Texas can earn it's first sweep in new Yankee Stadium when the Rangers close out their 3-game MLB odds set in the Bronx in ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball broadcast.
Rangers vs. Yankees Game 3
By: Willie Bee
All it took was one big inning for the Texas Rangers to cash tickets for baseball bettors backing them and the 'over' on Saturday, and now they're in position to sweep the Yankees in New York for the first time since 2003.
ESPN will carry the finale of the 3-game set in the Bronx, the telecast beginning at 8 PM (ET) with the first pitch shortly after that. The two teams have combined to score 38 runs in the first two contests, and Sunday's matchup on the mound would seem to point to another slugfest as Yovani Gallardo takes his turn in the Texas rotation against Chris Capuano who is making a spot start for the reeling Yankees.
New York is going off in the -125 to -130 range on the moneyline despite having lost five straight, and nine of the last 10. The total has bounced between 8½ and 9, settling on the lower number this morning at all shops listed on SBR's live MLB betting odds.
Capuano Making 2nd Start Since Return From DL
Gallardo is set for his 10th start of the campaign, the Rangers 3-6 in the previous nine and down about 2½ units. Four of the six losses have come in his five road assignments, Gallardo's ERA up around 5.00 away from Texas compared to 3.55 at home. He has faced the Yankees just once before, that start coming a year ago in an interleague contest for the Brewers, Gallardo working into the sixth and allowing four runs in a defeat.
Capuano started the season on the disabled list following surgery during the spring on his right quad, and was activated a week ago to take Chase Whitley's spot in the New York pitching order. The veteran southpaw's season debut was a bit rocky and very brief as the Royals plated four in his 3+ innings of work. He made 12 starts for the Yankees last season, six of them in New York where he recorded a 5.15 ERA in nearly 37 innings. Capuano's two appearances vs. Texas in 2014 were both relief outings while with Boston, and Sunday will be his first start against the Rangers since 2007 when he was with the Brewers.
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
After starting the 2015 MLB betting campaign with two 'overs' and a pair of pushes, Toby Basner's last three games behind the plate all failed to reach the designated totals. The 30-year-old Ohio native had a strong 'over' lean in 2014 (18-7 O/U), his first full season working big league games, and is calling balls and strikes for the first time at Yankee Stadium.
A few clouds will float around over New York City today, but the weatherman is otherwise forecasting a fine afternoon and evening. After the climbing to near 80º, the thermometer will settle in the low-to-mid 70s for the start of the game with a southerly breeze in the 5-10 mph range (right to left). The bats, especially those belonging to Texas, are getting the job done so far in this series, so let's close things out with a free MLB pick on the 'over' (-115).
MLB Pick: Over 8.5 at BetOnline
Rangers vs. Yankees Game 2
By: Willie Bee
For a couple of innings Friday night, Colby Lewis and Michael Pineda engaged in a pitchers duel. After that, the evening belonged to everyone but the men on the mound as the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees combined to slug six home runs in the opener of their weekend set.
Texas relievers had just enough in their arsenals to hold on for a 10-9 victory, the third straight for the Rangers while the Yankees were busy dropping a fourth consecutive contest. The two clubs get little rest before lining up for the first game on Saturday's MLB betting card (1:05 PM ET), 2nd-year hurler Nick Martinez on tap for Texas against one mister Carsten Charles Sabathia. WagerWeb has New York chalked at -155, most other shops on SBR's live MLB betting odds listing the Yankees even higher, and an 8 run total carries a surcharge for 'under' bettors.
Sabathia Takes Aim At 3rd-Straight Dubya
Martinez might be the least likely of any member of a rotation entering he 2015 season to be leading the way on ROI for baseball bettors. Coming off a 5-12, 4.55 ERA rookie campaign, the former 18th-round pick out of Fordham is tied with St. Louis' Michael Wacha with +8.2 units and seventh in all of baseball with a 1.88 ERA.
He has also been a boon for anyone place an 'over' wager in his eight starts, six of those outings sailing past the totals thanks mostly to the Texas lineup averaging 6.75 runs per game. Martinez faced the Yankees twice a year ago, hurling scoreless baseball into the sixth in New York before getting pounded a week later at home (5.2 IP, 6 ER). Texas lost both contests.
