Southpaws square off in the Bronx tonight as CC Sabathia and the Yanks go against Scott Kazmir and the A's. Which lefty is this handicapper backing?
A's-Yanks Wednesday Betting Odds
As of this writing the best price we could find on New York with CC Sabathia was the -101 offered at Pinnacle, while Oakland and fellow lefty Scott Kazmir could be found giving -105 at WagerWeb. And most books were listing the total on tonight's game at eight runs, although there were some 8.5's out there.
Oakland took the opener of this series Tuesday night 4-3 on Brett Lawrie's solo homer in the tenth inning. The A's have now won seven road games in a row, 14 of their last 22 overall, and four of five games against the Yanks this season.
New York got the tying run to second base in the bottom of the tenth Tuesday night, but Mark Teixeira struck out to end the threat. So the Yanks have lost five of their last eight games.
Still, at 44-39 New York leads the AL East by a game and a half over both Baltimore and Toronto.
Oakland, meanwhile, at 39-47 owns the worst record in the American League, but it also only sits seven games off the pace in the battle for the second AL wild-card slot.
On a personnel note the Yanks may get some good news tonight with the return of both Jacoby Ellsbury, who's missed the last six weeks with a sprained ankle, and closer Andrew Miller, who's missed the last month with a sore arm.
Sabathia (3-8, 5.59), by our tough standards, is just five-for-16 on quality starts this season, and 0 for his last four. Nine days ago he gave up four runs in 7 1/3 innings against the Angels, and over his last four starts he's been touched for 17 runs through 23 innings. On the season CC has allowed 115 hits, including 19 dingers, through 95 innings; New York is 6-10 in Sabby's starts, with the OVERS going 9-7.
Sabathia has started once against Oakland this season, giving up five runs in six innings of a 5-4 Yankees loss back in May.
Kazmir (5-5, 2.56) is nine-for-16 on quality starts this year, running on a string of three in a row. Last Thursday he tossed eight innings of two-hit, shutout ball against Seattle, walking none while whiffing seven, and over his last three starts he's allowed just four runs through 22 1/3 innings. On the season Kazmir has given up just 77 hits through 98 innings, with 33 walks and 92 strikeouts. Oakland is 7-9 in Kazmir's starts, with the totals going 8-7.
Kazmir started twice against the Yanks last year, allowing two ER through 12 1/3 innings; the A's won both those games, and both games played UNDER.
Wednesday's Batting Splits
New York ranks sixth in the Majors this season against left-handed pitching with a .327 team on-base percentage, while Oakland ranks 15th against lefties with a .313 team OBP.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Yankee Stadium this season are 22-13 on the OVERS, averaging 10.2 runs per, second-most among all ML ballparks.
A's-Yanks Free Picks
We give Kazmir the check mark in the pitching match-up, so as long as the A's bullpen doesn't get too involved we like their chances tonight. Also, Yanks home games are trending OVER, and we could easily see this game getting to 6-3.
MLB Picks: Oakland -105 at WagerWeb and OVER 8.5 runs (+100) at Heritage