ESPN Wednesday MLB Preview – Athletics at Yankees

The Yankees have sole possession of first place in the AL East and look to continue beating up on tonight’s opponent.

Oakland Athletics at New York Yankees

Oakland has dropped seven of eight games versus the Yankees this season and have been outscored 20-8 in dropping the first two games of this four-game set.  The Athletics came into the series with a major league-best 3.36 ERA, but that has been pushed up to 3.49 due to the last couple days.  The team has lost four of its last six games, but has still won eight of 14 overall.  It’s important to note that the club has a 16-27 record in the first game of a series, 21-22 in the second and a dominating 25-14 mark in the third contest.  Oakland finished August with a 13-15 record, which was tied with Texas for the best record among AL West clubs during the month.  Tonight marks the 25th time in the last 36 games that the Athletics have played a team that was in first place in their division or the wild card race at the time, posting a 10-14 record in the previous 24 contests.  The club has a 12-10 record on the road when the total is 9 to 9.5  (+260) and 45-47 in this situation the last three campaigns (+1,440).

Athletics starting pitcher Brett Anderson is 3-5 with a 3.32 ERA in 12 starts this season and the club has dropped four straight games with him on the hill.  Over that span, he has allowed nine runs (eight earned) and 21 hits over 15 innings of work, with the team being outscored by a 17-8 margin.  The left-hander is 1-3 with a 3.86 ERA in six road starts, as he’s yet to surrender a home run in 28 frames away from the Bay Area.  In three career starts versus the Yankees, Anderson has an 0-2 record and 5.68 ERA, giving up four big flies in 19 frames.  He is 0-3 with a 3.68 ERA over his last four starts and the losing streak is one short of his career high.

New York finished off August with a four-game winning streak and heads into the final month of the season with a one-game lead over the Rays in the divisional race.  The Yankees 16-13 August grind included injuries to third baseman Alex Rodriguez and designated hitter Lance Berkman, but the club can still open up the newspaper and find themselves with the top record in baseball.  “That’s what August is all about – the dog days,” first baseman Mark Teixeira stated.  “You’re going to have injuries, you’re going to have bumps and bruises.  The Yankees have been getting off to fast starts of late, scoring the game’s first run in seven of their last nine games and the team is 46-15 this season when scoring first.  New York has a disappointing 4-8 record as a home favorite of -125 to -150 this season (-700) and the total is 7-4 O/U in those games.

Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett is 9-12 with a 5.17 ERA in 26 starts this season and the team has dropped his last five outings overall.  Over that span, New York has been outscored 28-13, while he has given up 27 runs (26 earned) and 38 hits in 30 innings of work.  The right-hander has a 4-5 record and 4.62 ERA in 11 home starts, giving up nine home runs in 64.1 frames.  Burnett finished August with a 0-4 mark and 7.80 ERA in five starts, after going 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA in five July starts.  He has never faced the Athletics at Yankee Stadium, but has an even 3-3 record and 4.00 ERA in eight career starts against them.

Bettors will be interested in knowing that the Athletics have produced a solid 29-22 record in September over the last two seasons (+1,280) and the total is 26-23 O/U in those contests.  New York is even better in the final month of the season, compiling a 36-18 mark over the same span (+1,200).

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