Who wants it more? That is a question we commonly ask in professional sports, especially as we enter the later stages of the season with the playoffs very much on the horizon. It’s a question that is not entirely easy to answer without first looking at the specific situations of the team in question. For example, a team sitting at the top of their division with a sizeable lead that is not about to be cut into might feel a lot more relaxed than a team still fighting for one of the available Wild Card spots.
A loss for the division leader does not carry the same weight as a loss for the team in the Wild Card race, which may explain what we have seen in the opening two games of this series. It is the Oakland Athletics who are the team fighting for their playoff lives, and they have shown that they are up for that battle by taking the first 2 games of this series against the New York Yankees. The question now is whether they can complete the sweep. The Yankees are favored by 1 ½, with the run total set at 9 ½.
Yankees vs Athletics MLB Week 21 Odds & Game Preview
- When: Thursday, August 22 at 9:37 PM EST
- Where: Alameda Coliseum, Oakland
- Starting Pitchers: Tanaka vs. Roark
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Radio: SiriusXM
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- MLB Week 21 Odds: New York Yankees -120 (Total 9.5)
- Sunny: 23°C/73°F
- Humidity: 64%
- Precipitation: 2%
- Cloud Cover: 13%
- Wind: 15 mph W
- Stadium Type: Open
Why bet on the New York Yankees?
Given the fact that the Yankees are so far out in front in the AL East, there may be a sense that losing this series doesn’t really matter but is that the case. If the A’s can find a way to sneak into the Wild Card, there is the possibility that they might end up facing Oakland in the playoffs. This series may well set the tone for an A’s team that is essentially playing playoff style baseball right now.
There is no reason to panic, though, as the Yankees are still sitting at 83-45 on the season, which would still be good enough to get them the #1 seed in the AL. The Yankees have traditionally struggled versus Oakland, going just 4-9 in their last 13 meetings. They are also now 1-8 in their last 9 visits to Oakland. They will have Masahiro Tanaka (9-6, 4.56 ERA) on the mound for this one.
- Runs: 5.90
- Hits: 9.35
- Walks: 3.60
- Strike Outs: 8.65
- Runs: 4.76
- Hits: 8.72
- Walks: 3.10
- Strike Outs: 9.15
Why bet on the Oakland A’s?
When we started talking about the A’s chances of making it into the playoffs a few days ago, we were all quick to mention that they had 6 games to play against the Yankees. That had people severely limiting their chances of getting in, with mist of us forgetting how good they have been against the Yankees in recent seasons.
As it stands now, Oakland are a very respectable 73-53 and have moved into the final AL Wild Card spot ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays. With those back to back wins versus the Yankees, the A’s have now won 7 of their last 10 games to improve to 42-24 at home. Their % chance of making the playoffs is now a little better than 50/50 and will get better still if they can win this one. They will hand the ball to Tanner Roark (7-8, 4.01 ERA).
- Runs: 5.04
- Hits: 8.42
- Walks: 3.38
- Strike Outs: 8.12
- Runs: 4.26
- Hits: 8.34
- Walks: 3.07
- Strike Outs: 7.73
Yankees vs Athletics MLB Week 21 Betting Trends
- Yankees are 14-6 SU in their last 20 games against an opponent in the American League
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of NY Yankees’ last 5 games on the road
- Athletics are 8-1 SU in their last 9 games at home
- The total has gone OVER in 8 of Oakland’s last 12 games played on a Thursday
- Athletics are 19-11 against the money line when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season this season
- Yankees are 83-45 against the money line in all games this season
- Tanaka is 3-2 when starting against OAKLAND with an ERA of 2.53 and a WHIP of 0.938
- Roark is 0-1 when starting against YANKEES with an ERA of 4.50 and a WHIP of 1.333
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction for Yankees vs Athletics
This is a tough one to predict. On the one hand, you like the Yankees to save some face with a win, but you also cannot ignore how good the A’s have been in this series. The safe bet here might well be to play the A’s against the spread.
Score: New York Yankees 5 – Oakland Athletics 4