After splitting a pair of one-run games the A's and Yanks play a rubber match Thursday afternoon at the Stadium. We believe the value on today's line resides with the visiting underdog.
A's-Yanks Thursday Betting Odds
In the early betting the best price we could find on New York and Masahiro Tanaka was the -136 offered at 5Dimes, while Oakland and Jesse Chavez could be found getting +131 at BetOnline. And every book in the market was posting a total of 7.5 on today's game, with most of the grease sliding toward the OVER.
These teams have split the first two games of this series, following New York's 5-4 victory Wednesday night. Oakland starter Scott Kazmir left the game with a sore arm in the third inning, and the A's bullpen proceeded to give up four runs through the next five-plus innings.
In his first action in six weeks Yanks lead-off hitter Jacoby Ellsbury went 1-for-4 at the plate, while in his first appearance in a month NY closer Andrew Miller gave up a two-run homer and allowed the tying run to reach second base with two outs in the ninth before securing the save.
We missed with our free MLB pick on the side Wednesday, but hit with the OVER, thanks to Marcus Semien's homer off Miller with one out in the top of the ninth. The OVERS are now 23-13 in games played at Yankee Stadium this season.
At 45-39 New York leads the AL East by 2.5 games over both Baltimore and Toronto.
At 39-48 Oakland trails Minnesota by eight games in the battle for the second American League wild-card spot.
Thursday's Pitching Match-Up
Tanaka (4-3, 3.94), by our tough standards, is five-for-10 on quality starts this season, and 0 for his last three. Last Friday he allowed three runs in six innings against Tampa, and over his last three starts he's allowed 14 earned runs through 16 innings. On the season Tanaka has given up 54 hits through 59 innings, walked 12 and struck out 61. New York is 7-3 in Tanaka's starts, with the totals splitting 5-5.
In his one carer start against Oakland, last June, Tanaka gave up just one run through six innings of a 2-1 Yankees victory.
Chavez (4-8, 3.20) is seven-for-14 on quality starts this year, but also 0 for his last three. Last Friday he gave up four runs in 6 1/3 innings against Seattle, and over his last three outings he's allowed 12 runs through 17 innings. For the season Chavez has permitted fewer hits, 90, than innings pitched, 96, walked 23 and struck out 81. Thanks to some poor run support the A's are only 4-10 in Chavez' starts, with the totals leaning toward the UNDERS by a 7-6 margin.
In three career starts against New York, including a winning effort back in May, Chavez has held the Bombers to five runs through 20 innings; Oakland won all three of those games.
Thursday's Batting Splits
Oakland ranks 11th in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .323 team on-base percentage, while New York ranks 12th against righties with a .322 team OBP.
A's-Yanks Free Picks
We'd give Tanaka the edge in the pitching match-up, but Chavez has been very tough on the Yankees. So we'll call that factor a wash. And while Oakland's bullpen gives us cause for concern, we believe the value on today's line resides with the A's. Also, games played at the Stadium this season are trending OVER.