Aug. 30 MLB Preview — Oakland Athletics (77-56) at New York Yankees (88-47)

(CC Sabathia photo courtesy David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

This is the full preview(s) as seen on the Winners and Whiners and Stat Salt websites. The confidence rating for all picks on a scale from 1 to 5 is in parentheses.

Note: The 5/5 does NOT represent the best overall pick of the day’s games when there are multiple games, simply the best pick(s) from each individual game.

When and Where: Friday, Aug. 30, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y., 7:05 p.m. EDT.

After missing out in a sweep of the New York Yankees at home earlier this month, Brett Anderson looks to end his career-long misery against them in the Bronx as the Oakland Athletics open another crucial three-game set versus the AL East leaders on Friday night.

Anderson looks to pull out of month-long funk

Anderson (10-9, 4.08 ERA) has just one win since the All-Star break and is 1-4 with a 4.93 ERA in his last six starts. The left-hander was in line for a victory Sunday against the San Francisco Giants after permitting three runs in six innings, but Oakland’s bullpen squandered a one-run lead after he departed of an eventual 5-4 defeat.

Anderson’s spot did not come up against the Yankees since he started the series finale versus Houston immediately prior to New York’s arrival. That may have been a good thing considering the southpaw has been abjectly awful with an 0-6 record and 6.86 ERA in eight career starts against them.

He lasted five innings in the Bronx last year, giving up four runs and eight innings while taking a 6-2 defeat. Anderson is 0-3 with a 4.50 ERA in five starts in New York, with his lone good start coming with Toronto in 2017 when he tossed five shutout innings before the Blue Jays won 2-1.

DJ LeMahieu is 5 for 13 with a homer against Anderson, while Aaron Judge‘s lone hit in four at-bats is a double.

Oakland (77-56) has won 10 of 14 overall and started this road swing by taking three of four from Kansas City after Thursday’s 9-8 victory. Seth Brown and Jurickson Profar went a combined 7 for 9 with five RBIs for the A’s, who remained one game ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays for the second AL wild-card berth and 1 1/2 games behind the Cleveland Indians for the first one.

Sabathia also trying to end woes as he takes ball for Yanks

Thirty-nine year-old CC Sabathia (5-8, 4.99) is entering the stretch run of his final season in the majors, but his continued struggles raise the possibility he could be left off the postseason roster for a series depending on matchups — especially if Luis Severino is available after missing the season to this point through injury.

The left-hander is looking to avoid matching a career-worst with his fifth consecutive losing start — with the other occurrence from July 6-30, 2005, while with the Cleveland Indians. Sabathia has a ghastly 9.98 ERA during his current skid but was lifted for a pinch-hitter after four effective innings Saturday in Los Angeles after holding the Dodgers to two runs while striking out seven in a 2-1 Yankees defeat.

“I felt my pitches were a little better,” Sabathia told the Yankees’ official website. “My changeup was a little better. I left the cutter up there for (Justin) Turner, he homered on it. Everything else felt pretty good.”

Sabathia has been streaky against the A’s and had a three-start winning streak snapped in his lone matchup last year after being reached for five runs and seven hits in 3 1-3 innings of a 6-3 road loss. Prior to the three-start win streak, the southpaw lost the previous three starts.

Sabathia is 11-12 with a 4.66 ERA in 32 career starts versus Oakland, but 8-5 with a 3.56 ERA in 17 starts since joining the Yankees in 2009.

New York (88-47) regrouped from that sweep to finish a West Coast road swing with a 5-4 record after sweeping Seattle and recording a 7-3 victory Wednesday as LeMahieu, Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Mike Ford all homered to make James Paxton a winner in his return to the Pacific Northwest against his former team.

Notable Trends

The Yankees are:

  • 37-15 in their last 52 during game 1 of a series.
  • 31-11 in Sabathia’s last 42 home starts.
  • 37-18 in their last 55 vs. above-.500 teams.

The Athletics are:

  • 6-15 in Anderson’s last 21 starts on four days of rest.
  • 1-5 in their last six road games vs. the Yankees.
  • 0-6 in Anderson’s last six starts vs. the Yankees.

*****5-Star Pick*****

OVER 11 runs (-121)

Even with Sabathia turning in a half-decent outing that was cut short in an NL park, this game appears to have “slugfest” written all over it with a pair of pitchers trying to regain their stride. Anderson does not struggle all that much with the long ball at 1.08 homers allowed per nine innings, but the 1.30 WHIP against a Yankees offense that loves grinding down pitchers is a red flag, even with the high number established.

****4-Star Pick****

Yankees ML (-145)

Anderson’s career-long struggles and recent funk make it easy taking the Yankees, while Sabathia’s recent woes make it easy not going beyond the money line for this pick. It is very likely Aaron Boone’s team is going to be up for this game slightly more than their last series in Seattle in a bid to get after Anderson early.

Athletics OVER 1.5 runs first 3 innings (+111)

The A’s scored 13 of their 17 runs in the first three innings of their sweep of the Yankees and have scored two or more runs in the first three frames in nine of their last 11 overall. Sabathia has been reached for two more runs in three of his last five starts in addition to the Yankees giving up two or more runs in seven of their last 10 contests against above-.500 teams.

***3-Star Picks***

Yankees OVER 6 runs (-105)

The Yankees offense looked like it regained its stride in Seattle with back-to-back seven-run efforts and four home runs in Wednesday’s win to close out the sweep. New York has also scored six or more runs in eight of its last 11 home games, and Anderson’s track record offers a chance to make it nine of 12.

Also in New York’s favor is Oakland arriving in the Bronx after giving up 14 runs to Kansas City in its last two games.

Athletics 3-way ML first 5 innings (+140)

Despite his track record against the Yankees, Anderson’s road form in the first five innings has the chance to trump that negative history with Sabathia struggling. Oakland is 9-4 at the midway point in the southpaw’s 13 road starts, and the Yankees have not led in either of Sabathia’s starts since he came off the injured list.

That is part of a longer stretch in which New York is 0-5-1 after five innings in his last six outings. The safer option is to grab the half-run with the A’s at -115, but Anderson might be just feisty enough to get Oakland ahead here.

OVER 6.5 runs first 5 innings (-121)

This is a toss-up considering the under hit in two of the three games last week with the number at 5.5 runs all three games and the teams combining for five runs twice and six runs once. With both southpaws off the game, the extra run adds to the challenge as the over is 5-2 for both teams in their last seven games.

The five-inning over is 8-3-1 in New York’s last 12 home games, which included series against playoff contenders Boston and Cleveland, and the hedge is the over will eke out a win here.

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