The Yankees lost the first game of their four-game weekend series against the Oakland Athletics. What will they do on Saturday night, as this series ends? Find our our MLB pick here.
The New York Yankees Can Win Because…
They are now armed with a little more belief that their starting pitcher can get the job done in this game. Nathan Eovaldi has struggled in his three previous starts, but in his most recent start, he was very solid for the Pinstripes. Eovaldi contained the hot-hitting Kansas City Royals, limiting the defending American League champions to just one run in seven innings. Eovaldi pitched around eight base hits and was able to wiggle free from troublesome situations. He walked only one hitter and made the Royals put the ball in play. Eovaldi got hitters off balance when runners were on base. Since Oakland has generally struggled to get hits with runners in scoring position this season, and since the A’s suffered through two full games earlier this week in which they failed to get a single “runners in scoring position” hit, it is very reasonable to think that Eovaldi can be highly effective for New York, giving the Yankees a clear edge in Oakland. If Eovaldi continues to apply the lessons he learned against Kansas City, New York should like its chances as it tries to gain a firmer foothold in the top tier of the American League East Division.
The Oakland Athletics Can Win Because…
They are excited about what starting pitcher Jesse Hahn can become, especially in light of his most recent start. Hahn had an ERA near 4.40, but he lowered it to 3.69 after shutting out the Detroit Tigers in a dazzling complete-game effort on Monday, May 25. Hahn sparkled in all nine innings, allowing only four hits and one walk. He breezed through the Tigers’ lineup to deliver his best performance of the whole season. Hahn doesn’t really give up a lot of hits in general. He’s had six starts this season in which he’s given up no more than five hits. What was more of a problem for Hahn is that he wasn’t able to pitch out of trouble as constantly as he would have liked. He could not put hitters away when he needed strikeouts. He could not shut teams down in innings when the situation called for it. However, his outing against Detroit indicates that he’s ready to be a much better pitcher, someone who can pitch seven full innings or more and take pressure off Oakland’s bullpen. If this version of Hahn can show up against the Yankees on Saturday, the Athletics will like their chances.
The A’s will also note that New York starter Nathan Eovaldi has a 4.27 ERA, over half a run higher than Hahn’s mark. Oakland should feel it has the better pitcher here.
Hahn looks like the better of the two options on the mound as he has a 2.53 ERA and .195 opponent batting average at home compared to 5.40 and .289 on the road. With the A’s offense struggling, I’m going to lean to the under here. The total sits at 7.5 and entering Friday, the A’s had only gone over that number three times in their last nine, so we're going to take it for our MLB picks.
MLB Pick: Under at Bodog