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MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Athletics vs. Yankees: Can New York Offense Bounce Back Against Manaea? (Sunday, June 20)

MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Athletics vs. Yankees: Can New York Offense Bounce Back Against Manaea? (Sunday, June 20) article feature image

Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Sean Manaea.

  • The Athletics and Yankees meet for the series rubber match on Sunday after New York stole the second game on Saturday.
  • The A's start Sean Manaea, who has been red hot but could be due for some regression.
  • Things can only go upwards from here for the Yankees, but Matthew Trebby is sticking with Oakland to continue its strong season.

Athletics vs. Yankees Odds

Athletics Odds +120
Yankees Odds -142
Over/Under 10
Time Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET
Odds as of Saturday and via FanDuel

The first-place Oakland Athletics look to take two out of three by winning Sunday’s series finale over the New York Yankees.

Oakland could have sealed a series win on Saturday, having led 4-1 late in the game, but the Yankees’ bats showed some necessary signs of life as the Bronx Bombers came back to win. Oakland got another strong start, this time from Chris Bassitt.

The A’s are underdogs, as most teams are against the Yankees, but they shouldn’t be. Let’s break down whether they’re worth a bet in the Bronx.

Oakland Hopes Stellar Manaea Stays Hot

Sean Manaea has been excellent this season for the A’s with a 2.99 ERA, although that appears to be with everything going his way so far. Manaea enters Sunday’s start with a 3.90 xERA and 3.82 xFIP, both respectable but still indicating that the southpaw’s ERA is likely to increase more toward his career 3.73.

Like the Yankees’ starter, Manaea throws his sinker the majority of the time. The velocity on Montgomery’s sinker is up 1.1 mph to 91.5. He throws that 58.5% of the time and a changeup or curveball the rest of the time. His changeup has a .297 batting average against this season, although the xBA is .259.

Manaea’s ERA was at 4.41 through nine starts this season, but he has gotten that below 3.00 by allowing three runs over his last five starts, spanning 32 1/3 innings. He’s allowing a .214 batting average against. It is of note that three of those starts were against the Angels and the other two against the D-backs and Mariners.

Oakland’s lineup this season has been led by super-slugger Matt Olson, who entered Saturday with 19 home runs, 52 RBIs and a .982 OPS. Mark Canha is an on-base machine atop the A’s order, while Tony Kemp is in the midst of a hot streak.

Great news for the A’s is that Matt Chapman appears to be getting hot. In his last 12 games entering Saturday, the Oakland third baseman had a .902 OPS. The key is a .535 slugging percentage, with power having gone missing from Chapman’s bat.

Against left-handed pitching this season, the A’s ranked eighth in MLB entering Saturday with a .758 OPS.

Yankees Showing Signs of Life

Jordan Montgomery is not going to blow anyone away, but he has been huge for the Yankees so far this season.

I’m not saying Montgomery has been as good as teammate Gerrit Cole, but with the injuries suffered by Corey Kluber and Luis Severino’s setback, the Yankees simply need innings to be eaten. An improved offense is what’s going to turn their season around, because the pitching staff has been good enough.

Montgomery enters Sunday with a 4.20 ERA and 3.96 xFIP, which means he’s right about where he should be in terms of results this season. His strikeouts per nine innings are down and walks per nine up, but he’s allowing fewer home runs, and while his BABIP is still .294, it’s lower than the .320 he posted in 2020.

The Yankees’ bats have been the problem this season, although there were signs of life in Saturday’s win. The Yanks trailed 4-1 entering the sixth inning and scored six late runs. Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela and DJ LeMahieu drove in the runs, which is hugely encouraging.

LeMahieu is the one who really needs to get going for the Yankees. Judge and Stanton have been good but not great, and having LeMahieu get back on track (.679 OPS entering Saturday) would provide a massive boost.

The Yankees ranked 17th in MLB against left-handed pitching this season with a .712 OPS entering Saturday, although that number was before they rocked Jesús Luzardo for three runs out of the A’s bullpen.

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Athletics-Yankees Pick

It’s a matter of time until the Yankees really get going. Sean Zerillo wrote earlier this month about how it might have been a good time to get your Yankees futures tickets. It’s highly unlikely things were going to get much worse for the Bronx Bombers given the impressive track records they have in the lineup.

For now, though, I have a hard time taking them against the A’s, who have been excellent since an early skid to start the season. The A’s are in first place out in the AL West, and while Manaea is due for some regression, he has been red hot and is 100% worth backing.

I’ll take the better team at a plus number here and feel really good about it.

Pick: Athletics +120

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