By Drew Modjeski
When I watch the Yankees bat, I see why they’re one of the best teams in baseball. When I watch them pitch, I don’t. The bullpen is good, but the starting pitching is terrible and is going to be an area of concern come postseason.
Money Line- New York Yankees -115, Oakland Athletics +105
Run Line- New York Yankees -1.5 (+145), Oakland Athletics +1.5 (-170)
Over/Under- 9.5 (O -105, U -115)
First Pitch- 8:37 p.m. CST. Ring Central Coliseum, Oakland, California
New York Yankees
In this week’s American League power rankings, I talked about how the Yankees just needed to stay the course and they should lock up the top spot in the AL. Dropping the first two games in a series against the A’s is not staying the course. They need to win this game to avoid the sweep.
Masahiro Tanaka gets the start on Thursday, and man has he had a weird season so far. His ERA was a 2.94 at one point, and then at another point, was at a terrible 4.93. Due to two good starts in a row for Tanaka, his ERA avoided going over 5.00 and now sits at 4.56. Since these two teams only play each other in two series a year, Tanaka has not seen these hitters that much in his career. The A’s lineup has had only 44 AB’s against Tanaka, but in those 44 plate appearances, Tanaka has owned them. Mark Canha and Matt Chapman are the only hitters that have multiple hits off Tanaka, and the team only has seven hits total. If that success continues, Tanaka should see his ERA get even lower.
Sweeping the Yankees would be huge for the Athletics. They have gone 7-3 in their past 10 games and now find themselves tied with the Rays for the second Wild Card spot and are only 0.5 games back of the Indians for the top WC spot. The Athletics don’t blow you away with their stats, they are middle of the road in both runs scored and runs allowed, they just play good baseball and it leads to them winning games.
Tanner Roark is the starter for the A’s in his fourth start with the team since he was acquired from Cincinnati at the deadline. Roark was struggling his last few outings with the Reds but has been pitching well with his new teams. He has two quality starts in a row and has only allowed five total earned runs with the A’s over 17.2 innings pitched. Couple that with an offense who has scored five or more runs in four of their last six games, then Roark should be set up to have another good game with the Athletics.
Analysis and Prediction
If this game was in New York, I would probably go with the Yankees. But it’s not. The Athletic are insanely good at home as they are 42-24 in Oakland this year. I also don’t trust Tanaka anymore because he has burned me too many times. Take the Athletics on the money line at +105.