MLB Picks: Yankees vs. Rangers Free Total Pick

Steve Merril - Steve@prosportsinfo.com

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 2:03 PM GMT

The Yankees and Rangers meet tonight, and while the total might be set at a high 9, find out why capper Steve Merril believes that bettors will be smart to back a high scoring affair with their MLB picks.

New York (53-47, -0.8 Units) and Texas (55-45, -2.8 Units) will play Game 3 of a 4-game series tonight. The teams have split the first two games with the Yankees winning 5-4 last night and the Rangers winning 3-0 on Monday night. New York is 2-3 on their current road trip while Texas is just 1-4 on their current homestand.

Texas is 1-1 (-0.7 Units) at home against New York this season. Overall, the Rangers are 3-2 (+0.4 Units) versus the Yankees this season.

Tonight's pitching matchup sees Andy Pettitte getting the start for New York while Matt Garza takes the mound for Texas. 

Pettitte (7-7): Has gone a phony 2-1 in his last three starts with a 4.82 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in 18.7 innings of work. Andy Pettitte has allowed 23 hits and 10 earned runs in those games. Those recent numbers are in line Pettitte’s overall numbers this season which show a 4.47 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 104.7 innings pitched. Pettitte is just 10-9 with the Yankees going 12-10 (-4.8 Units) in his career against Texas. He owns a 4.13 ERA and 1.38 WHIP versus the Rangers. 

Garza (6-1): Makes his first start for Texas after getting traded by the Chicago Cubs. Garza has pitched well this season as he owns a 3.17 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 71 innings of work. However, he’ll return to facing American League teams now and his history against the Yankees is not good. As a member of the Tampa Bay Rays, Garza went just 1-4 versus New York with a 4.62 ERA and 1.41 WHIP with his team’s record an awful 1-10 (-10.1 Units).

Rangers Ballpark: The Rangers’ home park is a hitter’s paradise with a +125 park factor. Pettitte had a bad start at home versus Texas earlier this season when he allowed 3 earned runs on 6 hits in just 6 innings of work. Pettitte is in bad current form so the hitter friendly park will not help him at all. Garza’s FB rate (39%) is up from the last two year’s when he had a FB rate of 33%. From 2008-2010 when he pitched for Tampa Bay, Garza had FB rates of 40%, 43%, and 45%. That bad skill set does not play well in Rangers Ballpark. 

Pettitte Projection: Based on the underlying skills and advanced metrics I use, Pettitte shows a line of 3.2 earned runs, a 4.69 ERA and 1.39 WHIP against the Rangers in this game. 

Garza Projection: Based on the underlying skills and advanced metrics I use, Garza shows a line of 2.7 earned runs, a 3.94 ERA and 1.26 WHIP against the Yankees in this game.

Yankees: New York’s offense has been on the uptick recently. The Yankees have scored 5 runs or more in three of their last four games. They’ve also been better on the road averaging 4.2 runs per game compared to just 3.6 runs per game at home. 

Rangers: The Texas offense has been good against left-handed starters all season. The Rangers are hitting .276 as a team while scoring 4.6 runs per game against lefties. Texas has faced four consecutive righties, and with left-handed Pettitte on the mound tonight, the Rangers’ bats should breakout in this game.

[gameodds]3/239880/?r3=43-999997-192/dec&r-1=43-999997-192/us[/gameodds]

Bottom Line: The current MLB odds on this game shows Texas -170 and New York +155 with a total of 9 Under -120. The best way to play this game is the total. We see some good value with the Over in this game, especially at even money (+100). This game is being priced solely on Garza’s seasonal numbers, but they are irrelevant in our opinion. Garza’s high FB rate is troublesome in Rangers Ballpark, and his historical numbers in the AL are not good. Pettitte’s current form is not good and the Rangers hit lefties well. It all adds up to adding the 'Over' to our MLB picks on Wednesday night.

Free MLB Picks: Yankees & Rangers to go OVER