MLB Picks: Back Favorite Yankees Against Invading Athletics

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 2:06 PM GMT

Let's review the MLB odds and the pitching match-up between Athletics and Yankees in this first of a three-game set so we can cash in on it tonight.

2016 MLB Record: 6-2, +4.23 units

Oakland Athletics vs. New York Yankees

A’s Gunning for Three Straight
After dropping four straight the Athletics have rebounded with victories in their last pair of games and will look to pull to an even 7-7 on the season with a win in Gotham tonight. Oakland took two of three at home over the defending World Series Champion Kansas City Royals and are now looking to keep their momentum rolling into the Bronx. Their last outing on Sunday was a come-from-behind victory where they rallied from 2-0 down to emerge with a 3-2 win. Oakland’s starter Chris Bassitt surrendered two runs on five hits in seven innings of work while John Axford got the win in a scoreless eighth and Ryan Madson notched the save.

The No. 5 man in the Oakland rotation, Eric Surkamp, will get the start tonight and takes a 4.00 ERA with a 1.56 WHIP into Yankee Stadium tonight. Surkamp lasted only four plus innings against the Angels in his last start, allowing five hits and two earned runs in what ultimately led to a 5-1 home loss. That performance was strikingly similar to his four plus innings of work - four hits and two earned runs - in his 2016 debut which ended with a 3-2 A’s victory on the road in Seattle.

 

Yankees Snap Out of their Funk
New York was in the midst of a four-game slide until their final game of the series with the Mariners on Sunday. Alex Rodriguez was dropped from third in the batting order to sixth and the tweak in the lineup paid for manager Joe Girardi. A-Rod launched a fastball off the arm of Mariners’ starter Hisashi Iwakuma into the lower decks driving in Brian McCann for a two-run homer and giving the Yankees a 2-1 lead in the second inning. When the dust settled New York rewarded all those who backed them in their MLB picks with a 4-3 victory and the end of their winning drought.

The Pinstripers will hand the ball to No. 2 man Michael Pineda who was shelled in his first start against the Astros, allowing six earned runs on eight hits in five innings of work. However, the 6’7” native of the Dominican Republic rebounded with six solid innings against the Blue Jays where he surrendered two earned runs on five hits, in what turned out to be a 7-2 defeat. Pineda is 2-1 when starting against the Athletics touting an ERA of 2.00 and a WHIP of 1.000.

 

Betting Analysis
These teams have yet to meet this season but are 3-3 over the last two years. The Yankees have the far better pitcher going in this one and he is opposed by an Oakland lineup that is currently 27th in the league in runs scored and 26th in batting average (.216). Conversely, the A’s are going with a journeyman starter in Eric Surkamp who has had his issues this season and has not gone beyond five innings in either of his starts.

Perhaps the Yankees’ greatest strength has come from their bullpen in the forms of Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller. They have been a dynamic duo as evidenced by the fact that a stunning 82 percent of their outs have come via strikeout. The tandem has faced a total of 38 hitters, allowed five hits, no earned runs and walked only two of those they have faced.

We can reasonably assume that Pineda should go at least six innings against an anemic Oakland lineup and then the pen goes to work. While the Yanks are a rather large MLB odds favorite we believe the lumber is definitely worth laying.

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Free MLB Pick: New York Yankees (-165)
Best Line Offered: at Heritage