Bet the Underdogs in Yankees vs. Rangers Game 1

Steven Suarez

Monday, July 28, 2014 12:44 PM GMT

The Yankees are very much in the thick of things in the playoff race and they'll fancy their chances of winning this series against the Rangers. We've broken down the opening MLB betting odds – are we backing Yu Darvish to lead Texas to a series-opening victory?

Odds Overview
In a testament to just how bad the Rangers have been in 2014, they're favored at only -145 to win this evening. If this was last season, having Yu Darvish pitching at home would result in an extremely high line, but alas Texas has struggled mightily. New York is listed at +125 to +130.

The O/U is trading at eight runs for now and it appears that number is solid, with pretty even action on both sides.

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New York Yankees (Phelps)
There can't have been too much to complain about lately if you're a Yankees fan. They've started out the second half of the season quite well, going 7-3 through the first 10 games.

After sweeping Cincinnati at home and then taking three of four at home versus Texas, New York took part in a hard-fought three-game set against Toronto. The Yankees won the opener but dropped the following two, with each game decided by two runs or less.

As it stands, New York is now in third place in the AL East, one game back of the Blue Jays and four back of Baltimore for first.

The Yankees now head on the road, with the first stop in Arlington. They'll send out David Phelps for the opener and he's gone 5-4 with a 3.77 ERA and 1.34 WHIP so far this season. The right-hander has been pitching very well recently, having allowed two or fewer runs in five consecutive starts.

Phelps hasn't been able to quite match his effectiveness on the road though. Though he's 4-1 with a 2.52 ERA at home, he's just 1-3 with a 4.57 ERA in 14 appearances (nine starts) away from New York.

Compare Our Handicappers Picks for Yankees vs. Rangers Game 1!

Texas Rangers (Darvish)
The ASB didn't have a positive effect on the Rangers.

They've lost each of their first three series to start off the second part of the season, dropping two of three in Toronto, three of four in New York and two of three at home against Oakland.

One season after finishing 91-72, good for second place in the AL West, Texas has suffered through a devastatingly poor season. They're 41-64 and find themselves 24.5 games back of Oakland for the top spot in the division.

You've got to feel for Yu Darvish, who's had another highly efficient season despite getting little support from his teammates. He's been one of the (very) few highlights on the pitching side of things, going 9-6 with a 2.92 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.

Ahead of tonight, Darvish has excelled at home, posting a 4-3 record to go with a 2.49 ERA in nine starts. He's struck out 80 batters (with 17 walks) in 65 innings, with batters averaging just .211 against him. Will Darvish carry Texas on his back again tonight?

 

MLB Pick
We've been fading the Rangers lately and it's been working out nicely, so why switch things up?

The fact of the matter is this team is in shambles and even having Darvish on the mound won't be enough to sway us. Texas has the worst overall (41-64) and home (19-32) records in baseball, so it's really tough to have any faith in them whatsoever.

New York, meanwhile, still has a lot to play for, has been good on the road (29-24) and send out an in-form Phelps to the mound. Put it all together and we like this underdog price on the Yankees this evening.

MLB Pick: Yankees +130