After Sweeping Angels, A’s Set Sights On Yankees
Oakland arrives in New York on a six-game winning streak
Fresh off of sweeping the Los Angeles Angels earlier this week, the Oakland Athletics will look to extend their six-game winning streak on Friday afternoon when they open up a three-game series with the New York Yankees.
The A’s capped off a sweep of the Halos on Wednesday afternoon by erasing an early 4-0 deficit to win by a final of 8-4. Ramon Laureano returned from the injured list in a big way, hitting a long solo home run in the fourth inning to go along with an incredible leaping grab at the wall to rob Angels outfielder Justin Upton of a home run.
Oakland’s offense was dialed in against Los Angeles, scoring 22 runs over three games while A’s starters held the Angels to just seven runs.
Since June 1st, the A’s have won 12 of their last 14 games to put themselves 2.5 games ahead of the second-place Houston Astros in the American League West standings.
First baseman Matt Olson has been on an absolute tear since June 12th, upping his batting average from .285 to .297 while bashing three home runs to go along with eight RBI and a 1.050 slugging percentage.
Olson has put himself in a strong position to be selected to the 2021 MLB All-Star game after posting the best start to a season in his career. The slick-fielding first baseman has hit 18 home runs and driven in 49 runs over 64 games this season.
Next up for the Athletics: a three-game set with the struggling New York Yankees.
These aren’t your father’s Yankees, as the Bronx Bombers have lost 13 of their last 20 contests dating back to May 23rd. The Yankees are struggling to score runs this season as they ranks 26th out of 30 MLB teams in runs scored (261 as of June 17th).
American Cy Young Award frontrunner Gerrit Cole will not face the A’s after pitching on Wednesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays. Instead, Oakland will face recently acquired Jameson Taillon on Friday night to open up the series.
Taillon has struggled in his return from Tommy John surgery, beginning the season with a 5.71 ERA over 12 starts.
Oakland pitchers will want to be careful around the likes of sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, but the man they will need to tread the most carefully around is two-time American League All-Star catcher Gary Sanchez.
Over his last eight games, Sanchez has knocked the rust off of his rough start to the season to bat .355 with four home runs and 9 RBI. The 28-year-old is slugging .806 over those games with a 1.181 on base plus slugging percentage.
Former Yankees farmhand James Kaprielian will get the ball on Friday night to face the team that drafted him in the first round of the 2015 MLB Draft.
Saturday’s starting pitcher Chris Bassitt has never faced the New York Yankees over the span of his seven-year career. Sean Manaea holds a 1-1 record with an ERA of 3.65 over four career starts against the Yankees. In Manaea’s two starts at Yankee Stadium, the lefty holds a 1-0 record with zero runs allowed and 13 strikeouts over 12 innings pitched.
The Athletics hold a 3-7 record at Yankee Stadium since the 2017 season (includes the 2018 American League Wild Card Game).
Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday, June 18th: James Kaprielian (3-1, 2.51 ERA) vs Jameson Taillon (1-4, 5.71 ERA)
Saturday, June 19th: Chris Bassitt (7-2, 3.43 ERA) vs Domingo German 4-4, 3.88 ERA)
Sunday, June 20th: Sean Manaea (6-2, 2.99 ERA) vs Jordan Montgomery (3-1, 4.20 ERA)
Probable Starting Lineups
Mark Canha – LF
Ramon Laureano – CF
Matt Olson – 1B
Mitch Moreland – DH
Matt Chapman – 3B
Sean Murphy – C
Stephen Piscotty – RF
Tony Kemp – 2B
New York Yankees
DJ LeMahieu – 1B
Aaron Judge – RF
Gleyber Torres – SS
Giancarlo Stanton – DH
Gio Urshela – 3B
Gary Sanchez – C
Miguel Andujar – LF
Rougned Odor – 2B
Brett Gardner – CF