New York Yankees 4 game series with the dangerous Athletics, here’s the preview

The New York Yankees are coming off 11 straight wins and have gone 28-8 since July 17th, escalated them to just 4.5 games behind the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox are 3 games behind the Yankees and the Blue Jays 8 back from the Yanks. The pitiful Baltimore Orioles will lose over 100 games this season.

During this winning period, the Yankees have faced some pretty tough teams. Late in July, they took a series from the Tampa Bay Rays; they beat the White Sox and Seattle Mariners and swept the Boston Red Sox. They also did what they needed to against the lesser Marlins, Royals, and Orioles. In addition, they are coming off a series win of the number 1 Atlanta Braves. Now tonight, they start a four-game weekend set against the dangerous Oakland Athletics.

Earlier in the month, the New York Yankees were fighting for that second wildcard berth with the Athletics. Since then, the Yankees a gotten the first berth, and the Athletics have slipped 1.5 games behind Boston for the second spot. The Yankees are playing their best baseball of the season, and the Athletics not so much, only going 2-8 in their last ten and losing four in a row.  But because the A’s have not been great recently, the Yankees can’t be complacent; the A’s are a very dangerous team at the Oakland Coliseum.

Tonight, August 26, 9:40 pm

Tonight the Yankees will start Jameson Taillon, who has been the Yankee’s best pitcher during their 28-8 winning streak. The righty is 8-4 with an ERA of 3.94 with 121 strikeouts. The Yankees have won all of his last seven starts. He is coming off his 8th win of the season against the Minnesota Twins, although he gave up three runs in 5.1 innings of work. Tonight is the exact same matchup as when the Yankees met up with the A’s on June 18th. The Yankees lost that game, but Taillon only gave up two runs. Wandy Peralta took the loss when he gave up 3 runs in the sixth inning.

Taillon will face one of the Athletics’ best pitchers in righty James Kaprielian who is 7-4 with a 3.25 ERA and 87 strikeouts. Kaprielian is coming off three straight wins, two against the Rangers and the most recent against the Giants. Kappy isn’t going to be happy when he sees Joey Gallo as a Yankee. Gallo has 7 at-bats against him, hitting .571. DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge have also hit .333 against the righty.

Friday, August 27, 9:40 pm

Friday night, New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole will be on the mound for his third start since coming off the Covid list. Cole is  12-6 with a 2.92 ERA and an incredible 191 strikeouts. Cole has the second-most strikeouts in the American League. Cole has not faced the Athletics this season. In the past, only Elvis Andrus has hit well off of Cole.

Cole will face lefty Sean Manaea; he is 8-8 with an ERA of 3.77 and 151 strikeouts. Manaea is coming off two losses in a row. In the Rangers loss, he gave up seven earned runs in 5 innings of work.  The last time he faced the Yankees on June 20, he took the loss. Aaron Judge, DJ LeMahieu, and Gary Sanchez have pretty much had their way with Manaea all going .333 or better off him.

Saturday, August 28, 4:07 pm

The Saturday matinee will pit Nestor Cortes Jr. against Frankie Montas. Cortes has been a blessing for the Yankees since taking over for the injured Corey Kluber. The Yankees won 6 of his 8 starts as he was stretched from being a reliever to a starter. His last win was against the Twins when he threw 104 pitches, getting seven strikeouts giving up only 2 runs. Half of the A’s have never seen Cortes pitch. Only Matt Olsen has been successful off him.

Cortes will face Frankie Montas, 9-9, with an ERA of 3.84 and 161 strikeouts. Only the ex-Ranger Yankees have faced Montas, Rougie Odor, and Joey Gallo have hit well off of him.  Montes is coming off two straight losses, one against the White Sox and one against the Giants.

Sunday, August 29, 7:08 pm

Sunday evening’s game will feature Jordan Montgomery on the mound for the Yankees and Paul Blackburn for the A’s. “Monty” is a lefty that is 5-5 with an ERA of 3.69 and 123 strikeouts. As suggested by his ERA, Monty is a better pitcher than his record. For all Yankee pitchers, he has the misfortune of getting the least run support. The Yankees had won his last four starts, including his most recent won over the Atlanta Braves when he gave up just one run. Josh Lorie and Matt Olson have Montgomery’s number.

Paul Blackburn, a righty, has a limited record of 0-1 with an ERa of 4.09 and 8 strikeouts. Blackburn has only pitched two games for the A’s, losing both of them. Blackburn has an odd baseball history kicking around for 8 years that injuries have marred. He hit the majors 5 years ago with the A’s, but he has only pitched 23 innings in those five years. Only Rougie Odor has seen him pitch; he has a .333 average off him.

Notes: All game times given are Eastern Daylight Time. The Thursday and Friday games are televised on the YES Network and NBCSCA in California. Saturday will be on NBCSCA and in the New York area on WPIX and its affiliates. The Sunday night game will be nationally televised only on ESPN. When the New York Yankees conclude this series they will move on to Los Angeles to play a 3-game series with the Angels, before returning to the Stadium to play the Orioles.