On Wednesday Phil Hughes makes his road debut against the Oakland Athletics. In Hughes first start of 2010, he was able to shut down the Angels back in New York.
He received a standing ovation from the fans as he exited, and he hopes to earn a permanent spot in the Yankees rotation according to football predictions.
Unfortunately for Hughes, he is going to be facing a tough Athletics lineup that could be a fork in the road. On the outside, Oakland looks like the most mediocre team, but they know how to win.
There is a difference between teams who “can” win and teams who “do” win. Oakland is one of those teams that does win, often times when you would least expect it.
Hughes opponent on the mound is Ben Sheets. The Athletics signed Sheets to a deal this year after he recovered from injuries over the past few years.
He was once a major prospect in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, ended up having a few good years, but ultimately struggled with injuries and inconsistency. In 2010, Sheets seems to be rejuvenating his career. We saw his joy even on todays match predictions.
He, like the A’s hitters, knows how to win. There is no doubt that he has the drive and determination to win, and he has the talent to be one of the best around. He can definitely hold the Yankees to minimal runs. The question, however, is if his teammates will be able to back him up with a solid offensive performance.
This is a late game on the West Coast, and Hughes’ first away from Yankee Stadium. Despite a stellar showing in his debut, there is still a legitimate chance that he gets blown up.
He has never dazzled as a starter, and one week is not enough to erase a rough past.
The best bet in this game is the Oakland Athletics at +140. Both pitchers are unknowns to one extent or another when it comes to their ability to perform on a consistent basis, but you are much safer with money on Sheets than Hughes.