Yesterday was pretty brutal. I took two of the roughest beats of the season, and I woke up feeling pretty salty about it. The second of those bad beats came yesterday evening when I backed the Arizona Diamondbacks as huge underdogs against the Los Angeles Dodgers. I loved what Clay Buchholz had been able to do this season for the DBacks and saw the Dodgers -195 price tag as far too steep. So, I backed Arizona at one of the biggest numbers I have taken all year long and expected a tight game.
This game was just as tightly contested as the first three games of the series, and it felt like a playoff game for sure. The Dodgers got on the board first with a Max Muncy homerun in the fifth inning to take a 1-0 lead. The DBacks then tied the game up in the seventh on an Alex Avila sac fly, and we had ourselves a ballgame. Arizona took a 2-1 lead in the top of the ninth on a Daniel Descalso homer, and we were in line for a huge underdog winner.
But then in comes Arizona closer Brad Boxberger to blow the game away, again. Boxberger came in, and things immediately started heading in the wrong direction and before long, Matt Kemp blasted a walk-off two-run double to give the Dodgers the win in dramatic fashion. The blown save was the seventh of the year for Boxberger.
Losing a game to a blown save in the bottom of the ninth inning is always going to sting. But the fact that it came in a spot where we were going to cash the biggest underdog bet of the year is just an extra kick in the teeth. What can you do, we were clearly on the value side of this matchup and got burnt. For today’s pick, I will take a look at the game between the New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics.
The New York Yankees head out west Monday for game one of a three-game set with the Oakland Athletics, in what could very well be a preview of the American League wild-card game this year. If the season were to end today, these would be the two wild-card teams so it will be fun to get a little preview of October in this one. Both of these teams are playing well right now as they both have won six out of their last ten games. Just four and a half games separate the two teams for home-field advantage in the wild-card round in the AL.
Starting for the A’s is Trevor Cahill (5-3 3.60 ERA), and for the Yankees, it is CC Sabathia (7-5 3.36 ERA). The A’s are -128 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at eight and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM PST from Oakland-Alameda Stadium in Oakland.
Trevor Cahill has been a pleasant surprise for the A’s this season. He returned to Oakland after making his name in the bay area nearly a decade ago and has been a solid addition to the starting rotation. Cahill spent some of his time working out of the bullpen but has been more than respectable back in a starter’s role for the A’s.
He has struggled a little bit recently as in the last two games he has pitched just eight and a third innings and has gotten hammered for nine earned runs. The A’s had won seven straight starts from Cahill before dropping his last two. Cahill will have his hands full tonight against the most powerful team in all of baseball. The Yankees lead the majors in home runs and are second in MLB in runs scored and slugging percentage. If you don’t bring you’re A game against New York, they will bury you.
CC Sabathia is like the ageless wonder. The guy has seemingly been pitching forever, and at 38 years young seems to have not lost much. His 3.36 ERA is his lowest in seven years, and the guy is winning a bunch of games for the Yankees. The Yankees are 14-8 in his last twenty-two starts. In August he was 1-1 with an ERA of just 2.70.
Not to be outdone, this Oakland team can really hit the ball hard as well. The A’s are third in the majors in home runs and slugging percentage and sixth in runs scored. This game could very well be a slugfest with two elite offenses squaring off.
I have been backing the Oakland A’s a lot this year. They have been winning a ton of games and are consistently undervalued. When I saw this series coming up on the scheduled, I figured there would be some great spots to fire on the A’s as home dogs. And to my surprise, I found them as decent size favorites in this game. The Yankees are very rarely underdogs in any game this season, and it surprises me a lot to see them as dogs in this one.
No disrespect to the A’s, they are a fun team to watch. But the Yankees are clearly on another level. They are a little banged up right now, but with the addition of Andrew McCutchen to the lineup and getting Gary Sanchez back from the DL, it should give them a big boost. I see this as a higher scoring than most think game where the Yankees outslug the A’s to take the series lead in game one.
I am going to give you two plays on this game. The Yankees as underdogs, I know it sounds strange to even say out loud doesn’t it? And the over eight and a half runs. I see some eights floating around on this total as it just shifted this morning, so if you can find one of those snatch it up, but I will lock in the bet right now at eight and a half at even money juice. Give me the New York Yankees +118 and over eight and a half runs today in game one!