Thursday's Game Three
By: Ron Patrick
Who do we like for some free MLB picks for this series?
Texas got this series to even with an 8-5 victory Wednesday night, winning as +120 dogs on the MLB odds board.
Wednesday's game also played OVER its total of nine.
So the teams will play a rubber match Thursday afternoon at the Stadium (1:05 pm ET).
Thursday's Betting Odds
As of Thursday AM most sportsbooks were listing Texas and Derek Holland at around -130 over New York and Phil Hughes, with an OVER/UNDER of nine.
Thursday's Pitching Match-Up
Hughes (3-6, 5.09) is 7/14 on quality starts this season, but just one for his last four. Last time out he got nicked for five runs in six innings by the Dodgers, and over his last four starts he's allowed 13 ER through 21 2/3 innings.
On the season Hughes has given up 86 hits in 76 innings, walked 22 and struck out 68.
New York, a team that's seven games over .500 overall, is only 5-9 in Hughes' starts.
Hughes' last start against Texas came last April when he got knocked around for four runs and five hits in 2 2/3 innings of a 7-3 Yankees loss.
Holland (5-4, 3.43) is 9/15 on quality starts this season, but 0 for his last three. Last time out he gave up four runs in seven innings vs. St. Louis, and over his last three starts he's allowed 12 runs and 23 hits in 17 1/3 innings.
For the season Holland has given up 100 hits in 97 innings, walked 25 and struck out 90.
But Texas is a profitable 10-5 in Holland's starts this year.
This will be Holland first start against the Yankees this year; last year, in two starts vs. the Bombers, Holland got clipped for 11 ER in 11 2/3 innings. Luckily for him, Texas managed to split those two games.
The Yankees are 15-9 vs. left-handed starting pitchers this season.
Our Take on Thursday's Game
We're not exactly impressed with either starting pitchers' recent form, and both have struggled against today's opponents. So in looking for the better value on this particular betting line we'll go with New York for our free MLB pick for Thursday.Pick: Take the Yanks at the +121 offered at 5Dimes.
Wednesday's Game Two
By: Ron Patrick
New York took the opener of this series Tuesday night 4-3, winning on an Ichiro Suzuki homer in the bottom of the ninth.
Ichiro's dinger gave us a winner on the Yanks getting +120 on Tuesday's MLB odds. And even though the teams combined to hit six homers, they were all of the solo variety, which helped Tuesday's game play UNDER its total of 7.5.
These two teams are now a combined 56-87 on the OVER/UNDERS this season.
With an Oakland victory late Tuesday night Texas is now tied with the A's for first place in the AL West.
New York, meanwhile, remains 2.5 games behind first-place Boston the AL East.
The Yanks will throw Andy Pettitte Wednesday night (7:05 pm Eastern, ESPN2) against rookie Justin Grimm for the Rangers.
Wednesday's Betting Odds
Most books we consulted Wednesday morning opened New York at around -125 over Texas, with a total of nine; most books then also bumped the Yankees about a nickel, to around -130.
Wednesday's Pitching Match-Up
Pettitte (5-5, 4.20) is 6/12 on quality starts this season, but 0 for his last two. Most recently he gave up five runs in 6 2/3 innings vs. Tampa, and just before that he allowed four runs in seven innings vs. the Angels.
On the season Pettitte has given up more hits, 79, than innings pitched, 75, walked 20 and struck out 58; the Yankees are 6-6 in his starts.
This will be Pettitte's first start against the Rangers since 2010.
Grimm (6-5, 5.57), a righty in his first full ML season, is just 4/13 on quality starts, and by our tough standards 0 for his last four. Last time out he gave up three runs in five innings against Oakland, and over his last four outings he's been tagged for 22 ER through 20 innings.
For the season Grimm has allowed more hits, 87, than innings pitched, 72 2/3, walked 25 and stuck out 58.
But somehow Texas has won eight of Grimm's 13 starts this season.
This will be Grimm's first-ever start against the Yankees.
