Billy J’s Monday MLB Preview – Oakland Athletics @ New York Yankee

Our in-house MLB expert, Billy J (+1.39 units), gives his best bet for today!

A new week begins with new series matchups and before it does, let’s catch our breath after that incredible Yankees and Astros series. That had everything we all hoped for and more. If that is a playoffs preview then sign me up. After splitting the series two games apiece, the Yankees now pivot their attention to the team with the worst winning percentage in baseball in the Oakland Athletics. Talk about a complete 180. The betting world has no sympathy and is asking you to risk -300 for the Yankees money line. They wouldn’t lose the opening game of the series against the lowly A’s would they?

Well good thing we are not going to dissect that today. The key is to always find the right value. Sometimes you have to look from a different perspective or think outside the box. There is always a counter argument that can be made that this can be a letdown game for the Yankees. It very well could be. The Yankees will square off against Paul Blackburn (6-3, 2.97) who has been steady throughout the year so far for the A’s. He may very well make the All-Star team and perhaps by default as the team’s lone representative. However, Blackburn has had a few rough outings in June. In his last start, Blackburn was tagged for seven earned runs in his home start against the Mariners. Earlier in the month, Blackburn only got through four innings against the Red Sox in which he gave up seven hits and four earned runs. Blackburn has come back down to earth in a way since he started the season 5-0 with a 1.70 ERA.

Facing off against Blackburn in this pitching matchup is Yankees left-hander Jordan Montgomery (3-1, 2.97 ERA). The Yankees have won his last six starts and his lone loss of the season dates back to April. As I was looking for any potential pick in this game, I noticed that Montgomery has cruised in the first inning in many of his recent starts. In his four June starts, Montgomery has given up one total hit in the first inning and that was a bunt single. I then started looking at all his other starts and the last time Montgomery gave up a hit in the first inning that was not a bunt single was on May 19th to the Orioles. The last time a run was scored in the first inning against Montgomery was May 14th against the White Sox.

Ok so what’s the point here, right? Are we looking to do a no runs scored first inning type of bet? Close, but not what I was looking at. So, in a game where the money line is -300 there has to be value somewhere. When looking further I did see the perfect play that lines up to Montgomery’s first inning recent dominance. For the first team to score, I’ve got the Yankees -130. Typically these bets are not made for the home team in mind, but factor in how Montgomery has mowed down hitters in the first and the potent Yankees lineup at home against a pitcher who hasn’t been nearly as effective as he was early in the season, I feel confident that the Yankees get to bat in the first with the A’s not getting any runs across.

The Pick: Yankees first team to score -130 on Caesars Sportsbook for 1 unit

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