OAKLAND ATHLETICS (85-64)
at NEW YORK YANKEES (86-63)
First pitch: Friday, 7:05 p.m. EDT
Line: New York -170, Oakland +160, Total: 8½
In a potential AL playoff preview, the A’s will head to New York for a three-game set starting Friday night.
Winners of five in a row, the Yankees enter this game as heavy home favorites despite owning just one more win than Oakland on the season. The A’s have lost three of their past four games, but own four consecutive wins over the Yankees, all by one run. CC Sabathia will look to break that streak and always enjoys pitching against Oakland, against whom he has a 3-0 record and 2.19 ERA in his past five meetings. But Sabathia has been struggling lately, sporting an 0-3 record, 4.67 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in his past four starts, all Yankees losses. And that’s in stark contrast to his mound opponent Jarrod Parker, whose team is 5-1 over his past six outings, five of which have been quality starts. He has a 2.14 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in his past three outings, walking just three batters in that 21-inning span. As such heavy underdogs, OAKLAND is the play here.
This extremely rare six-star FoxSheets trend also sides with the Athletics:
OAKLAND is 22-5 (81.4%, +22.0 Units) against the money line after having lost 3 of their last 4 games this season. The average score was OAKLAND 5.2, OPPONENT 3.0 - (Rating = 6*).
Overall on the season, Sabathia is 13-6 with a 1.20 WHIP, striking out 169 batters in 176 innings. He’s had a couple of DL stints, but has tallied such a high innings total because he averages 7.0 innings per start (7.4 at home), giving rest to the Yankees bullpen that has a 3.43 ERA and 1.28 WHIP on the season. In his career, Sabathia is a pedestrian 8-8 (team 11-13) against the A’s with a 4.80 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. Mark Teixeira (calf) remains out for New York, which has been dominant at home this season with a 46-29 mark (.613) at Yankee Stadium.
Parker started against the Yankees earlier in the season, throwing an absolute gem, allowing just one run on five hits in eight strong innings. Oakland is 4-3 against the Yankees this season but 8-18 over the past three campaigns, including 3-7 in the Bronx. On the season, Parker has a 3.51 ERA and 1.28 WHIP to join his 11-8 record, but he is much worse on the road where he has a 4.95 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. Still, between his success recently and earlier in the year against the Yankees, and support from a top-flight bullpen (25-11 record, 3.04 ERA, 1.18 WHIP), the A’s are certainly the play here.