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New York Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics: Series Preview

The Yankees kick off their West Coast trip with a series against the A’s

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Chicago Cubs Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees had to settle for a series split with Cleveland, but they still went 6-2 on the homestand. Tonight they will face Oakland for the first time all season, then the Athletics will make the trek to New York the following weekend. Here’s a look at how the two teams matchup.

Game One: Domingo German vs. Homer Bailey

Domingo German can’t stop—and perhaps won’t stop—getting killed by home runs. His HR/9 is hovering just under 2, which is not ideal. He has otherwise pitched pretty well since returning from the injured list. German tossed seven innings against the Orioles during his last outing, surrendering just two earned runs. Both came via the long ball.

Homer Bailey started his season in Kansas City, and ended up in Oakland prior to the trade deadline. This has been his best season since 2014, at least in terms of WAR. Bailey has been up and down since joining the Athletics. He surrendered nine runs to the Astros a couple weeks ago, and got lit up by the Cubs earlier in the month. On the other hand, he held the Giants to two hits over seven innings during his last start. It’s the Giants, though.

Game Two: J.A. Happ vs. Mike Fiers

Speaking of Yankees pitchers who give up a ton of home runs, J.A. Happ will start the second game of this series. Across 125 innings, the southpaw owns a 5.40 ERA (5.55 FIP) with 7.27 K/9 and 2.09 HR/9. To say this is a down year for him would be an understatement. His last start against Baltimore was his best in six weeks, so maybe he’ll keep the positive momentum going.

Mike Fiers is having a decent year in Oakland, despite his strikeout numbers dipping below 6 K/9. The right-hander surrendered FOUR home runs to the Astros during his last outing, which could bode well for the Yankees. It’s just too bad Giancarlo Stanton isn’t around to take him deep.

Game Three: Masahiro Tanaka vs. Tanner Roark

Don’t look now, but Masahiro Tanaka just put together two good outings in a row. He has admittedly been all over the place this season, but he gave up just two runs over his last 14.1 innings pitched. Check out Kento’s breakdown of Tanaka’s recent scoreless start against the Blue Jays to get a feel for his approach of late.

Tanner Roark is yet another pitcher who joined the Athletics prior to the deadline. The right-hander has been great in Oakland so far. Across three starts against good teams—Astros, Cardinals, Cubs—he posted a 2.55 ERA with 16 strikeouts. Maybe the Yankees should have tried a little harder to pick up the right-hander.