The New York Yankees ran into another wall last night in Oakland. The Athletics showcased yet again why they better not be taken lightly. It happens often with the Athletics, but they’re certainly a better team than they get credit for. That still doesn’t equate to a long postseason run or even getting into the postseason for that matter. Oakland are definitely helping themselves out thanks to some recent success, though.
They are winners in six of their previous seven games and have the Yankees on the brink of a sweep on Thursday night. The Indians and Rays both have one more win the A’s, but the Rays have played two more games and the Indians one more. That puts the Athletics in a good spot going into the final stretch of August.
The Yankees got some unlikely help from the Detroit Tigers last night in Houston. The Tigers won as massive underdogs to keep the Astros away from their lead in the American League. Despite struggling in Oakland the past two days, the Yankees would still be going to the postseason as the No. 1 seed in the AL. The Dodgers won again last night to notch their 84th win on the season. That puts them a win ahead of the Yanks for the top seed in Major League Baseball.
They aren’t going anywhere close to home following this series in Oakland. They stay around this weekend, with a three-game series against the Dodgers and then a three-game series in Seattle. The Yankees won’t be back home until August 30th, where they will be welcoming the Athletics for a rematch series.
Masahiro Tanaka will be tasked with getting the Yankees out of this hole before heading to Dodger Stadium. Tanner Roark will be on the opposite side for the Athletics. Head below for our free Yankees vs. Athletics pick.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics Pick:
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Tanner Roark will be making his fourth start as a member of the Athletics tonight. He is pitching beyond expectations thus far with the A’s. Just like they found a diamond in the rough in Mike Fiers last season, the A’s traded for Roark at the deadline. And again, a trade for Roark is going to move the meter in terms of it being a big move. However, the Athletics want the results to show on the diamond instead of in the media.
Roark isn’t as good as Fiers, but he’s been pitching like it recently. Prior to joining Oakland, Roark posted a reasonable ERA of 4.24 in 110.1 innings with the Reds. In three starts with the A’s, he’s been sharp with a 2.55 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. In 2017 and 2018, he posted similar numbers as what you’ve seen in Cincinnati this year.
Roark had a 4.67 ERA and 4.34 ERA in those seasons. Not bad, but he’s certainly performing above his head right now in Oakland. There’s likely going to be some negative regression for him. In 70 at-bats, the Yanks have hit 6 home runs and scored 11 runs. Conversely, Tanaka has been nearly brilliant against this Oakland roster. They are hitting just .159 with 1-run scored in 44 at-bats. He has yet to allow a home run to anyone on the A’s.
Tanaka is pitching below expectations in 2019, but he has been showing signs of improving lately. He has allowed just 2 runs in the previous 14.1 innings pitched. In his last three outings, Tanaka has posted a 3.20 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. I was on the Athletics last night and cashed a ticket with that play. On Thursday, look for the Yankees to salvage their trip to Oakland with a win.