Athletics vs. Yankees MLB Odds, Pick & Preview: Can Frankie Montas Shut Down New York Offense? (Tuesday, June 28)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images. Pictured: Frankie Montas
- The Yankees are again heavy favorites at home tonight against the Athletics.
- Oakland will send ace Frankie Montas to the mound against New York spot starter JP Sears.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Athletics vs. Yankees Odds
|Time||7:05 p.m. ET|
|Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
It appeared as if the Oakland Athletics were on the verge of an upset on Monday as they led the New York Yankees 5-3 entering the bottom of the seventh.
Then a series of at-bats that included two hit-by-pitches and two catcher interference calls made it 5-4 before Josh Donaldson stepped to the plate. His two-run double would give the Yankees the lead, and they never looked back as they would plate three more runs in the inning.
Tonight’s matchup may look very different as Frankie Montas is set to get the ball for Oakland. Montas has been electric this season, and every outing from here to August 2nd should be considered a showcase for every contender. He’s the hottest name on the trade market, and a dominant outing against the Bronx Bombers will only increase his stock.
As for the Yankees, they have opted to go with JP Sears in what appears to be another spot start. Sears was solid in his first career start against the Orioles and will have an opportunity to replicate that outing against an even less-dangerous lineup.
Will the A’s be able to finish the job and pull even in the series? Or are the Yankees bound to break this one open yet again?
Look For Montas to Contain Yankees Bats
The Yankees are perhaps the most potent lineup in the majors, and they have the ability to explode at any point in a ballgame, especially when they are at home. However, Montas has the ability to silence this Yankees lineup.
He enters this start with a 3.21 ERA and 1.08 WHIP while having racked up 92 punchouts over 89 innings. While his peripheral stats may be solid, his underlying metrics are even better.
Montas is above-average in every expected statistic there is, but what has helped him look dominant this year is the command of his arsenal. His walk rate has dropped more than one percent from last year, and his chase rate is among the top ten percent of all qualified pitchers.
Those two numbers show just how well his arsenal tunnels. His fastball and splitter are thrown at nearly the same rate, and his splitter has barely been touched as opposing batters are hitting just .176 off it this year. We will surely see a ton of that fastball-splitter combo as Montas has to keep the ball in the yard.
New York has been the most productive team in the majors against right-handed pitching as it leads the majors in wRC+, but Montas has faced most of this lineup and handled it reasonably well. He’s compiled 52 at-bats against the current lineup, and they have an expected batting average of .273 with a 22.6 percent strikeout rate.
The Yankees have made solid contact against Montas, but the majority of it has resulted in ground balls as only Aaron Judge, Donaldson and Joey Gallo have standard average launch angles. Those three are also a combined 8-for-22 off Montas.
Expect Sears & Company to Stifle A’s Lineup
We saw Monday night that this Oakland lineup has plenty of talent at the dish despite sporting the worst team batting average in the majors. Christian Bethancourt, Seth Brown and Cristian Pache have each been making consistent solid contact this season; however, the results are yet to come.
Sears may contribute to another down offensive day for this lineup as he’s been very tough to square up during his short time in the majors. His sample size is very small, but we have a five-innings start as part of his numbers.
Sears has barely allowed any solid contact as he has an average exit velocity of just 84.3 mph and a hard-hit rate of 25 percent. As a result, his opposition’s expected batting average sits at .183.
I expect Sears to go as long as he can with the potential of him coming out after five as Aaron Boone may not want Oakland to get a third look at him. The Yankees are happy to turn the game over to their bullpen as it has been excellent this year.
New York has the second-best bullpen ERA in the majors and the third-best FIP. While the Athletics may have gotten the bats going early last night, expect the Yankees to use all their weapons to keep them off the board tonight.
I was on the under last night, and It would have had more of a chance if there wasn’t a series of unfortunate events in the bottom of the seventh. However, we should see a much different game tonight as Montas will keep the Yankees’ bats relatively quiet.
As for the A’s, a five-run output is a lot for them, and I doubt we see a repeat of that performance given the talent coming of New York’s bullpen. Take the under as Montas, and the Yankees pen will go to battle.
Pick: Under 8