MLB Betting: A's and Yankees continue series

By: Jimmy Sirody | Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez should return from the Yankees DL this Sunday.

The New York Yankees continue their four-game home series Wednesday evening against the Oakland Athletics as the MLB regular season enters its final month of action.

The defending champs, who took over the American League East Division lead on June 20 and have remained alone or tied for first place all but one day since then, will play 25 of their final 31 games against teams at or above the break-even mark. That will include 25 of 28 tests against division rivals.

The Yankees continued to feast on the A’s, winning the series opener 11-5 on Monday despite another shaky effort from a starting pitcher. They are 18-4 against Oakland since the start of the 2008 season and 37-18 against them since the beginning of the ’04 campaign.

As the calendar flips to September, New York’s biggest concern is who is on the mound four out of five days. The rotation has become C.C. Sabathia and the four question marks.

A.J. Burnett (9-12, 5.17), for now, is not having his rotation spot revoked. He will take the mound Wednesday night for Game 3 of the series, maybe because the Yankees are into him for another three-plus seasons contractually.

Burnett has yielded at least six earned runs nine times this year—or three more than the rest of the New York staff combined and three more than the next biggest individual offenders in the majors.

The Yankees have lost five of their last six in the Bronx with Burnett on the bump and they are 0-5 in his past five outings overall.

Burnett did stifle Oakland on July 7 on the road, limiting the A’s to five hits and two runs over seven innings. That evened his career record against them to 3-3 and lowered his ERA to 3.81.

Oakland has a 13-14 record in August—best among AL-West teams—but have rested between seven and 10 games out of first place in the division since June 25.

Brett Anderson (3-5, 3.32) draws the unenviable assignment of shutting down a New York bunch that has trashed southpaws in six of its last seven opportunities.

Anderson was roughed up for four runs on six hits and two walks against Texas on Friday. He left after just two innings due to a hyperextended right knee. The young left-hander worked out Sunday and said he felt fine.

Anderson is 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA in three career starts against New York, but in those outings he’s also posted 7.1 strikeouts per nine innings.

The Athletics are 0-4 in Anderson’s last four starts overall and 2-5 in his last seven road appearances. They have won nine of their last dozen against a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30.

Oakland has ducked ‘under’ at a torrid 19-7-1 clip recently and at a 20-8-2 pace on the road. The A’s have also strayed below the number in six of Anderson’s last eight road efforts.

Conversely, the Bronx Bombers have topped the baseball betting ‘total’ in six of seven at home versus southpaws and at a 17-6-3 clip at Yankee Stadium overall. They have ended on the low side at a 14-6-2 pace in Burnett’s last 22 home starts.

Dana DeMuth will be behind the dish on Wednesday. The home team is 14-3 in his last 17 games at that station.

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