Sabathia's last two were the only victories for the Yankees won on their 9-game swing through Tampa, Kansas City and Washington. That gives New York dubyas in three of his last four assignments after beginning the season 0-4 behind the big lefty. Since joining the Yankees in 2009, Sabathia has faced the Rangers seven times -- including two starts in the 2010 ALCS -- and New York has won 'em all despite the veteran owning a rather fat 5.19 ERA in the clashes.
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Brian Knight is slated to work the plate for the 292nd time in his big league career that began in 2001. Home favorites have yet to win in five tries with Knight calling balls and strikes, 'over' bettors taking home the cheddar in five of seven games this season. It's his first game under the mask in the Bronx since 2011, a Yankees triumph that never made it to the total.
It should be a sunny afternoon in New York, the thermometer climbing into the mid-60s and only a slight westerly breeze (out to center). I'm going to ride the current streaks for my free MLB pick with a play on the Rangers
MLB Pick: Rangers +145 at Bovada
Rangers vs. Yankees Series Opener
By: Willie Bee
It has been a couple of lean years for both the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees, each last tasting the postseason in 2012. Texas is a very good choice to miss October a third consecutive season, but the Yankees are unexpectedly in the thick of things as they begin a weekend set with the Rangers.
The clubs get things going with a Friday night (7:05 PM ET) affair in the Bronx, one of two interesting mound duels we'll see in the series with Colby Lewis on the hill for Texas opposite Michael Pineda. The Yankees started as big chalk in the -170s, the MLB betting odds shooting up to -180 or higher in overnight trading with a 7½ run total and taxed heavier on the high side.
New York has won 10 of the last 11 regular season series, the Yankees building a 375-260 advantage in the series. The pinstriped posse will travel to Texas for a 4-game weekday set in late-July, at least one of those games on my travel schedule as well. The Yanks have won five of the last six series in the Bronx, sweeping a pair of the get-togethers along with taking 3-of-4 twice. 'Under' bettors have picked up the bacon the last five times the clubs met in New York, and eight of the most recent 10.
Rangers Coming Off Rare Series Win In Beantown
Texas (18-23, +0.8 units) hits the Big Apple after two consecutive wins in Boston to win a road series against the Red Sox for the first time since 2012. Manager Jeff Bannister could soon get a boost for the offense with the impending return of outfielder Josh Hamilton, but a bigger problem than the lineup is a bullpen that's next-to-last in the AL with a 4.39 ERA.
Lewis has combined with Nick Martinez, Saturday's scheduled starter for Texas, to form as underrated a duo as you'll find at the top of any rotation. The beefy righthander has worked at least six innings in five of his eight assignments, and brings a 32.2 IP streak of not allowing a home run into this contest.
Friday will be Lewis' fourth road start against the Yankees, and second at the House That George Built. The California native has no wins on his personal ledger to show for his previous outings in the Bronx, thanks in large part to a bloated 6.75 ERA in 16 innings.
Yanks Back Home After Rough Road Trip
New York (22-19, +2.6 units) took Thursday off following a disastrous 2-7 road trip to Tampa Bay, Kansas City and Washington. The Nationals knocked the Yankees off Wednesday to complete a mini 2-game sweep and extend the current skid to three games. That slump coupled with Tampa Bay's push has dropped New York to second in the AL East standings, a half-game behind the Rays.
The Bronx Bombers began the journey with an 11-5 pasting of the Rays, but could manage just 19 runs over the next eight games, scoring two or less in six of them. New York is fifth in the American League in run differential (+12), but sitting just above the league average in scoring at 4.37 RPG and slightly below the AL OB% average (.315).
Pineda suffered his first loss of the campaign -- NY 6-2, +3.4 units -- last Friday in Kansas City where the Royals slapped him around for five runs and 10 hits before sending him to the showers one out into the sixth. The big Dominican has 55 strikeouts against just three walks in nearly 52 frames, and the Yankees are 3-1 in his starts at home where Pineda has a 2.05 ERA and is holding opposing hitters to a .232 battling clip. Friday will be his first assignment against Texas since his 2011 rookie campaign with the Mariners, Seattle dropping all three starts he made (4.74 ERA, 19 IP).
All's well on the weather front for the weekend. About the only thing baseball bettors will want to keep an eye on is the wind, coming out of the NW (out to right) at 15 mph to begin Game 1 with the thermometer in the upper-60s.
Let's get this party started with a free MLB pick on the two lineups sending the final 'over' (-115) the total.
MLB Pick: Over (-115) at Youwager
Season: 27-29-2 (-2.40)