MLB: Lowe vs Pettitte – Just like the old days



2009-06-26

Tonight’s pitching matchup in Atlanta pits the Yankees’ Andy Pettitte vs. the Braves’ Derek Lowe. To the baseball historian, that should conjure up memories of past Yankees-Red Sox duals gone by. If nothing else, it’s simply fun to talk about. Well, things have and always will change, as tonight’s game is an Interleague affair, with little or no added flair besides the pitchers. Atlanta started as the home dog, but is now the favorite. Follow the LIVE ODDS page for the latest price on this game.

It’s closing in on five years since the last time the New York Yankees last faced Derek Lowe and it’s one they would just as soon forget. Lowe is only 8-10 with a 6.07 ERA in 39 career appearances (15 starts) against the Yankees; however the last appearance left a distinct mark. Pitching on two days rest, Lowe gave the Boston Red Sox six solid innings of one-hit baseball, which enabled them to overcome 3-0 deficit in the deciding game of the 2004 ALCS and go on to win 10-3. Riding that momentum, Boston went on to end 86-year drought and win the World Series.

Lowe (7-5, 4.09 ERA) left that off-season as a free agent and hasn’t run into the Yankees since until tonight. After a 5-1 start with his new team, Lowe has been hit harder of late, with 1-2 record and 7.47 ERA in his last three starts. He hasn’t been able to locate his sinker as well and hitters have fattened up batting averages. The Braves are 1-4 in his last five starts.

Andy Pettitte (7-3, 4.26, 1.500) has pitched better than anticipated for the Yankees who are 10-4 in his starts in 2009. Pettitte has been a big part of New York’s past glory and like every pitcher on the Yankees staff, is trying to adapt to new Yankee Stadium which has been a hitter’s haven. Pettitte has been particularly impressive on the road with 4-1 record and among the better hurlers in baseball with 2.35 ERA in the traveling uniforms.

New York (39-32, -8.7 units) ended their three game losing streak last evening, pounding out 10 hits in 8-4 triumph over Atlanta. The Yankees will be trying to win the rubber game of the series and are 61-30 in Game 3’s. If they would happen to lose this evening, that would mean they would have to sweep the Mets this weekend to finish .500 in interleague play.

Atlanta (34-37, -9.7 units) has been stuck in neutral, going nowhere fast. Since sweeping Toronto in the latter stages of May, the Braves are 0-6-3 in series action, with Monday’s makeup game against the Cubs not counting. About the only real positive is Atlanta is 5-1 against the American League at Turner Field this year.

New York opened as favorite, but sports bettors have flipped the two teams at Sportsbook.com and Atlanta is now a -110 money line favorite with a total of Un8.5. The Braves are 6-1 as -110 to -150 favorites and are 17-6 UNDER on Thursday’s. The Yankees are miserable 1-6 after scoring five or more runs in previous game and are 16-3 UNDER on the road when the total is 8.5 to 10 over the last two seasons with Pettitte as the starter.

Game time is 7:10 Eastern and can be seen on YES or Peachtree networks, with Atlanta 4-12 (-11.4 Units) after a loss by four runs or more this season.

StatFox Power Line – Yankees -104

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