Veteran pitcher C.C. Sabathia (2-6, 5.47 ERA) has had a slow start to the season and will try to bounce back from his last horrific outing as the New York Yankees (25-22, 13-12 Away) look for a fourth win in a row when they visit the Oakland Athletics (17-32, 6-16 Home) today at O.co Coliseum (10:05 PM Eastern).
The lefty has been nothing short of awful this season, leading Yankee starters in losses and posting the highest ERA. Sabathia was smacked down by the Texas Rangers in his last outing, allowing seven hits and six runs in just 2.1 innings; unsurprisingly, the Yankees went on to lose 14-5 after Sabathia put the team in an insurmountable hole.
“Balls were up. Everything, two-seamers. The cutter was still good. The changeup wasn’t there,” said Sabathia to the New York Post. “I just think the fastballs were up and they played pepper.”
New York, as a team, rebounded with a sweep of the Kansas City Royals in their last series, and the good news for Sabathia is the Yankees lineup is playing at a high level entering the game, ranking third in the MLB in runs and sixth in slugging percentage. Even controversial slugger Alex Rodriguez has settled into a nice groove, hitting .276 on the year with 11 homers and 26 RBIs.
New York currently leads the AL East by 1.5 games over the Rays, but all five teams in the division are within four games of each other.
Oakland, meanwhile, is at the bottom of the AL West, 14 games behind division leading Houston. The A’s can’t seem to build momentum; their three-game winning streak was snapped by back-to-back losses to the Detroit Tigers and, overall, they have lost six of the last nine.
Today, Oakland sends right-hander Kendall Graveman (2-2, 6.04 ERA) to the mound. Graveman looked good in his last outing, throwing six shutout innings and allowing just three hits as the A’s blanked Tampa, 5-0.
Despite how unreliable Sabathia has been this season, the Yankees bats alone make them better value against the lowly Athletics.
Pick: Yankees (-108).
(Photo Credit: User chris.ptacek on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as “”) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)