Author: Ana Apostoleris Page 3 of 8

Oakland A’s Series Preview: August 26-29

The Yankees are absolutely riding high as they hit their West Coast trip this week, heading out to Oakland on an 11-game winning streak, their longest since 1985.  They are 3 games ahead of Boston for the first wildcard spot, and are chasing Tampa for first place in the East, just four games back.  The Oakland A’s are also in the hunt, a mere 1.5 games behind Boston, so this upcoming three-game set is important to both teams trying to cement their status as postseason contenders.

Their Story So Far

The Athletics are coming into this series on a 4-game losing streak and are 2-8 in their last 10, but overall this season have been formidable.  They bounced back from a 1-7 start at the beginning of April with a 13 game win streak, and have capably rivaled the Astros for much of the season.  Their recent slump has them 4.5 games behind Houston in the West, but even the red-hot Yankees shouldn’t underestimate Bob Melvin’s squad.

The A’s have been unspectacular but above-average on both sides of the ball, with a 109 staff-wide ERA+ and a 103 OPS+.  Their lineup has been bolstered by Matt Olson, who’s having a fantastic year with 32 home runs and a 161 OPS+, and Starling Marte, who has slashed .353/.391/.490 since being traded from the Marlins last month.  The rest of their offensive, while not putting up eye-popping numbers, has been overall solid.

The starting rotation of Cole Irvin, Sean Manaea, Frankie Montas, and James Kaprelian are all pitching to sub-4 ERAs, and prior to his injury Chris Bassitt had a 3.22 ERA and 12 wins, tied for the league lead.  Closer Lou Trivino has 21 saves, despite blowing his last two opportunities, and Yusmeiro Petit, Jake Diekman, and the eternal Sergio Romo have capably held down middle relief.

The A’s are not really a powerhouse by any means this year, but despite their recent slump are fundamentally solid.  They have the third-fewest errors in the majors, and allow the third fewest runs per game in the AL.  The Yankees’ recent success has put them in a good position with regards to the playoffs, but the A’s are right there with them in the standings and should not be an easy matchup.

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Game 120: got ’em

Well well well, how the turntables.

On July 4, the Yankees were 10 games behind the Red Sox and 0-6 against their AL East rivals.  Today, after completing a two-game doubleheader sweep by winning the evening game 2-0, the Yankees sit one game up on the Sox in the loss column.  If the season ended today, the Yankees would make the playoffs as a wild card. What a crazy ride this month has been; now all the Yankees have to do is keep up with the competition for the last 7 weeks of the year.  To the takeaways –

Game 119: Montgomery returns in yet another nailbiter

If we’ve learned one thing from 2021, it’s that the Yankees will never, ever let us breathe.  In the first game of this split double-header against the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees once again took it down to the wire to secure a 5-3 win in seven innings and pull within one game of the Red Sox in the AL East and Wild Card standings.  To the takeaways –

Game 116: They get knocked down, but they get up again

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After a gut-punch of a loss in the cornfields on Thursday, tonight’s game against the White Sox had all the makings of a second consecutive heartbreaker. Extra innings, blown leads, and Albert Abreu in a save situation improbably added up to a 7-5 win for the Yankees in Chicago, evening the series at one game apiece.  To the takeaways:

Chicago White Sox Series Preview: August 12-15

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The last time the Yankees and the Chicago White Sox met back in May, they were projected to be two of the best teams in the league despite the Yankees’ rocky April.  The Yankees swept the South Siders in that series including two walkoff wins.  The teams’ fortunes had diverged a bit since that series, but the Yankees are currently on a roll heading out to the Iowa cornfields for a three game set with the top team in the AL Central.

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