The opening odds start here
Oakland/NYY over 4.5 even:
The last place Yankees (18-17) return to the stadium to take on the club with the worst record in MLB, the Oakland Athletics (8-27). NY comes off dropping a 3 game series in Tampa Bay (28-7), losing 2 and blowing a 6 run lead yesterday eventually losing to the Rays 8-7 in 10 innings. Cole failed to hold a 6 run lead, allowing his first 2 HR of the season to Christian Betancourt, his 6th of the season and a 3 run shot, followed by a solo job by Jose Siri, his 3rd highlighting a 5 run 6th. Harrison Bader launched his 2nd and Anthony Rizzo clubbed his 6th as the Yankees struck for 6 runs from the third to fifth innings. Bader went 3 for 5 including an additional RBI triple that drove in the 2nd of 2 runs, Gleyber Torres had 2 hits in 6 at bats including an RBI single,, Oswaldo Cabrera drove in a run thanks to an RBI single going 2 for 3, while the struggling Aaron Hicks drove in a run and scored in a run and had an RBI single. Jose Trevin tied the game at 7 in the 7th with an RBI groundout, before Issac Paredes broke the 7 all tie in the bottom of the 10th with a game winning single going 2 for 5 with 2 driven in. Javy Guerra pitched a scoreless first inning before Josh Fleming allowed 6 runs on 7 hits over 5 IP walking 4 and striking out only one batter. The bullpen the rest of the way scattered just a run on 3 hits as Jalen Beeks (1-2) got the final out in the top of the 10th registering the win. Cole went 5 innings getting smacked around for 5 runs on 8 hits walking 2 and fanning 6. Albert Abreu took the loss giving up the winning hit for his first loss of the season. Cole's ERA rose to 2.09 from what was a league leading 1.35. NY has now lost 10 of their last 16 while the Rays improved to 19-3 at home, have won 5 of their last 6 overall and now have a 10 game lead over the Yanks.

Oakland took 2 of 3 from Kansas City (9-26) over the weekend dropping the finale 5-1. The Royals have the second worst record in the league. Salvador Perez went 3 for 4 with 3 runs scored and a solo HR, his 7th of the season. Nick Pratto added a 2 run double and Michael Massey contributed a sacrifice fly as Ryan Yarborough (1-4) finally picked up his first win of the season surrendering just a run on 3 hits in 5 2/3 innings striking out 2 and allowing no walks. Ramon Laureano gave Oakland their only run of the game with an RBI single as Mason Miller (0-2), despite a quality start was charged with the loss despite giving up only 2 runs on 5 hits over 6 walking one and striking out 5. Shintaro Fujinami didn't help the Athletics' chances coughing up 3 earned on 4 hits in just an inning and a third.

After learning about the death of 73 year old former A's pitcher Vida Blue earlier in the day, things just continued to go south for Oakland. Tonight they send JP Sears (0-2 5.06) to the hill this evening. The 27 year old southpaw in his second season has allowed 10 earned and 15 hits over his last 16 1/3 innings (5.52). He faces a Yankees lineup batting just .230 coming into tonight, 5th worst in the majors, averaging exactly 4 runs per contest with 42 HR overall. Anthony Rizzo (283 6 15) is tied for the team lead with the injured Aaron Judge (.261 6 14). with the latter hoping to return tomorrow. Rizzo is hitting .333 over a 5 game hitting streak. DJ LeMahieu (.279 3 14) is tied with Judge for second on the team in RBI, one behind Rizzo. The 34 year old 11 year veteran seems to be returning to midseason form thanks to a 6 game hitting streak (.304). Giancarlo Stanton (.269 4 11) remains out with a hamstring injury and might not return until early June. Harrison Bader has returned from injury and is 7 for his first 18 (.389 with 2 HR and 7 driven in. Torres (.242 4 12) after a hot start has hit safely over his last 3 (.286) but went through an 8 for 50 slump (.160) from mid to late April sparking trade rumors again.

The Yankees counter with Nestor Cortes (3-2 4.91) who has mightily struggled after a strong start. The 28 year old third year southpaw has had control and mechanic issues with his combination of pitches and has given up 16 runs on 14 hits over his last 16 IP (9.00) losing 2 of his last 3 decisions, despite just 7 walks and 20 strikeouts. He faces an Oakland lineup also hitting a paltry .230 averaging just 3.9 runs per contest and just 37 HR. DH Brent Rooker (.319 10 26) leads the team in BA, power and production and is 5 for his last 16 (.313) over the last 4 games. Rooker leads the AL in HR with 10 and is 6th in RBI with 26. Esteury Ruiz (.273 0 16) is third on the club in RBI and has the same amount of stolen bases (16) while caught just twice (89%). Ruiz also brings in a 9 game hitting streak (.308) and leads Oakland with 36 hits. Shea Lanegilers (.216 6 17) is second in HR and RBI on the team but is just 2 for his last 16 (.125) overall. Ryan Noda (.250 3 10) has 6 hits in his last 12 at bats (.500). The biggest issue for this woeful bunch is lack of balance and consistency in addition to shoddy starting pitching and the defense behind it.

We get a bargain of a price this evening for 2 clubs that seem to be breaking out of their offensive slumps as of late. Both starting pitchers are looking to right their respective ships although Cortes was sharp to start the season but now the hitters seem to be getting the better of his stuff. Weather looks brilliant this evening in the Bronx area with temps in the 70s and light winds under clear skies. While there's the famous short porch in right field at just 314 while only 318 to the left corner, dead center can require a little bit of lift at 408. Still, both teams do have some pop in their lineup and with both starters looking to end their respective slumps with quality starts, the glaring last place positions means something has to give as the season proceeds to the quarter pole. Best of luck however you play!