In: MLB Free Picks25 Aug 2011
MLB: Oakland A’s (+195) vs New York Yankees (-210) Over-Under 9.5
The Oakland Athletics are playing the Yankees. Your first reaction would be take Yankees. However, you would be shocked to hear that Oakland, if they win this game, would have swept the Yankees for the first time in 5 Years. So maybe that will make you think twice. If you were going off just the fact that A’s were playing the Yankees, you would have no idea whether to lean the Under given Oakland’s horrible offense or lean Over because of the Yankees powerful offense. You need to look at more the pitchers starting this game, because in this instance you will get a clear answer of what the best bet is today.
Today he will get the face the Oakland A’s. This Oakland team is not a Money Ball team. They have trouble getting on base, and don’t even hit for average. This team has a batting average of .245. That’s 2nd worst in the AL. This team has no offensive leader. Coco Crisp is leading the team in batting average with a batting average of .275! To show you just how awful that is, the Yankees will have 5 players in the starting line up with an average of .275 or higher. You cannot be a good offensive team when your best average hitter isn’t close to the.300 mark. This Oakland team also lacks power. Some of it could be the ballpark, but when you are the last in the AL it is hard to make excuses. The A’s have only hit 81 long balls this season while the Yankees have hit 170! That’s twice as much.
At this point you may be thinking I am going to tell you to the Yankees, but I cannot do that. One the juice is just ridiculous at -210. Truthfully, I wouldn’t even recommend it at -150.
The reason I cannot advise you to take New York is Rich Harden. Harden has the stuff to be an elite pitcher but injuries have kept him from doing so. Even though Harden has spent 9 of his 10 years playing with losing franchises like the A’s and the Cubs, Harden’s career record 59-39! That’s winning 60% of the time. To put that in perspective, the Yankees ace CC Sabathia, has a career winning percentage of 64%. This guy is good. In Harden’s last start, he matched a career high striking out 11 batters. Over his last 3, he is 2-0 with a 1.28 WHIP. That WHIP is actually right in line with where he has been all season. This guy just doesn’t allow many hits or walks. In fact, since the all star break Harden has a major league leading 11.2 strike outs per 9 innings. Opponents are not even getting the bat on the ball. His 2.50 ERA is reflective of how good he has been this entire season, not just in 3 starts.
Take: UNDER 9.5