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New York Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics: Series Preview

The Yankees will welcome Oakland to town for a three-game set.

Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

While a lot of it was pretty frustrating from a Yankees perspective, the weekend series against the Astros ended on quite a high note. A late rally was capped by a walk-off home run from Aaron Judge, giving the Yankees a series split with Houston. Now, they’re set to face off against another AL West foe, albeit one at the other end of the standings.

Starting tonight, the Oakland Athletics are in town for a three-game set. After their offseason fire sale, the A’s have been about would you would expect after doing that. They currently sit 21 games back of the Astros team that the Yankees just split with, and they hold the worst record in baseball at 25-49 — no small feat, given the kind of start the Reds got off to in 2022. Despite all that, they still have some solid pitching, much of which the Yankees will see over the next couple days.

Before the action kicks off tonight, let’s take a look at the pitching matchups for this three-game set.

Monday: Jordan Montgomery vs. Paul Blackburn (7:05 PM ET)

The only starter who didn’t end up going during the Astros’ series, Montgomery will get the ball in the opener. His last outing wasn’t great as he allowed four runs in six innings, but he kept the Yankees in the game, as they eventually beat the Rays 5-4. In 11.1 innings against Oakland last year, he held the A’s to just one run.

Blackburn has been the Athletics’ best starter so far this season by Baseball Reference, coming in with a 2.97 ERA (123 ERA+) and 3.39 FIP in 14 starts. Those numbers were way better just a couple days ago before he made his last start. Last Wednesday against the Mariners, he was knocked around for seven runs on 10 hits.

Tuesday: TBD vs. Frankie Montas (7:05 PM ET)

At time of writing, the Yankees have not confirmed who will be the starters for the final two games of the series. While it’s possible that they just stick to the regular order, who knows? They might try to squeeze something in considering they haven’t had an off-day in two weeks and aren’t going to get one until a week from now.

If New York does stick to the normal order, this would be Jameson Taillon’s game to start, seeking a bounce-back from a rough outing against the Astros on Thursday night. If not, JP Sears is the most likely option, seeing as he didn’t pitch Yesterday, when he was originally scheduled to. He acquitted himself nicely in his first career start back on May 25th, when he threw five shutout innings against the Orioles. He has a 3.06 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in four starts down in Triple-A Scranton since then.

A name who’s been linked to the Yankees in trade rumors, Tuesday could be an interesting game for Montas. He’s coming into this game on a high note, as he took a no-hitter into the eight inning in his most recent outing. He ended up allowing two, but finished the game with eight shutout innings. He had struggled somewhat in his couple starts prior to that, but on the whole he’s had a solid season — one that actually rates better than Blackburn, per FanGraphs.

Wednesday: TBD vs. Cole Irvin (1:05 PM ET)

It’s a similar story to Tuesday, as the Yankees haven’t announced anything for the finale yet either. In the normal order, this would be Luis Severino’s day, but we’ll see. This could also Sears, or possibly Taillon as well if he gets pushed back a day. Either choice would slide Severino to the one-game trip to Houston on Thursday.

This will be the Yankees’ first ever look at Irvin, who hasn’t faced the Bombers in his four-year career to date. His 2022 got off a slow start with two less than great performances, but since then, he’s been pretty solid. Since April 19th, he has a 2.86 ERA in 56.2 innings, having made it at least five innings in all of his starts.


The Yankees confirmed that Sears will start Tuesday, and we’ll see Taillon on Wednesday since Severino is pitching in Houston.