Our Take on Wednesday's Game
We give Pettitte the edge in the pitching match-up, and with most other things being equal, the price isn't bad. So we'll go with New York for our free MLB pick for Wednesday.Pick: Take the Pinstripes at the -127
Tuesday's Game One
By: Ron Patrick
Tuesday's Rangers-Yankees Betting Lines
For this series opener, which matches Japanese imports Hiroki Kuroda and Yu Darvish, most sportsbooks we consulted Tuesday morning were listing Texas at around -130, with an OVER/UNDER of 7.5 runs.
But The Greek online sportsbook was chalking the Yanks at -120 to win this series, with Texas “getting” +100 on the MLB odds boards.
Rangers-Yankees Series Set-Up
New York just split four games with Tampa over the weekend, losing Sunday 3-1. So the Yanks haven't actually won a series since taking three of four games in Seattle two-plus weeks ago.
At 41-34 the Yankees are tied for second place in the American League East, 2.5 games behind first-place Boston.
Texas, meanwhile, just swept three games from St. Louis over the weekend, completing the broom job with a 2-1 victory Sunday night. So since that six-game losing streak of a couple weeks ago the Rangers have won six of seven.
At 44-32 Texas leads the AL West by one game over second-place Oakland.
This is the first meeting between these teams this season; last year New York took the season series from Texas four games to three.
Tuesday's Pitching Match-Up
Hiroki Kuroda (7-5, 2.78) is 9/15 on quality starts this season, and two for his last two. Last time out he held the Dodgers to two ER through 6 2/3 innings, and just before that he limited Oakland to two runs through eight innings.
On the season Kuroda has allowed 80 hits in 94 innings, walked 20 and struck out 62.
New York won seven of Kuroda's first nine starts this season, but thanks to some poor run support they've lost five of his last six outings. Over that span the Pinstripes have lost Kuroda starts by scores of 2-1, 3-0, 4-1 and 3-2.
This will be Kuroda's first start this season against Texas; last year, in two starts vs. the Rangers, Kuroda gave up just two ER and seven hits in 15 2/3 innings, although the Yanks could only manage a split of those two games.
Darvish (7-3, 2.84), by our strict standards, is 9/15 on quality starts this year, and three for his last four. Last time out he gave up four ER in six innings vs. Oakland, striking out 10, and over his last four starts he's allowed seven ER through 27 innings.
For the season Darvish has given up just 67 hits in 101 1/3 innings, walked 31 and struck out a ML-leading 137.
Texas won eight of Darvish's first nine starts this season, but has lost five of his last six. A good portion of that recent slump, though, like the Yankees for Kuroda, can be attributed to poor run support; the Rangers have lost recent Darvish starts by scores of 1-0, 4-3 and 3-1.
In his only career start against New York Darvish thew a dandy, blanking the Yanks on seven hits through eight innings, walking two and whiffing 10 in a 2-0 Texas victory last April in Arlington.
In the match-up of two pretty good bullpens for this series the Rangers rank ninth in the Majors with a 3.20 ERA and have converted 26 of 30 save opportunities, while the Yankees rank 12th with a 3.44 ERA and are 28-for-31 on save opps.
Rangers-Yankees Betting Trends
These two teams are a combined 56-85 on the OVER/UNDERS this season (that's a 60-percent lean).
Games played at Yankee Stadium have gone 17-19 on the totals this year.
Also, the O/Us are a combined 10-17 in Darvish and Kuroda's starts this season.
Rangers-Yankees Injury Update
New York slugger Mark Teixeira began this season on the DL because of a sore wrist, came off it to play 15 games a few weeks ago, then went back on it because that wrist still hurts. The Yanks are also still playing without Curtis Granderson, A-Rod and Derek Jeter.
Over in the other dugout Texas IF Jeff Baker, who's got nine homers in just 82 at-bats this season, is on the DL with a sprained thumb, and Lance Berkman has missed recent action with a sore knee and is questionable for this series.
Our Take on Tuesday's Game
Tuesday offers up what should be a great arms battle; Darvish is very tough, and Kuroda, even though he plays in the Apple, is quietly very solid. But Darvish is also very highly regarded by both oddsmakers and bettors, while Kuroda throws a bit under the radar. So in looking for value we'll go with New York for our free sports picks for Tuesday night.
Pick: Take the Yanks at the +122 offered at MatchBook.
We'll update this page with fresh pitching match-ups and more free MLB picks, for what they're worth, as this series progresses.