by Max - 05/06/2005
Two disappointing teams square off at the Stadium in the Bronx. The Yankees come into this series with a 12-17 record and have all sorts of problems right now. They are just 7-10 when playing under their home lights. Oakland has fared a little better but is still two games under the .500 mark after being swept by Texas during the week. Doc's expects New York to enter each game as a hefty favorite but feels there will be some value in selecting Oakland.
Oakland will send their ace Barry Zito to the mound on Friday night. Zito has started to show signs of his Cy Young form, but stills seems to get burned by key hits in the late innings. He will give Oakland a good outing on Friday and leave this game with a lead before turning it over to an impressive bullpen led by closer Octavio Dotel. The pen will be fresh since they have not been used since Wednesday and they will be able to improve upon their 2.50 collective E.R.A.
The Yankees still have not found a pitcher capable of getting out hitters on a consistent basis. Kevin Brown and his $15 million salary are leading this achievement. Brown has yet to record a victory this season and currently sits at 0-4 with an 8.25 E.R.A. He is only in this rotation by default and if he was not making so much money he would be long gone by now. Remember that fans hatred toward him started last season in game seven against Boston. Brown was lit up early in that game and fans have yet to forgive him for that lackluster performance.
We will take Oakland in all three games of this set. They should enter as the dog in each of the three games and we feel they will come away victorious in at least two of them. Rich Harden goes on Sunday and he has been lights out this season. His current E.R.A. is 1.82. Oakland is set up perfectly for this series as their big pitching guns all will take a turn starting. We will be on them early and encourage you to do so as well.