The Oakland A’s kept their magical season alive — and got me back in the win column — with Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over Detroit. Tonight, let’s switch to the other American League series and play it under the total. Take away a five-run ninth inning by the Yankees in Game 1, and these teams have crossed home plate just nine times (combined) in two games. Runs figure to be scarce in the Bronx tonight, as two quality starting pitchers square off against two pressing offenses (yes, I’m looking right at you, A-Rod).
Baltimore’s Miguel Gonzalez is 9-4 with a 3.25 ERA, including 6-2 with a 2.74 ERA on the road and 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA in his last four outings (giving up just six runs in 25 2/3 innings). Gonzalez faced the Yankees twice this year, both times in New York, and acquitted himself well, yielding a total of four runs, 10 hits and one walk with 17 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings (2.63 ERA).
Meanwhile, the Yankees will trot out their most consistent starting pitcher, and his name isn’t CC Sabathia. Hiroki Kuroda was New York’s de-facto ace in the regular season, going 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA, and when I say consistent, I mean the veteran right-hander allowed more than four earned runs in a game just four times in 33 starts. Also, Kuroda was actually better in hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium (11-6, 2.72 ERA) than he was on the road (5-5, 4.23 ERA), and that includes two solid home efforts against the O’s this year, yielding five runs, 12 hits and one walk in 15 1/3 innings.
Finally, two-thirds of Kuroda’s starts this season (22 of 33) stayed under the total (including both of his starts against Baltimore), and the undercashed in 11 of Gonzalez’s 15 starts, including seven of nine on the road (with both games he pitched at Yankee Stadium staying low).
Rating:★ ★ ★ ☆
Tuesday’s Result: A’s (-135) vs. Tigers (Win)