After winning three of four games vs. the Mariners in Seattle over the weekend, the New York Yankees get a well deserved day off before starting a three game set down in Oakland against the Athletics.
The A’s are in a Moneyball year, meaning that it is a season when this team is good.
Actually, the A’s were good last year too, which makes sense since the Moneyball effect usually lasts two seasons. That is unless or until Oakland wins a World Series. Being crowned Champs would bring in enough green to keep the A’s team together as it would finally allow Oakland to retool on top of rebuilding.
Regardless, when you look at this year’s team stats, the Yankees and A’s are actually having semi-similar seasons. At least the closets stat wise I can remember. (All stats courtesy of MLB.com)
TEAM Record Home Away Last 10 vs. R vs. L 1-Run RS RA
Atheltics 38-27 18-10 20-17 7-3 24-17 14-10 13-7 302 261
Yankees 37-26 19-13 18-13 7-3 23-20 14-6 11-6 252 236
Both teams pitching staffs are equally solid, but for the first time the A’s have a slight edge at the plate. (All stats courtesy of ESPN.com)
2013 – Team Pitching Stats
TEAM W L ERA G GS SV SVO IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG WHIP
Atheltics 38 27 3.74 65 65 16 22 584.2 545 261 243 68 161 467 0.245 1.21
Yankees 37 26 3.62 63 63 25 28 560.0 536 236 225 63 156 516 0.251 1.24
2013 – Team Batting Stats
TEAM G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
Atheltics 65 2231 302 551 129 9 64 282 254 495 35 11 0.247 0.329 0.399 0.728
Yankees 63 2095 252 513 86 11 70 234 171 464 38 11 0.245 0.307 0.397 0.703
Oakland has the season series edge after winning two of three games in the Bronx back in early May.
The A’s home, Oakland Coliseum that they share with the Raiders happens to be a pitcher’s heaven.
The Coliseum’s foul territory dimensions are vast, so the likelihood of foul balls turning into outs gets way higher. Thus a pitcher can basically get away with murder on the hill in Oakland.
The fact that the Coliseum it seconds as a football lends to the parks larger overall scale.
But that doesn’t excuse that this is also the place “the Wave” originated.
Overall, the Yankees will be looking to build on their two game winning streak, while the A’s do not want to lose a third game in a row.
The Yankees are throwing CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and Hiroki Kuroda on the hill in that order.
This is a big series as both ball clubs are sitting pretty in second place in their division. Both the Yanks and A’s are in a place to jump to the top spot.
Bottom line is I expect a low scoring; nail-biting series with an outcome heavily weigh on how the guy on the mound is throwing.
MY SERIES PREDICTION:
Yankees will take the series, winning the two games, losing one and miss the chance to sweep the Athletics in their own house.
The reason is I do not think the A’s will beat both Sabathia and Kuroda.
Hughes tends to thrive in Oakland. He grew up in Cali, so he has a personal entourage, along with a ballpark that makes him look like a real All-Star.
But I do think the A’s will let the Yankees leave Oakland sans a win, the team is too scrappy. The A’s get off on the task of proving that they will not bow down to the mighty Evil Empire.