New York Yankees (33-33) PK, 8 at Oakland A’s (35-30), 10 pm Eastern Thursday
by Zman of Predictem.com
Two teams looking to stay in touch with the lead in their respective divisions meet for the rubber match of a three-game series when the New York Yankees and Oakland A’s go at it Thursday night at McAfee Coliseum.
Baseball Bookies are listing this game, which matches starting pitchers Andy Pettitte (5-5, 4.99, 1.46 WHIP) and Joe Blanton (3-8, 4.15, 1.36), as right around a pick ’em, with a total of 8 .
These teams have split the first two games of this series, with the Yanks winning 3-1 Tuesday and the A’s taking Wednesday’s game 8-4.
So going into Thursday’s series finale, New York sits in a 3rd place tie in the AL East, seven games behind the division-leading Boston Red Sox, while Oakland occupies second place in the AL West, five games back of the first-place Los Angeles Angels.
New York is 15-18 on the road this season, and 25-40 vs. the run line.
Oakland is 22-16 at home this year, 36-29 vs. the run line.
This series is the first encounter between these two teams this season. Last year, the A’s took four of six games from the Yanks, with the totals going 2-4, as the games averaged 8.5 total runs per.
Over his last three starts, including a 10-run bombing at the hands of the Kansas City Royals last Saturday, Pettitte has allowed 16 ER and 31 baserunners over 20 1/3 IP. New York is 6-7 in Pettitte’s starts this season, the totals 4-9.
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Pettitte started twice last year vs. the A’s, allowing eight ER and 16 BR in just 8 2/3 IP. The Yanks lost both those games, and both games went over their totals.
Over his last three starts, including a tough loss to the Angels last Friday, Blanton has allowed 11 ER and 28 BR in 19 IP. Oakland is 410 in Blanton’s starts this season, the totals 7-7.
Blanton started once vs. New York last year, giving up three ER and eight BR in 6 2/3 innings of a 4-3 A’s loss.
New York ranks 6th in the majors in team batting this season at .272 , 6th in team OBP at .339, 8th in team slugging at .427, and is averaging 4.5 runs per game.
Oakland ranks 23rd in the majors in batting at .253, 11th in OBP at .332 and 25th in slugging at .378, but is also averaging 4.5 RPG.
Over the last five games, the New York bullpen has given up three ER and 13 BR in 14 innings of work.
The Oakland pen, over its last five games, has allowed three ER and 17 BR in 15 2/3 IP. But closer Huston Street is dealing with a groin injury, and is listed as day-to-day for Thursday’s game.
The totals are 26-37 in Yankees games this season. And although the totals are 26-36 in A’s games this year, they’ve gone 7-3 over Oakland’s last 10 games. And the totals are 17-19 in games played at McAfee Coliseum this season, which are averaging 7.6 total runs.
Zman’s Pick: I like the A’s tonight.