Friday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Yankees vs. Athletics: Can Bombers Reach 13 Consecutive Wins? (August 27)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees.
- The Yankees are rolling and will look to keep their streak alive in a Friday matchup against the Athletics.
- The Yankees managed to pull out back-to-back wins in one-run games and can extend their run to 13 consecutive wins.
- Kenny Ducey explains below why he's backing the Yankees to remain hot.
Yankees vs. Athletics Odds
|Over/Under||7.5 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||9:40 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday and via BetMGM.|
After 12 straight wins, including one on Thursday night when it seemed all hope might be lost, it feels as if the New York Yankees will never lose again.
They bring their momentum into the second game of a four-game set against the Oakland Athletics, where they’re set to do battle with Sean Manaea, the same man who shut down this offense earlier in the summer.
Can the Yankees’ bats prevail here against Manaea, and will Gerrit Cole continue to roll? Let’s look into the matchup below.
New York Yankees
Contrary to popular belief, the Yankees had rather pedestrian numbers when Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo arrived in New York. In the weeks following, this was a simply average offense, according to wRC+, and the Yankees were able to get back in the race on the backs of their pitchers. Now, this offense has fired into full gear, and they’ve done it at less than full strength.
The Yanks sit third in baseball with an .819 OPS over the past two weeks, driven by high walk numbers, which you’d expect, and good power numbers — something this team has been known for in 2021.
Sure, the Yankees have some incredible sluggers on their team and sit in the top 10 in most exit velocity and barrel categories, but the results simply weren’t there in the first half, or even at the start of August. Now, the homers and extra base hits are coming in bunches with a .228 ISO.
One guy who’s been particularly hot lately is Gerrit Cole, who enters with a 0.77 ERA in August. It seems taking a mandated break due to the league’s COVID protocols has done him well, with 15 strikeouts and just one earned run — on a solo homer — since his return.
It appears those issues that came about when the league cracked down on foreign substances are a thing of the past, and at the very least Cole’s strikeout prowess has returned.
The A’s have been one of the hardest teams to figure out this year. They’ve had some incredible runs at the plate, dominating just about every pitcher who stood in her way. There have also been some miserable runs, like this one, which have seen the A’s completely forget how to drive the ball. Over the last two weeks, they have produced just a .179 ISO, contributing to their poor .700 OPS.
Luckily for Oakland, its staff has posted a 3.72 ERA over that span, but it’s no thanks to Friday’s starter, Manaea. The left-hander has allowed five home runs in August and an unsightly 17 earned runs in 15 2/3 innings, good for a 9.77 ERA.
There was a period in time, for the first two months of the summer, when Manaea appeared to be one of the AL’s strongest pitchers. During that time he struck out 11 Yankees over 5 1/3 innings of two-run ball.
Much has changed since then, and Manaea’s xERA has risen to 3.98 thanks to a 40.8% hard-hit rate. On the bright side, his strikeout numbers remain solid, and the Yankees have struck out an awful lot over the last few weeks.
On the other hand, New York has emerged as one of the very best teams against left-handers this year, coming out of virtually nowhere to dominate in that category.
The Yankees’ 113 wRC+ against lefties, which ranks as the third-best in baseball, makes it awfully hard to fade them in this spot, even if the chances of them keeping up this streak get slimmer with the day.
It was an escape act on Thursday to pull out the win, but then again, it was Jameson Taillon on the mound. If the Yankees’ offense can get to Manaea — and it seems likely given the numbers laid out above — Cole should be able to defend the lead.
I think the Yankees are still a good deal here, starting their ace, sporting a re-loaded offense with Anthony Rizzo and Gio Urshela returning and facing a pitcher who’s in a rut.
Pick: Yankees ML (-150)