The Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees are usually in the American League hunt from start to finish, and as we get into the dog days of summer, both teams are at or near the top of their divisions. The two teams will square off on Wednesday night in the Bronx for ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball.
Texas Rangers @ New York Yankees
Baseball Betting Odds: Yankees -130
The Rangers, who sat atop the AL West by a game over Oakland heading into Tuesday’s series opener in New York, will go with Justin Grimm (6-5, 5.57) on the mound on Wednesday. Grimm has given up seven runs or more in two of his last three starts, and he is facing the Yankees for the first time in his two-year career. The road hasn’t been kind to Grimm since he joined the big-league club, going 2-3 in nine games (seven starts) with a 7.22 ERA and those numbers aren’t encouraging when preparing to face the big bats of the Bronx Bombers. He may need some offensive help to keep the Rangers in the game.
The Yankees will counter with veteran Andy Pettitte (5-5, 4.20), who is taking on the Rangers for the 24th time in his career. Pettitte has posted a record of 11-9 in 23 starts against Texas with a 5.24 ERA, and he’ll need to bounce back as he has allowed nine runs in his last 13.2 innings of work (both losses). Pettitte hasn’t fared well at home so far in 2013, going 1-3 in six starts at Yankee Stadium with a 5.94 ERA, but he is a crafty southpaw and he has done well at minimizing damage when he gets in trouble. Sometimes that is all the Yankees need as they can usually generate enough offense to take the lead.
Tuesday’s series opener will be the first meeting of the season for these two American League behemoths, and the Yankees have had the upper hand over the Rangers, winning seven of the last 10 meetings between the two. Half of those games went over the posted total, which shouldn’t be a surprise with all the sluggers on either team. However, neither team is putting up runs in the manner they are accustomed to as the Rangers are ninth in the American League in runs scored, while the Yankees are 12th. Instead, they’re doing it the other way as the Yankees are third in the league in runs allowed, and the Rangers are right behind in fourth.
However, this game could be a throwback on the MLB odds as neither Grimm nor Pettitte have had their best stuff in recent outings. That could lead to a shootout in the Bronx. All it takes is a couple of big innings and these teams will go back to what they know, which is to hit the ball as far as they can every time at the plate. New York’s home record (22-16 as of Tuesday) is almost identical to Texas’ road record (22-17), so there isn’t much between the two. Take the Yankees at home.
Pick: New York Yankees