MLB Picks: Grab A Valuable 'Under' In Fairly Even Yankees vs. Rangers Match

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 12:03 PM GMT

The New York Yankees are favored on the MLB odds boards to win again as they continue their series vs. the Texas Rangers tonight. How close do you think this match will be?

MLB Record: 14-9 (+6.40)

New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers
Hitting with runners in scoring position has been a big problem early for the New York Yankees. They rank 29th as a team with a .190 average in those situations, and they struggled with it once again in Monday's series opener vs. the Texas Rangers, collecting just one hit in nine tries.

Still, they New York had no problem picking up the win thanks to a dominating pitching performance by Nathan Eovaldi and Yankees relievers, the end result a 3-1 triumph that knocked Texas off the top rung of the AL West ladder. The Rangers will try and even the set Tuesday (8:05 PM ET) with AJ Griffin on the mound, Luis Severino answering the bell for Joe Girardi's side. Severino and the Yanks are light -120 chalk at BetOnline where the MLB odds also have 9 for the total.

Regardless if you go back to when the Rangers were the reincarnation of the Washington Senators, or when they moved to Texas in 1972, or when the current ballpark was opened in 1994, New York has ruled this rivalry. With Monday's win, the Yankees are 378-265 vs. Texas all-time, and 116-76 on this diamond. You can also add four playoff series, three of them won by the Yanks with 11 of the 16 contests also going their way.

 

Walks Have Been Griffin's Biggest Issue
New York has dropped each of Severino's first three starts, though the young Dominican did pitch better his last time out to offer some hope for getting things turned around. After allowing seven runs and 18 hits over 10.2 IP the first two outings, the righthander held the Athletics to two runs over six frames last Thursday in New York, leaving with the score knotted before Yankees relievers let things get away in a 7-3 setback.

Tuesday will be the first look at Severino for the Texas lineup. It's still a very young career and small sample size, but worth noting the 10 games he has faced a team for the first time, Severino's ERA is a strong 2.89.

Griffin has seen the Yankees three times before, all of those outings coming in an Oakland uniform 3+ seasons ago, and he'll now take them on for the first time as a Ranger. The Californian has looked okay to begin 2016, Texas winning two of his first three assignments with walks the early bugaboo for Griffin. Eight free passes in his first 17 innings is a rate that will eventually catch up to a pitcher, especially a fly ball pitcher like Griffin in a ballpark known for being long ball friendly.

 

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
The least experienced ump on Fieldin Culbreth's crew, Manny Gonzalez, is scheduled to work behind the dish for the second game of the series. It's just his second plate assignment of the 2016 season, the other one falling well short of the baseball odds for an 'under' winner. Gonzalez produced a 50-36-5 O/U/P record the previous three seasons, though his only appearance under the mask in Texas last season did finish short of the total.

Of course, none of what has already been written will mean anything if the weather doesn't cooperate, and the forecast suggests it won't. There is a 50%-60% threat of thunderstorms building during the late afternoon, and the chance of rain only grows into the early evening. With this being New York's only trip to Arlington, the umpires will obviously wait as long as they can should the thunderstorms interrupt play.

Both sides are struggling to score right now, and despite this being a hitter-friendly ballpark, I'm going to depend on that for my free MLB pick with a play on the 'under'

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Free MLB Pick: Under 9
Best Line Offered: at Heritage