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Game Thread #87: Oakland Athletics at New York Yankees

Scott Kazmir gets the nod against a struggling Yankees lineup in front of a plethora of hungry scouts. Opposing Kazmir will be veteran lefty CC Sabathia, looking to turn his season around and hang onto his spot in the rotation.

KKKKKKKKKKKazmir will look to continue his recent dominance.
KKKKKKKKKKKazmir will look to continue his recent dominance.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Could this be Scott Kazmir's last start in green and gold?

That will be a fair question to ask of each of the lefty's upcoming outings, as we are moving closer and closer to the trade deadline. Despite the A's recent lukewarm streak (16-14 over their last thirty) they are still ten games back of Houston in the division, and seven and a half games back of the Minnesota Twins for the second wild card spot. Meanwhile, the A's have plenty of rotation depth, and could probably contend even without Kazmir. So each start of his going forward is an ongoing #hugwatch. Per Ken Rosenthal...

The lefty has been fantastic in 2015. At age 31, he has posted a 2.56 ERA (3.23 FIP) over sixteen starts. Kaz has been even better as of late - he is 3-1 with a 1.53 ERA (2.37 FIP) over his last five games started. He has shown great control and kept the ball in the ballpark, allowing only seven walks and one home run over that span. Scott will look to continue his success, despite Yankee Stadium's short porch in right field.

Taking the bump for the Yankees will be the struggling left-hander CC Sabathia. Sabathia, who turns 35 in a couple weeks, has shown his age in 2015 - he is only 3-8 with a massive 5.59 ERA in 16 starts. However, his peripherals (1.71 BB/9, 4.56 FIP, 3.50 xFIP) tell a much different story. Sabathia's rotation spot might be on the line tonight, as despite his lucrative contract (owed $25MM in 2016, with a $25MM vesting option for 2017) Adam Warren has preformed very well and might just force the Yankees to bite the bullet on Sabathia if they wish to end their mini playoff drought.

Speaking of droughts, the city of New York does not seem to be in one. Rain has been coming down hard, on and off, but as of right now, the tarp is off the field. Officials are hopeful tonight's contest will start on time. If it does, it will be at 4:05 PST. Let's get another win tonight, Oakland!

Today's Lineups

Billy Burns - CF Jacoby Ellsbury - CF
Stephen Vogt - 1B Brett Gardner - LF
Ben Zobrist - 2B Alex Rodriguez - DH
Billy Butler - DH Mark Teixeira - 1B
Brett Lawrie - 3B Chris Young - RF
Jake Smolinski - RF John Ryan Murphy - C
Josh Phegley - C Didi Gregorius - SS
Mark Canha - LF Jose Pirela - 2B
Marcus Semien - SS Gregorio Petit - 3B
Scott Kazmir - LHP CC Sabathia - LHP