New York is in a comfortable spot with a 4.5 game lead in the American League wild card race. That being said, they shouldn’t get too complacent with 6 games coming up with the two teams directly trailing them for the postseason spot. Thus the September 3rd AL free pick matchup between the Yankees and the A’s carries extreme importance for both teams. New York is the underdog (NYY +115) for just the second time since July 15th – but does that make Oakland an even better pick?
Yankees Fading a Bit As Season Winds Down
New York is really in no danger of missing the postseason as they have a 99.9% chance of a playoff berth. That being said, you really don’t want to limp into October as the Yankees seem to be doing. Three series’ with Baltimore, the White Sox, and Detroit should have been a momentum builder for Aaron Boone’s team but they are just 6-4 over their last 10, including dropping 4 of the last 7. Only one Yankees batter is hitting above .273 over the past 7 days. Granted, he’s doing great as Gleyber Torres is hitting .478 with 3HR over that span. Maybe the addition of Andrew McCutchen starts to pay off today as he’s 6-14 (.429) with a HR and three doubles in his career vs. today’s A’s starter Trevor Cahill.
If the Yankees bats aren’t hitting, that put’s more pressure on C.C Sabathia (7-5, 3.36 ERA) in the September 3rd AL free pick. The good news is that the A’s have lost 4 of their last 5 against a LH starter. Sabathia threw the ball very well in August despite going 1-1 with 3 ND’s. Sabathia had 4 outings of 2ER or less last month including a 12K game on August 7th vs. the White Sox. The Oakland roster has hit just .267 against the Yankees starter in 75 career AB.
Oakland Tries To Get It Going At Home
The A’s split a 4-game series with the Mariners over the weekend to maintain their stranglehold on the 2nd AL wild card spot. What they’d like to do this series is actually gain some ground on the Yankees with the possibility of hosting the play-in game. Then again, Oakland has dropped 4 of 5 at home. Either way, the A’s offense is hitting the ball well as they’ve scored 22 runs in the last 3 games. Chad Pinder is hitting .455 the past 6 games while Stephen Piscotty has 3HR and 10 RBI in the last 7 contests. Josh Phegley should be in the lineup today as he’s hit .455 with a HR in 11 career AB’s vs. Sabathia.
One player who definitely has home field advantage today is starter Trevor Cahill (5-3,3.60 ERA). He’s been Cy Young-like at the Coliseum this season, boasting an ERA of just 0.85 in 8 home starts. It’s if the away Cahill shows up today that has Oakland bettors worried in the September 3rd AL free pick. The right-hander has given up 8 ER in 8.1 IP in his last two starts – both on the road. He did throw a 1-hitter against a potent Houston offense the last start at home however on August 18th.
September 3rd AL Free Pick Betting
Despite one of the most popular teams in the MLB being listed as an underdog for just the 2nd time in 2 months there’s only 27% of the public on the Yankees today. Cahill has been great at home for the A’s and the Yankees are in the tough spot of traveling cross country for a 4:05 EST start time this afternoon. New York has lost 7 of 8 vs. teams with a winning record including 5 straight on the road. The Yankees have also dropped 4 in a row in Oakland and that continues to be the play today.
AL Free Pick: Oakland A’s -125