The Athletics looked like a wagon earlier this season. Then, they acquired Jon Lester from the Boston Red Sox, seemingly giving them one of baseball’s best rotations. Their 29-38 second-half record is almost inexplicable, but apparently it’s bound to happen when your offense is spearheaded by a cast of overachievers.
The Royals didn’t exactly wow down the stretch, either. And given that it’s the Royals, a team that hadn’t made the postseason in 28 consecutive seasons, pardon me for being a bit skeptical. The Royals’ bullpen is awesome and their defense was good for most of the year, but their extremely aggressive offense could flop against top-flight pitching in October.
Lester versus James Shields is an intriguing pitching matchup. Give me Lester in a winner-take-all game every day of the week and twice on Sunday — or Tuesday, in this case.
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