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GameThread #131: A's at Astros

Jason Hammel starts for the A's after an 11-day layoff with a tough task: Keeping the A's in first place against All-Star Dallas Keuchel and the Astros.

More of this please
More of this please
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Greetings A's fans!

Nice to have baseball's best record and first place in the AL West. Annoyingly, we have to share both of those distinctions with the rally monkeys down south. If Miami can continue to beat up on them and the A's can take care of business against the Astros tonight, Oakland will be back alone atop the standings.

But it's never easy. The A's will have to go through the Astros' best starting pitcher, one Dallas Keuchel. And he will be opposed by the A's worst in Jason Hammel. That being said, Hammel ain't that bad despite his terrible performance with Oakland. He's been close to league average, amassing 1.2 WAR to date and sporting a 3.84 ERA. Keuchel was a well-deserved first-time All-Star this season. He's 10-9 with a 3.12 ERA and 125 strikeouts to just 40 walks.

There ain't that much to say. If Hammel pitches like he has against bad teams, then the A's have a chance to pull this off. If he pitches like his overall line with the A's (ERA of WTF dude and FIP of why the hell did we trade for you) then the A's are going to lose another game to a team they should probably beat.

Also, in case you haven't heard, apparently Brandon Moss thinks he fixed his swing. We are all eagerly anticipating the return of Moss 2012-2014 ASB so hopefully this is an actual thing that is happening.

While the A's rocked Keuchel last year to the tune of an .882 OPS, Keuchel has dominated the A's in 2014 (11-for-57). Yes you read that right. Eleven for fifty-seven. Nowhere to go but up!

Today's Lineups

Coco Crisp - CF Robbie Grossman - LF
Craig Gentry - RF Jose Altuve - 2B
Josh Donaldson - 3B Chris Carter - DH
Derek Norris - DH Dexter Fowler - CF
Jonny Gomes - LF Jason Castro - C
Nate Freiman - 1B Marwin Gonzalez - SS
Alberto Callaspo - 2B Jonathan Singleton - 1B
Geovany Soto - C Jake Marisnick - RF
Andy Parrino - SS Gregorio Petit - 3B
Jason Hammel - RHP Dallas Keuchel - LHP