The Athletics Biggest Playoff Competition is….

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3.) Kansas City Royals

Aug 11, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals mascot Sluggerrr waves a flag after the game against the Oakland Athletics at Kauffman Stadium. Kansas City won the game 3-2. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

As the Royals have shown the A’s, they are not to be taken lightly, taking 3 of 4 from the A’s thus far this season. The team with the 3rd-best ERA in the AL? It’s them, with a 3.58. I, like most fans, fear the teams with good pitching, as opposed to the teams that can rake. This Royals team is streaky, but when they’re hot, they’re an offensive juggernaut that can shut down the other team.

In actuality, this team is very similar to the Athletics. They have good starting pitching, three shutdown relievers that can shorten a game, and an offense filled with power-hitters and speed guys. They play good defense, with Alex Gordon as their Josh Reddick, only Gordon is a consistent offensive presence.

The A’s have two possible advantages against the Royals. The first is that the A’s starters are arguably better. James Shields is a beast for the Royals. If the Royals make it as the Wild Card, then like Garrett Richards of the Angels, he becomes a non-factor against the A’s. If the Royals maintain their lead in the AL Central, and grab a hold of a full series, they will be tough to deal with.