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New York Yankees vs. Oakland A’s: Series Preview

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Revenge and the return of Luke Voit capture the storylines as the Yanks return to the Bronx.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees-Game 2 Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees are back home after a long trip out West. They were able to salvage the stretch by taking care of business against the Dodgers and Mariners, though the series that preceded those was not as pretty. The A’s swept the Yanks to start the West Coast swing, and it’s time to correct that injustice with this three-game set.

These three games carry meaning for both teams, as the A’s are in a tight battle for a Wild Card spot, while the Yanks are neck-and-neck with the Astros for home-field advantage.

Here are the pitching probables for the rematch, only this time, the Yanks will have Luke Voit back!

Game One: CC Sabathia vs. Brett Anderson

After a rough return from the IL against Cleveland, Sabathia looked much better in his start against the mighty Dodgers last weekend. Though he only lasted four innings, the big lefty held Los Angeles to just two runs while striking out seven. His lone costly mistake of the day resulted in a two-run homer by Justin Turner in a controversial loss, but Sabathia will look to carry that momentum back home on Friday. He’s held this A’s roster to a pedestrian .744 OPS over his career, but Josh Phegley has given him some problems, going 5-for-11 with a dinger.

The A’s turn to Anderson in the series opener. The lefty hasn’t faced the Yanks this season, but he has held the 2019 Bombers relatively in check throughout their careers. Then again, DJ LeMahieu is 5-for-13 with a home run against Anderson. Given the Yankees’ collective success against southpaws this season, look for a strong offensive outing. Anderson enters this start with a 4.08 ERA over 150 innings this season.

Game Two: Domingo German vs. Homer Bailey

Like Sabathia, German bounced back from a rough outing to turn in a quality performance in his last start, also against the Dodgers. On Sunday night, German surrendered a home run to Joc Pederson on his first pitch of the game, then didn’t allow another runner to cross through six innings of work. Of course, the rough start that preceded it came against the A’s, when he allowed six runs through 5.1 innings. German has had trouble against a number of Oakland hitters in small sample sizes, most notably Mark Canha, who is 4-for-5 with a double and a home run against the righty.

Bailey countered German when the two teams met in Oakland last week, and the 33-year-old stymied the Yanks over 5.2 innings, allowing just one run and striking out seven. Still, the Yankees were able to collect seven hits, but just couldn’t come away with a big blow to get to Bailey. The Yankee that has seen the righty the best over his career is Cameron Maybin, who is 6-for-14 with a home run.

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

Sorry everyone, Happ is indeed still on the team. He hasn’t been launched into space yet, and he will be on the mound to close out this series. Happ has let a lot of baseballs take orbit this season, having surrendered 32 home runs, including one in his last outing against the Mariners. That three-run jack, however, was the extent of his mistakes in a Yankee victory.

He also pitched in the Yanks’ previous series with the A’s, and it did not go well. The southpaw was knocked around for five runs over four innings while giving up another two bombs. Happ should be careful with Marcus Semien, who’s been heating up for Oakland and is 9-for-21 with three home runs in his career against the southpaw.

Fiers was another opponent that the Yanks bent, but didn’t break during the early stages of their West Coast trip. Fiers held the Yankees’ offense to two runs over 5.1 innings, but did allow three walks and six hits. Hopefully the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium will put the Bombers over the hump this time. Fiers has a very strong 3.40 ERA on the season and has allowed just three runs over his last 10.2 innings. Once again, Maybin could be a hitter to watch. He has two home runs and a .932 OPS against Fiers in 19 career at-bats.