TV & Radio Section
New York Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics, 8/21/19 10:07 PM ET Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA, TV: New York (YES), Oakland (NBCSCA, ESPN (out-of-market only) Radio: New York (WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280), Oakland (KTRB 860, KIQI 1010)
Game two of the cross coast matchup of the Yankees and Athletics is set to start tonight at 10:07 PM ET. This game comes on the heels of the Athletics dominating in a 6-2 victory over the seemingly never cold Yankees. J.A. Happ gets the call for the Yankees tonight as right-handed Mike Fiers takes the bump for the A’s.
Happ, the veteran southpaw, had a tremendous 2018 pitching for both the Blue Jays and the Yankees. In 11 games started with the Yankees last year, he boasted an ERA of 2.69 and averaged just under a strikeout an inning. This year, though, things have been off. So much so that fans are starting to question whether or not he’ll be a part of this Yankees rotation going into the post season. He has a 5.40 ERA on the year through 24 starts and sits at 10-7 on the year.
Fiers, on the other hand, is having a solid year thus far. He’s 11-3 with an ERA of 3.46. His K-rate is down a bit, but he’s still finding a way to get the job done. He hasn’t faced the Yankees yet this year, but is 7-2 at home with a 2.89 ERA in 2019 thus far.
1. DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
2. Luke Voit (R) 1B
3. Aaron Hicks (S) CF
4. Gary Sanchez (R) C
5. Gleyber Torres (R) SS
6. Edwin Encarnacion (R) DH
7. Gio Urshela (R) 3B
8. Cameron Maybin (R) RF
9. Brett Gardner (L) LF
SP. J.A. Happ (L) 10-7
The Yankees continue to seem like the favorite to win the AL East. The Rays are their closest contender, but them currently sitting at 10 games back towards the end of August lends itself to the belief that the Yankees will emerge victorious in the East.
The Yankees bats have had some exposure to Fiers in the past. Maybin is hitting .286 with two long balls in 14 at bats off the right-hander. Gary Sanchez has a posted average of .375 with a home run off of him. Before his last start against Houston, Fiers had a streak of 19 starts allowing 3 earned runs or fewer. The Yankees will be hoping to make it so that another streak doesn’t begin tonight.
If Happ can get out there and deliver a few solid innings and let the Yankees grab an early lead, I don’t see them having a problem taking game two of this series. It’s if Happ lets runs pour in in the first few innings that could get the Yanks into definitive trouble.
1. Marcus Semien (R) SS
2. Robbie Grossman (S) LF
3. Matt Chapman (R) 3B
4. Matt Olson (L) 1B
5. Stephen Piscotty (R) RF
6. Mark Canha (R) DH
7. Jurickson Profar (S) 2B
8. Ramon Laureano (R) CF
9. Josh Phegley (R) C
SP. Mike Fiers (R) 11-3
The A’s are currently tied with the Rays for the second AL Wildcard spot. The A’s have been very good this year, but unfortunately the Astros have simply been better. As of now, it looks like the Wildcard spots will be filled by some combination of Cleveland, Oakland, and Tampa Bay. Only time will tell how exactly that shakes out.
Most of the A’s lineup doesn’t have an extensive history against Happ, but Marcus Semien does boast an impressive average of .375 through 16 ABs against the left-hander. Olson and Canha going back to back in the first inning in last night’s game seemed to deflate the Yankees who were never able to get back into the game.
If the A’s want to beat this stacked Yankees squad again tonight, I think the same thing needs to happen — establish an early lead and make them play from behind. I’ve seen too many Yankees games this year where they get off to an early lead and just slowly accumulate a bigger and bigger lead making it nearly impossible for opposing teams to get back into the game.
Yankees vs. A’s Betting Odds
The line is currently set at NYY +105 OAK -115 after opening at the same. Despite the Yankees’ 6-2 loss last night, I find it hard to pass up on a +105 line for them. Happ hasn’t been great, far from it, but I simply don’t see the Yankees losing two in a row here. Fiers has been great this year, but many in the Yankees lineup have proved they can hit the right-hander.
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