Seven Rays combined shutout the Blue Jays on Tuesday and give us two in a row here to open the final month of the regular season.
Ryne Stanek, Hunter Wood, Jalen Beeks and Jose Alvarado went the first six innings; Diego Castillo went the seventh and eighth and Sergio Romo saved it in the ninth after Adam Kolarek came on and made things a little too interesting.
Tonight I’m back to Oakland for the rubber match between the A’s and Yankees. New York gave up two hits in a win on last night: JA Happ going six before Robertson, Britton and Betances made quick work of the seventh, eighth and ninth.
Tonight it’ll be Luis Severino against Mike Fiers. For just about the last month I’ve been saying the A’s are going to give the ball to Fiers in the play-in game and, considering New York will be the opponent, there’s a great chance it’ll be against Severino.
Then again, this isn’t the same guy who finished third in the Cy Young voting last season and went into the all-star break 14–2.
Severino lost his first three starts out of the break and has given up sixty-five hits in his last forty-eight innings. He did punch out ten in his last start against Detroit but the Tigers do that; they still managed three runs against him.
It’s possible the issue is mechanical; it could be in his head; or perhaps he’s hit some sort of wall but Severino hasn’t been the same guy. He’s finished seven innings exactly once since July, which isn’t a huge deal when you have one of the best bullpens in baseball behind you. Nonetheless, it’s odd. If he doesn’t pitch well this month, I can’t imagine he’ll pitch well in the postseason.
Fiers struggled in his last start, too, the first such instance since he came over from the Tigers in a post-trade deadline deal. Things seemed ok until the Mariners teed off for three home runs in the fourth inning, which he never did complete. He may have just been over-aggressive after the offense spotted him a 5–0 lead early. The good news is that he only threw sixty-six pitches and should have some juice tonight.
Even with the cat out of the bag on the A’s, the Yankees are big road favorites tonight, which is batshit crazy. I’ve got more confidence in Fiers than I do in Severino, especially in Oakland. Heck, I’ll take the Athletics’ lineup over the Yankees’ while Judge and Gregorious are out and Sanchez is looking for his timing.
I’m really not sure what sort of game to expect but, given the pitching matchup, there’s certainly a decent chance it stays low. For that reason, I’ll lay -120 on the runline, in addition to playing the fat moneyline.
Play: Oakland +1.5
AL Wildcard • Luis Severino • mike fiers • New York Yankees • oakland athletics