The Yankees, who have lost 5 road games in a row including this series’ opener on Monday, will look to turn things around against an Oakland A’s team that has shown curious signs of life for a squad that is theoretically tanking. Let’s take a look at odds and starting lineups for this matchup, where my prediction is for the Yankees to win and o8 runs to hit.
Yankees Vs. Athletics Prediction
Game 1 between these two squads was a surprising pitcher’s duel between Jhony Brito and Paul Blackburn, both of whom pitched well en route to a 2-1 win for Oakland. While the Yankees lineup has been anemic for about a month, not-coincidentally the period of time Aaron Judge has missed, that doesn’t mean that we’ll necessarily see another low-scoring affair on Tuesday.
For starters, Domingo German is on the bump and he’s been absolutely dreadful of late. He got off to a nice start to the season, but after some sticky stuff-related controversy, he’s had a really rough stretch- his last two starts have featured 17 runs allowed (15 earned) in just 5.1 innings of work.
He’ll be going up against former Yankee JP Sears, who is not in nearly the same dire form, but has had an up-and-down season to be sure. And beyond Sears is of course the Oakland bullpen, perhaps the “crown jewel” of the league’s worst team- their bullpen ERA of 5.67 is by far the league’s worst figure.
The Yankees lineup is, in theory, stacked with solid contributors. Josh Donaldson absolutely crushed a home run yesterday, showing a flash of his old self, ironically enough the one that starred in Oakland. But major figures like DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, and lately, even Anthony Rizzo have all been absolutely putrid, forcing the team to lean on the likes of Jake Bauers and Billy McKinney, who to their credit, have done a great job.
That’s a big part of why I’m taking the Yankees on the moneyline, good old positive regression and a belief that they won’t be on the way to getting swept after Tuesday’s game 2. As for the total, I simply don’t believe in either German at this time, and Sears isn’t likely to get deep enough to shelter the subpar A’s bullpen.
Yankees Vs. Athletics Odds
The Yankees are road favorites with -150 odds compared to +130 for the hometown A’s. For a run total of 8, the over is slightly favored at -105 with the under at -115.
Yankees Vs. Athletics Key Matchups
Domingo German Vs. Infinite Lefties
If the A’s trot out the same lineup they did on Monday, it would feature 6 lefties including the first four hitters in the order. That immediately caught my eye with the righty German on the hill, but he’s actually throwing a significant reverse-split this season, while he has essentially no platoon split across his career.
This could have something to do with his spin rate, 93rd percentile on fastballs and 72nd on the curve, which he throws about 40% of the time. He doesn’t have a ton of velocity differentiation between pitches, but the tough-to-detect spins have supported a strong chase rate for German.
He’ll be facing a lineup that doesn’t score too many runs, but definitely has some exciting players. Rookie outfielder Esteury Ruiz is quite fast, to say the least, as he swiped his 40th bag of the season last night, putting him atop the MLB stolen bases leaderboard. Brent Rooker is another outfielder putting together a solid campaign, with an OPS of .800 and 13 homers so far.
Lastly, first baseman Ryan Noda is contributing well at the top of the lineup, driven above all else by a very strong walk rate. This group doesn’t really get it done on a nightly basis, but they have the ability to hurt you in spots, especially against a pitcher in a rough spot like German.
JP Sears Vs.
Sears has an interesting profile if you take a look at his statcast numbers; he does a great job limiting walks and a decent job limiting base hits, but gives up lots of hard contact with a barrel rate in the bottom 10% of MLB arms. That’s not what you want to see against the Yankees, who are 29th in the league in OBP but 5th in home runs.
Those boom-or-bust Yankee bats could potentially be in for a big day, which is a key reason I have them hitting their -150 moneyline in my Yankees vs. Athletics prediction. One such player is Giancarlo Stanton, who continues to have top 1% max exit velocity, but has displayed no semblance of consistent production. It’s much of the same with Josh Donaldson, who hits the occasional moonshot, but is not routinely putting together solid at-bats.
As I alluded to earlier, injury fill-in Billy McKinney is hitting well. Although he’s slumped of late, Anthony Rizzo is leading qualified Yankees hitters in OPS. Gleyber Torres is a bit lower on the list, but has been a tad less streaky, offering contact and the occasional homer.
Other bats like Harrison Bader or DJ LeMahieu can be the hero on any given night- it’s not that this lineup is totally devoid of talent, their approach is just way off. Let’s see what they can do against an Oakland team that does not specialize in run prevention.
Yankees Vs. Athletics Starting Lineups
Yankees Starting Lineup
RF J. Bauers L
2B G. Torres R
DH G. Stanton R
1B A. Rizzo L
3B J. Donaldson R
CF H. Bader R
LF B. McKinney L
C K. Higashioka R
SS A. Volpe R
Athletics Starting Lineup
2B T. Kemp L
1B R. Noda L
LF J. Bleday L
RF S. Brown L
DH B. Rooker R
3B J. Peterson L
C S. Langeliers R
SS T. Wade L
CF E. Ruiz R