The Athletics Biggest Playoff Competition is....

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Aug 11, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Oakland Athletics catcher John Jaso (5) is congratulated in the dugout after scoring against the Kansas City Royals in the third inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Athletics’ playoff hopes are high. After trading for Jason Hammel, Jeff Samardzija and Jon Lester, anything less than making, and perhaps winning the World Series will be seen as a disappointment.

With just over forty games left to play, the playoff picture is becoming more defined by the day. Teams are getting hot, creating new threats to the Athletics’ playoff hopes.

Let’s look at what the A’s do well real quick.

The A’s are second in the AL in ERA (3.18), while the Mariners hold the top spot with a 2.99. The A’s rank first in runs scored with 573 on the season. These are both great stats for the regular season, but we’ve seen the Oakland bats fall silent against good pitching much too often.

Even with the improved pitching staff, and the addition of a legitimate “ace” in Jon Lester, the A’s will still have to push a couple across the plate to keep advancing in the playoffs.

Keeping that in mind, the Athletics biggest playoff competition will be…

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