The red-hot Oakland Athletics continue to turn heads around Major League Baseball as they host the mighty New York Yankees on Saturday night.
The Athletics’ Jarrod Parker will throw the first pitch at 9:05 p.m. (ET) and he’ll be opposed by the Yankees’ Phil Hughes. The Bronx Bombers are $1.20 road favorites on the Don Best Pro Odds and the total is eight, shaded to the ‘under.’
Oakland opened the 4-game set with a 4-3 win on Thursday. Rookie right-hander A.J. Griffin allowed just two earned runs over six innings and he’s part of a young, rebuilt staff by the always-resourceful Billy Beane.
The Yankees did have very good success at O.co Coliseum before Thursday. They had won nine in a row, including a 3-game sweep in late May, and covered the run line during the entire streak.
The Athletics are now 5-1 since the All-Star break and 11-2 overall in July, putting them right back in the wild-card chase despite a payroll just a fraction of the size of New York.
Note the Friday night result is still pending with the Yanks $1.25 favorites behind Ivan Nova.
Parker (6-4, 3.16 ERA) is 3-1 in his last four starts, but only a mediocre 4.44 ERA. He allowed four earned runs over six innings at Minnesota last Sunday, but was fortunate to get nine runs of support.
The 23-year-old right-hander was acquired from Arizona in the Trevor Cahill trade last December. He is 2-2 with a 2.45 ERA in eight home starts. However, the ‘over’ is 3-1 in his last four home outings, with run support again playing a part.
Hughes (9-7, 4.22 ERA) has nice numbers his last four starts at 2-1 with a 2.22 ERA. The ‘under’ is 3-1 in those contests. The team is 6-2 in his last eight outings overall after going 4-6 in the first two months.
The 26-year-old right-hander is 2-0 in seven lifetime appearances against the Athletics, but with a 6.08 ERA. Three of those outings came from the bullpen where he also registered a save.
New York has the best record in baseball and a huge 9-game cushion over everyone else in the AL East. The 147 team home runs easily leads the majors as well and anyone from 1-9 in the lineup is capable of going deep.
The Athletics’ .227 batting average is the worst in baseball, but they do get some timely hits. They have the fourth-best ERA (3.42) in the majors, which keeps them in games, and they will certainly battle for all nine innings (and more if necessary).
Note there are some heavy total betting trends for both teams. New York is +15 units for the season and Oakland +21 units.