The MLB is set up with a total of eleven games on the board for Thursday night. One of the top matchups on the board will be between the New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics. These two teams are in prime playoff positions late in the season, which should raise the intensity of this game. This game will start at around 9:37 PM Eastern time on August 22.
New York has put up a record of 83-45 to this point in the season, which has them in the first place of the AL East. The Yankees have a nine-game lead on the second-place Tampa Bay Rays. New York has lost three games in a row, but have won 16 of their last 22. The Yankees will look to end this short losing streak with a road victory to close this series with Oakland.
The Athletics have earned second place in the AL West playoff race with a record of 73-53. Oakland is seven games behind the Houston Astro’s who lead their division. The A’s have won six of their last seven games and will look to earn another tough win against the conference-leading Yankees on Thursday night.
The Yankees have earned the top playoff spot in their conference to this point in the season, while Oakland is battling it out with Tampa Bay and the Cleveland Indians for a wild card spot. The A’s will look to pull off an improbable sweep with another win at home against New York. The Yankees on the other hand, will look to avoid dropping four straight games.
The first game of this series was hosted by Oakland on August 20. New York got started early with a home run from Gary Sanchez in the top of the first, but Matt Olson and Mark Canha responded with homers of their own in the bottom of the first. Homer Bailey allowed only one run on seven hits through five and a third innings as the A’s pulled away with a 6-2 win to open up the series.
The second game of the series was another solid one. The Yankees jumped out to another early lead, but Khris Davis and Marcus Semien both had two-run homers to give Oakland the lead back. Stephen Piscotty put the game on ice with a home run in the bottom of the sixth. Mike Fiers finished the game with the win as he allowed two runs on six hits to help give the A’s a 6-4 win.
Oakland has been able to earn wins in the first two games of this series. The Yankees have been the better team overall this season, but the A’s have gotten the better of them in the first two games. I do not believe that New York will get swept in this series, which gives a good amount of value on them for tomorrow night’s matchup.
The Yankees have been led by D.J. LeMahieu this season. LeMahieu has earned 157 hits, 21 home runs, 86 RBI’s and an OPS of .924. Gleyber Torres has put up 122 hits, 29 home runs and 73 RBI’s. Gio Urshela has 121 hits, 18 homers and 66 RBI’s. Gary Sanchez has 78 hits with 28 home runs and 66 RBI’s. Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge, Mike Tauchman and Didi Gregorius all have double-digit home runs as well.
Oakland has seen a great season from Matt Chapman. Chapman has put up 119 hits, 29 homers and 70 RBI’s. Marcus Semien has 140 hits, 22 home runs and 61 RBI’s this season as well. Matt Olson has earned 91 hits, 26 home runs and 62 RBI’s. Mark Canha has 19 homers on the season, while Khris Davis, Jurickson Profar, Stephen Piscotty, Chad Pinder and Josh Phegley also have double-digit homers this season.
Both teams have good depth when it comes to batting. New York has been riddled by injuries this season, but continue to have players step up. If the Yankees can have players step up again on Thursday night, I believe it should help lead to a big road win. The A’s have done a good job putting up a solid offense against New York and quieting down their bats and they will look to keep it up to finish this series out.
Masahiro Tanaka will start on the mound for New York on Thursday night. Tanaka has earned a record of 9-6 through his 25 starts this season. In those starts, he has an ERA of 4.56 and a WHIP of 1.236. Tanaka’s last start came against the Cleveland Indians, where he allowed four hits and two runs through six and a third innings pitched to earn his ninth win of the season.
Tanner Roark will make his fourth start for the A’s on Thursday. Roark has a 1-1 record with Oakland and a 7-8 record on the season. He has put up an ERA of 4.01 and a WHIP of 1.391 through 25 starts this season. Roark’s last start came against the Houston Astro’s, where he allowed two runs and six hits through six innings.
Tanaka is coming into Thursday night’s tilt strong, winning his last two games. Roark is still getting his feet wet with the A’s. Roark will need to put up another strong performance if he wants to pull off the sweep against the Yankees. I expect Tanaka to come out strong against Oakland as he looks to earn his third straight win.
New York has lost three games in a row and I believe that they have a good chance to bounce back with a win on Thursday night. The Yankees still have strong depth on the hitting side of their game. New York’s pitcher has also put up back to back wins in his last two starts. I believe that these edges will help the Yankees bounce back from their losses in the first two games of this series.
BetOnline has New York listed as a -112 against the money line, which implies that the Yankees will win this game around 52.8 percent of the time. I believe that this is a good line for this game. New York has the best record in the American League, and I do not like the chances of them losing their fourth straight game. I am taking the Yankees to win on the road.