New York, winners of four straight, will be the underdogs for tonight's game. They're in the +135 to +145 range.
We can add the Athletics to our MLB picks at -150 to -160, while sportsbooks have released a low total of seven runs.
New York Yankees (Kuroda)
So far so good on this road trip for the Yankees. They swept the Mariners in Seattle and then took game one of the series against Oakland last night.
With four straight wins, New York has moved to 35-31 overall and to within 3.5 games of Toronto for the AL East division lead. Joe Girardi's club has gone 22-15 on the road thus far, a far better record (13-16) than they've posted at Yankee Stadium.
Momentum is certainly on the Yankees' side at the moment and we'll have to see if Hiroki Kuroda can help them sustain it. Kuroda is 4-4 with a 4.12 ERA and 1.22 WHIP on the year, a significant step-down in production from last year, but he has looked better recently.
The right-hander has allowed three or fewer earned runs in five straight starts and has been especially effective in his last two outings. He's given up a combined seven hits and three earned runs in 13 and 2/3 innings, despite not picking up a winning decision against either Kansas City or Oakland.
Now Kuroda gets another crack at the Athletics, a team he's had a lot of success against in the past. He's held Oakland to an overall batting average of .177 throughout his career.
Oakland Athletics (Kazmir)
The Athletics remain on the perch of the AL West with a 40-27 overall record. They're 17-13 at home and are an even 5-5 over their previous 10 games.
Sonny Gray wasn't terrible last night, but the Oakland offense was stymied by David Phelps, mustering up a meager two hits as a team in the 7-0 loss. We're not too sure the Athletics will fare any better against Kuroda this evening, but only time will tell.
At least Oakland will have their own quality starter on the mound in Scott Kazmir. The left-hander has raced out to a 7-2 start and has logged a 2.20 ERA and 0.98 WHIP this season. He's been a great buy for the Athletics.
Not only is Kazmir 3-1 with a 1.69 ERA in five starts at home in 2014, he's already faced off and done well against the Yankees. He went 6 and 1/3 innings and allowed six hits and two runs while striking out 10 batters.
Kazmir, though, has to be even sharper now, as New York's been swinging the bat well lately and will try to jump on the southpaw early.
We know how good Kazmir's been this season, but sometimes you just have to surrender to the value and ride with it.
The Yankees are the hotter team, having won four straight games, and they've had success against lefties (batting .270) so far this season. They've also been way better on the road than they have been at home in the Bronx, while the same has held true for Kuroda, who's been quite effective recently.
Add it all up and we're finding it hard not to recommend New York at this kind of price. A small play on Kuroda and the Yankees appears to be in order for tonight.
Free Pick: Yankees +145