The first pitch of the series opener is scheduled for 9:40 p.m. ET at Oakland Coliseum in Oakland.
The Yankees are the hottest team in baseball and coming off a two-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves, who had won nine in a row. New York is 74-52 and in second place in the American League East, trailing the first-place Tampa Bay Rays by 4½ games and leading the third-place Boston Red Sox by three games.
Oakland has dropped four straight games, including two in a row at home to the Seattle Mariners. The Athletics are in second place in the AL West, trailing the first-place Houston Astros by five games and leading the third-place Mariners by a game.
Oakland is also 1½ games out of the final Wild Card spot in the American League.
If you want to bet on this game, the MLB odds have the Yankees with a moneyline of -109, while the Athletics are listed at -101. The over/under for the series opener is set at 8½ runs.
Playing it Close
The Yankees are used to playing in close games, with 70 of their games being margins of two runs or less – the most in the major leagues. Seven of those have come during the team’s current 11-game winning streak, including Tuesday’s 5-4 victory.
“There’s no panic,” Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge said after Tuesday’s win. “This team is prepared for everything. So I think maybe it might be a little easier because we’ve been there before. We’ve seen all outcomes. We’ve seen the good, we’ve seen the bad, we’ve seen the in-between. Nothing really surprises us at this point.”
Judge has led the Yankees’ offensive charge for much of the season, pacing the team with a .285 batting average, 27 home runs, 65 RBIs and 67 runs scored. He went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored in Tuesday’s win.
Designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton homered for the second consecutive game on Tuesday, which was also his third in five games. Stanton is batting .267 with 15 doubles, 22 home runs, 65 RBIs and 49 runs scored.
Right-hander Jameson Taillon will make the start in Thursday’s game for New York. The 29-year-old is 8-4 with a 3.94 ERA, striking out 121 and walking 35 in 123.1 innings of work.
Taillon took a no-decision in his previous start against the Athletics, going 4.2 innings and allowing two runs on four hits, including a home run, while striking out five and walking one in a 5-3 Oakland win.
He’s won his last seven decisions, including a win in his last outing against Minnesota on Aug. 19 as he went 5.1 innings and allowed three runs on five hits, including a home run, while striking out five and walking none.
The Athletics are not having a successful homestand, dropping four of five with the hottest team in baseball coming to town. Oakland has scored a total of five runs over the last three games, which isn’t going to cut it against the hot-hitting Yankees.
First baseman Matt Olson is on a four-game hit streak, going 1-for-4 in Tuesday’s loss to Seattle. Olson leads Oakland with a .278 batting average, 28 doubles, 32 home runs, 82 RBIs and 79 runs scored, so his production is key to a turnaround for the Athletics.
Third baseman Matt Chapman is another player that can carry Oakland if he gets hot. However, Chapman is hitless over his last three games, striking out eight times to give him 163, which ranks second in baseball. He also has 12 doubles, three triples, 19 home runs, 57 RBIs and 62 runs scored.
Oakland will have right-hander James Kaprielian on the mound for the series opener. Kaprielian is 7-4 with a 3.25 ERA, having recorded 87 strikeouts and 33 walks in his 88.2 innings.
The 27-year-old got the win when he faced New York earlier this season, going 5.2 innings and allowing three runs on three hits, including two home runs, while striking out seven and walking one.
He shut down the San Francisco Giants on Friday in his last start, going five innings and giving up one run on three hits, including a home run, while striking out four and walking four.
The Yankees took two out of three vs the A’s in June. Oakland has fallen to 35-29 at home with its four straight losses while the Yankees are 35-27 on the road.
New York will have Gerrit Cole (12-6, 2.92 ERA) on the mound on Friday, followed by Nestor Cortes Jr. (2-1, 2.56) and Jordan Montgomery (5-5, 3.69) over the weekend. Oakland will counter with Sean Manaea (8-8, 3.77), Frankie Montas (9-9, 3.84) and Paul Blackburn (0-1, 4.09).
The MLB series prices for this important four-game set have the Yankees at -135, while the Athletics are listed at +105.
Yankees Keep Streaking
New York is on its longest winning streak in 36 years, doing it with clutch hitting and solid pitching. The Yankees are catching the Athletics at just the right time, as Oakland is reeling right now. That continues with another loss on Thursday.
When making your MLB betting picks, take New York to win on the road.