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Game LXI: Royals at Athletics

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Let’s break a streak tonight

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Tampa Bay Rays Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Well, here we are again. Kansas City can’t stop losing. To be fair, a five-game skid is far less severe than a 11-game streak. The 2020 Dodgers, a team that won 106 games, had a six-game losing streak.

Still, after spending the end of May recovering from that 11-game streak, Kansas City finds itself back below .500. And they had truly recovered, winning 13 of 19 immediately after the slide, leading up to a 14-5 shellacking of the Twins on Friday. They haven’t won since and will be asked to turn the tide against a first-place Athletics squad that has won six of its last seven games.

The A’s are a bit of an anomaly, with its 37-26 record outperforming its Pythagorean W-L record by four wins. It also had maybe the wildest start to a season we’ve ever seen, losing six of the first seven games of the season before going on a 13-game winning streak immediately after.

Both teams send enigmatic starting pitchers to the mound. A’s starter Frankie Montas’ season is a personification of his own team’s season. He gave up seven runs and failed to get out of the third inning of his first start and ended April with a bloated 6.20 ERA. He has bounced back since, posting a 3.46 ERA in seven starts during May and June.

Mike Minor has been much more consistent in his struggles, but he has done so while missing bats on a regular basis. His FIP (4.22) and xERA (4.05) are far better than his actual ERA (4.84), so hopefully he’ll see a bit of a turnaround.

Here are your lineups for tonight’s late-night matchup. Bonus points for everybody who stays up for the whole game.