, Sung Woo
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

After winning 8 straight games, the Kansas City Royals dropped a clunker to the Oakland Athletics, losing by 8 runs. If all that it takes is losing a game by the amount of runs equal to the amount of games won in a streak, I'm all for losing on opening day next year 54-0.

Tonight, the Royals can start a brand new winning streak, or not, which is most likely--though KC remains in first place, the A's are a monster of a team that is both talented and deep. Not only have they scored the most runs in the American League, but they have also allowed the fewest. In fact, they've allowed the third fewest runs out of all teams in baseball, including the ones in the National League where pitchers 'hit.'

Fortunately, tonight is a bit more favorable for the Royals, as they don't have to face buzzsaw Jon Lester, who would be making a strong case for the AL Cy Young except for Felix Hernandez. Oakland sends this lineup to the plate:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Athletics?src=hash">#Athletics</a> lineup for tonight's game against the Royals. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GreenCollar?src=hash">#GreenCollar</a> <a href="http://t.co/UlLp4gnrST">pic.twitter.com/UlLp4gnrST</a></p>— Oakland Athletics (@Athletics) <a href="https://twitter.com/Athletics/statuses/499647766272802816">August 13, 2014</a></blockquote>
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Scott Kazmir is having a career year, with ERA and FIP at personal bests. He has impressive strikeout and walk rates and has done a superb job of limiting home runs this year. In order to counter Kazmir, Ned Yost brings out this lineup:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Here's how the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Royals?src=hash">#Royals</a> will line up tonight against the A's: <a href="http://t.co/RzITjjnAVv">pic.twitter.com/RzITjjnAVv</a></p>— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) <a href="https://twitter.com/Royals/statuses/499630532016087042">August 13, 2014</a></blockquote>
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In a stunning display of roster knowledge, Yost discovered that Christian Colon does exist and has put him in for Mike 'So Good that Hunter Dozier is Switching Positions' Moustakas. I must say, this lineup looks an awful lot better with Josh Willingham in it, but would look even better if Yost understood how lineups are constructed. The Royals' best hitter is fifth, and the second and third best hitters on the team this year are hitting sixth and seventh. Also, Omar Infante anywhere near the top of the order. But whatever.

Jason Vargas, whose will to win has expunged his own appendix after it could not take the pressure, has been unbelievable this year. His FIP and ERA have finally caught up to each other, and we can now say that Vargas' current production isn't primarily based on luck. That is a good thing.

Let's do this, R's. Beat the A's. And their amazing elephant mascot.