Athletics – Yankees Series Preview
The Yanks enter a home series with Oakland having won four of the last five series, including recently Houston, where the pinstripes were crushed in game one but took the next two. Moneyball-run Oakland, meanwhile, took two of three from the Angels. These two teams will play three in the Bronx. Here is a series preview.The Yankees have won games with small ball and long ball, comebacks, some excellent starting pitching at times and for the most part a very strong bullpen. Mariano Rivera has saved 11 in 11 opportunities. New York leads the American League with 38 home runs and is tied with Atlanta for the Major League lead. They are 5-0 in one-run games. Oakland’s pitching, gritty play, ability to win close games late and Moneyball (high on-base percentage and hitting the home run at the right time with people on the bases) concept has given them a nice start.
Player to watch: Yoenis Cespedes. This is year two in Oakland for Cespedes, the Cuban-born power slugger and leftfielder. Cespedes could hit a few balls to Manhattan in this series. He loves lefthanded pitching. Cespedes’ average is down, but his power numbers are there with 4 HR, 14 RBI and a .500 slugging mark.
Pitching match-ups: Friday: CC Sabathia (4-2., 3.35 ERA) vs. A.J. Griffin (2-2, 4.65). Saturday: Phil Hughes (0-2, 4.67) vs. Bartolo Colon (3-0, 3.38). Sunday: Andy Pettitte (3-2, 3.86) vs. Dan Straily (1-0, 6.35).
Prediction: Yankees win two of three. This team is incredibly confident right now and it will toss Sabathia and Pettitte. This should be a terrific series.
By: Mike Lindsley, “Mid-Day with Mike,” 1-4, Yankees pre/post game host on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeLSports.