The Oakland Athletics got off to a nice start to this three-game series against the Yankees with a 6-2 win last night. It was a tremendous effort by Homer Bailey, as he had his best start that I can remember in a long time. He’s had his moments amidst a mess the past few years, but not a moment like that against a team with as much power as the Yankees have.
Bailey allowed just 1 earned runs across 5.2 innings, and then the bullpen carried the load as well. The Athletics got out to an early lead with 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st and rode that lead throughout the game. Kudos to the A’s offense for hitting a fairly decent pitcher in Domingo German as well.
German was tagged for 8 hits and 5 earned runs in 5.1 innings. Jonathan Loaisiga was strong for 2.2 innings, but the Yankees’ bats failed to put together a comeback. We were waiting for the Yankees to get hot one inning and put up a fight. However, that never came and the Athletics earned a big victory. There isn’t much time for losing games now for the A’s.
Oakland are in the midst of a tight wildcard battle with the Rays. They are neck and neck with one another. Beyond the A’s and Rays, there isn’t anything to speak of. The Red Sox are back by six games, so their chances are slipping away but not completely dead yet.
Cleveland would be hosting the Wild Card Game at Progressive Field if things hold in the American League. Wednesday night presents another big game for the Athletics. One of the most underrated pitchers in baseball today, Mike Fiers, will spin the ball for the Athletics. J.A. is expected to counter for the Yankees. Head below for our free Yankees vs. Athletics pick.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
The trade for Mike Fiers flew under the radar without much attention, but it has ultimately paid off in a big way for the Athletics. You would be able to find some teams out there who wish they would have paid more attention to Fiers. Instead of James Paxton, the Yankees could have gone with Fiers last year.
The A’s didn’t reach the postseason in 2019, but it wasn’t because Fiers was having a bad season. Fiers has had a consistent arm since the beginning of 2018. He posted a 3.56 ERA between Detroit and Oakland last year. He’s on pace for a similar ending this season as well. Fiers goes into Wednesday with a 3.46 ERA and 1.11 WHIP.
Fiers is coming off a rather poor performance against the Astros, though. He was hit for 6 hits and 5 earned runs for his worst start of the year in Oakland. Despite that, the Athletics were still able to notch a 7-6 win over the Astros and Fiers made it 18 unbeaten games in a row. That was the first game Fiers allowed more than 3 runs at home since the season opener on March 20th in Japan. He has been better than most pitchers against the Yankees, as he’s been good holding them to a .245 batting average in 143 plate appearances.
J.A. Happ of the Yankees has failed to find much consistency in 2019. He’s been slipping back after posting an ERA of 4.18 a season ago. That was the first year that Happ had an ERA above 4.00 since 2015 with the Mariners. And in 2019, he will most likely have an ERA above 5.00 for the first time since 2011 in Houston.
In his last three starts, Happ has been erratic with a 6.89 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. He has also allowed 4 or more runs in three of his previous five outings. With the loss last night, the Yanks are now 7-19 in their last 26 games in Oakland. The A’s are hungry at home against a worthy opponent and likely look like the team who want it more again tonight.