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Yankees to start fast vs. free-falling Athletics

New York Yankees / Getty Images Sport / Getty

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We have a monstrous 15-game slate ahead of us Wednesday. Let's examine a few plays that pop off the page as we look to get back on track following an underwhelming start to the week.

Athletics (+195) @ Yankees (-230)

The Athletics started the season respectably, but their putrid offense is finally catching up to them.

Oakland is hitting .204 and averaging just 2.8 runs per game this season, leaving the team no margin for error when it comes to pitching or defense.

It's very hard to grind out results when you're so inept offensively. We've seen that of late with the Athletics, who have dropped six of the past eight games and scored just two runs in one of their wins.

They'll need to pick it up offensively in a big way if they're going to hang around with the Yankees. That's easier said than done when going up against Clarke Schmidt.

Schmidt doesn't generally pitch deep into games, but it's tough to score against him when he's on the mound. He's allowed two runs or fewer in three of four starts this season, with a three-run showing against an Astros team sitting sixth in xwOBA serving as the lone exception.

Schmidt should be able to minimize the damage this struggling Athletics attack can dole out.

That means Joe Boyle needs to shine against the Yankees, and I don't see that happening. He owns a 7.23 ERA this season and has struggled mightily with control. That's not a great recipe for success versus a New York team that walks at a very high rate.

This is a good matchup for the Yankees to hit the ground running offensively. Look for them to give Schmidt plenty of support early and hold a lead through five innings.

Bet: Yankees F5 -0.5 (-140)

Joe Ryan: Over 6.5 strikeouts

Ryan is a strikeout machine. He's stacked up 30 through just 22 2/3 innings pitched and is averaging 7.5 per start.

His strikeout prowess should continue to serve him well against the White Sox. They own a 26.6 K% against right-handed pitchers over the past two weeks, ranking them worse than all but two teams.

Opposing pitchers have put up massive numbers versus Chicago, particularly of late. The White Sox have struck out 31 times in aggregate against the last four opposing starters, which is insane considering Pablo López only completed four innings last time out.

Ryan has electric stuff and wastes very few pitches. That should allow him to give the Twins good length in this game and pile up the strikeouts along the way.

Odds: -125 (playable to -140)

Matt Waldron: Over 3.5 strikeouts

The Rockies struck out only three times against Zac Gallen on Opening Day. Sixteen consecutive right-handed starters have registered four-plus Ks against Colorado since, including Michael King, Emerson Hancock, Zack Littell, Javier Assad, Brandon Pfaadt, and plenty of other starters who aren't exactly household names.

Waldron has gone over this line in three of four starts this season, falling short only against the Blue Jays. However, Toronto owns the seventh-lowest K% against righties, while the Rockies sit 28th.

Colorado has very little discipline at the plate and hasn't shown the ability to limit strikeouts even when the team has chased opposing pitches early on.

Look for Waldron, who's sat down more than 20% of opposing batters, to record a handful of strikeouts before exiting this game.

Odds: -115 (playable to -130)

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on X at @ToddCordell.

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