Pick Yankees Runline +120 vs. Rangers

Darin Zank

Monday, July 21, 2014 2:24 PM GMT

Two teams headed in different directions as of late meet as the Yanks host the Rangers for four games at the Stadium, beginning Monday night (7:05 pm ET, ESPN). Here's our breakdown of this encounter, with free MLB picks on each contest to contemplate.

 

21st July
Rangers vs. Yankees Game 1

By: Ron Patrick

 

Rangers-Yanks Betting Odds

Most sportsbooks we checked opened Monday's game with New York and rookie righty Shane Greene chalked at around -160 over Texas and fellow righty Miles Mikolas, with a total of nine runs. But many shops then bumped the Pinstripes to the -175 range in the early betting action.

New York could also be gotten at around +115 at William Hill giving the run and a half on the run line.

 

Series Set-Up
New York got its “second half” off to a great start by sweeping three games at home from Cincinnati over the weekend, winning Sunday 3-2 when the Reds botched a Brian McCann pop-up in the bottom of the ninth.

The Yanks are 2-1-1 over their last four series, winning nine of their last 14 games. At 50-47 they now sit in second place in the AL East, three games behind division-leading Baltimore.

Texas has been fighting the injury bug all season, and it's finally been taking a toll. Back about five weeks ago the Rangers sat at .500 at 35-35; but since then they've gone 4-24. Texas just dropped two of three games in Toronto, losing Sunday 9-6.

At 39-59 the Rangers are mired in last place in the AL West, 22 games behind division-leading Oakland.

This is the first meeting this season between these teams. Last year Texas took the season series from the Yankees four games to three, with the totals tilting toward the 'unders' by a 5-1-1 margin.

 

Monday's Starters
Greene (2-0, 1.32) is 2/2 on quality starts since joining the rotation two weeks ago. He began by holding Cleveland to two runs through six innings, and last time out he threw 7 1/3 innings of scoreless ball against the Orioles.

So through his first two ML starts Greene has allowed two runs and eight hits through 13 1/3 innings, walked just two and struck out 11. New York won both those games.

But Greene might be pitching a bit above his head, considering down at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this spring, while going 5-2, he posted a 4.61 ERA, allowing 79 hits in 66 innings, compiling a mediocre 57/26 K/BB ratio.

Mikolas (0-2, 10.05) is 0/3 on quality starts since joining the Rangers three weeks ago. Last time out, nine days ago against the Angels, he gave up four ER and nine hits through 5 2/3 innings; and just before that he got bombed by Houston for nine runs in less than four innings.

Overall Mikolas has allowed 16 ER and 24 hits in 14 1/3 innings for Texas this season, walking three and striking out 12. The Rangers have lost all three of his starts.

But down at Triple-A Round Rock this year Mikolas went 5-1 with a 3.22 ERA, with just three walks and 38 strikeouts.

Neither of Monday's starters has ever faced tonight's opponents.

In the battle of the bullpens for this series New York ranks 22nd in ERA at 3.78, with 32 saves in 45 chances, while Texas ranks 28th with a 4.54 ERA, with 17 saves in 27 chances.

Related Pick: Yankees -165 over Rangers Monday Night

With the Sticks
Texas ranks 15th in both team OBP at .317 and in scoring at 4.1 runs per game.

New York ranks 19th in OBP at .314 and 16th in scoring at 4.0 RPG.

Both teams' OBP drops to .310 against right-handed pitching.

 

Rangers-Yanks Betting Trends
The totals have leaned toward the 'unders' this season by a 26-17 margin in games played at Yankee Stadium.

 

Injury Update
When it comes to these two teams and injuries we're not sure where to begin. Let's just say this; Texas is down about half of what should be its everyday starting lineup and most of its rotation, while New York, at the moment, is down nearly its entire rotation. That's why we get a Greene-Mikolas match-up Monday night instead of something like Sabathia-Ogando.

In most recent news Rangers OF Alex Rios (.302, 16 SB) is dealing with a sprained ankle, and is uncertain for this series.

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Free Pick for Monday
In trying to avoid over-thinking this game, we lean New York. But that price seems a bit much. So we'll take a chance and go with the Yankees on the run line, getting +120 at 5Dimes, for our free MLB pick on Monday's series opener.