A's vs Yankees Picks and Predictions: New York's Bats Wake Up

One thing both the A's and Yankees do well is hit finesse pitchers, and that's the kind of matchup we've got tonight as Paul Blackburn faces Jordan Montgomery. We're giving extra credence to Aaron Judge and Chad Pinder to do damage for their teams.

Last Updated: Jun 27, 2022 3:49 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Aaron Judge New York Yankees MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

It's a matchup of baseball's best vs. perhaps baseball's worst when the New York Yankees kick off a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics in the Bronx.

New York comes into this one off the heels of a thrilling 2-1 series win over Houston. Both of the Yankees' wins came in come-from-behind fashion and featured two walk-off hits — both by Aaron Judge. 

The A's have been reasonably competitive in their last ten games, going 4-6, but the offense has been anemic. They are coming off a 5-3 win against the Kansas City Royals, but before that series, had failed to score over two runs for six straight games. Our MLB betting picks aren't exactly fans of the underdog story tonight.

A's vs Yankees odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Yankees opened as one of the most significant favorites of the season at around -300, and that number has since essentially stayed the same. 

The total opened up at 8.5 and has also stayed there by Monday afternoon.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

A's vs Yankees predictions

Picks made on 6/27/2022 at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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A's vs Yankees game info

Location: Yankee Stadium, New York City, NY
Date: Monday, June 27, 2022
First pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports California, YES

A's vs Yankees betting preview

Starting pitchers

Jordan Montgomery (3-1, 2.97 ERA): Like so many of the Yankees pitchers this season, Montgomery has taken a step forward. Maybe it was as simple as a sharp improvement in his walk rate from a season ago. Montgomery excels at inducing soft contact with a hard-hit rate and exit velocity that hovers near the league's top. He's likely due to some slight negative regression, but it will come against batters willing to take a lot of pitches. 

Paul Blackburn (6-3, 2.97 ERA): Blackburn has quietly put together an excellent season thus far in Oakland. Consequently, it wouldn't surprise me if his name gets thrown around in the upcoming weeks in potential trade talks. Blackburn's most significant issue is his hard-hit rate, which ranks in the bottom 40% of baseball.

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

A's: No key injuries to report.
Yankees: Gleyber Torres SS (Out), Aroldis Chapman RP (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Yankees are 46-14 in their last 60 overall. Find more MLB betting trends for A's vs. Yankees

A's vs Yankees picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Run line analysis

This one won't be as straightforward for the Yankees as you might think. Blackburn has performed well against big bats like the Blue Jays and Red Sox. However, he's also struggled against teams that hit breaking balls well, like the Astros and Mariners. Because of that, I'll lean on the Yankees to eventually get the job done.

Anecdotally, it's the wrong time for a pitcher who runs into hard contact to be facing New York and especially Aaron Judge.

The Yankees somehow took two of four from the Astros over the weekend despite their offense being lifeless for a large chunk of playing time. They needed DJ LeMahieu's heroics via a two-run home run to tie the game yesterday. A hit that would eventually send the game into extra innings where they'd win on a Judge bomb.

Before LeMahieu's clutch homer, they had been no-hit for 15 consecutive innings. Yes, 15. Expect a team ready to get some feel-good back in their offense and eager to put up a crooked number. They'll get a solid matchup to do just that.

Blackburn is what you'd classify as a "finesse pitcher." He relies on curveballs, changeups, and other breaking balls to make up his pitching arsenal. He also rarely throws the fastball. Yankees hitters have done well against pitchers that match this profile. Their OPS makes the most significant leap, going from .702 to .782 when squaring off against finesse. Blackburn is undervalued, but he's in the wrong spot tonight. 

I'm grabbing the Yankees run line. My projections don't see much value and agree that it's priced accurately. But, sometimes, you have to roll with the situational aspect of things. 

Prediction: Yankees -1.5 (-152 at FanDuel)

Over/Under analysis

I don't exactly love this spot here because of how lifeless the Athletics offense can be at times, but I'm going to roll with the Over. 

My projections have the Yankees and Athletics going over their listed First Five innings total around 67% of the time. While I disagree with that degree, I can't ignore it, especially with us getting around a 20% edge on the implied probability.

I talked about why I believe in the Yankees hitting tonight. I expect them to do the heavy lifting but wouldn't be surprised if Oakland chipped in some. Expecting the A's to score these days is a dubious ask. They rank at the bottom of virtually every hitting peripheral you can find, except for one area. Like their opponent, they hit finesse pitchers well. That's what they have tonight. Oakland's OPS on the season is around .530. Against pitchers who throw mostly breaking balls, it skyrockets up to .678.

We don't need much from Oakland here, given what I expect the Yankees to do. But both of these teams, even if they are vastly different, have good matchups in front of them. It doesn't hurt that Montgomery is poised for some regression. 

Prediction: First five innings Over 4.5 (-105 at DraftKings)

Best bet

I will have a little bit of action spread across this game. I like the Yankees to start hot, and we'll be taking them to win the first inning at a price around +200. I also look to grab some Yankees team totals live if I can get them at reasonable numbers. But my favorite bet on the slate is simply taking the above handicap and applying it to a pair of solid hitters in good matchups.

Judge and Chad Pinder are the best hitters against the breaking ball on either team. Despite the Athletics' issues as a whole hitting the ball, Pinder doesn't struggle with the stick. 

His favorite matchup comes against pitchers that throw a lot of breaking balls. Against them, he's averaging a base around 53% of his plate appearances. That means if he sees Montgomery three times, he has approximately a 90% chance of taking at least one base via a hit.

Judge is even better in these spots. He's taken a base in a remarkable 67% of his plate appearances against finesse pitchers. However, given the nature of the game, he's likely only to see Blackburn twice, and still, he's given around a 90% chance of taking at least one base via a hit. 

Let's take those numbers we nerded out with and do something with them. If the probability of both occurring is around 81% and you then factor in some external factors, then a parlay of the two to get a hit should be priced around -400. It's not. Let's follow the numbers and a significant edge we've uncovered. I wouldn't be opposed to playing the Over on bases for these two together. 

Pick: Same Game Parlay — Chad Pinder and Aaron Judge both to get a hit (-115 at FanDuel)

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