Valuable Picks Throughout Yankees vs. Rangers Series

Willie Bee

Monday, July 28, 2014 11:34 AM GMT

The Rangers are well out of the AL playoff picture, but the Yankees are still hanging around as they begin a weeklong road trip with a 3-game MLB odds series in Texas.

 

28th July
Yankees vs. Rangers Game 1

By: Willie Bee

 

No team looks forward to playing in the Texas heat this time of year, but the New York Yankees at least have the advantage of reaching the Lone Star State to face an ice-cold group of Rangers.

Texas and New York begin a second consecutive week against one another, and Monday night's series opener is a rematch on the mound from one of the clashes in the Bronx a few days ago. Yu Darvish will deliver the game's first pitch at 8:10 PM (ET) while David Phelps gets the nod for the Yankees, and despite the Rangers owning the worst record in the Junior Circuit, they're the Game 1 favorites. SBR's live baseball odds show Texas in the low -140s with all sportsbooks in agreement on an 8 run total.

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Phelps Bringing Stability To Injury-Depleted Yankee Rotation
New York (54-50, -1.1 units, 45-57-2 O/U/P) raced out of the all-star break by winning seven of the first eight on an 11-game homestand, but the Yankees couldn't keep that momentum going this past weekend when they dropped their final two clashes with the division-leading Toronto Blue Jays. Joe Girardi's gang had beaten the Jays 17-straight times in the Bronx before Saturday's 6-4 loss, then let Toronto leave town with a 5-4 victory in Sunday's finale.

Phelps has posted a couple of dubyas since the All-Star Game after New York lost his four starts just prior to the vacation. Only one of those defeats can be pinned on the former Notre Dame standout, however, a June 24th outing in Toronto in which he was charged with six runs during his five innings of work. Even with that pounding, Phelps owns a 3.25 ERA over his last eight assignments, chopping more than three-quarters of a run off his season ERA in that span.

The most recent victory came against Darvish and the Rangers last Wednesday in New York, a 2-1 contest that was cut short by Mother Nature. Phelps only used up 72 tosses in his right arm in that start to earn his second career win vs. Texas. His lone appearance in the Lone Star State came in a relief outing during his 2012 rookie campaign, and it wasn't very good as the Rangers popped a couple of long balls and scored three times during Phelps' 2.1 innings on the hill.

American League Future Odds Update!

Rangers Like Chances Behind Yu At Home
While New York has played well since the break, the exact opposite is true for Texas (41-64, -24.8 units, 51-48-6 O/U/P). The Rangers are 3-7 since the Midsummer Classic and have already raised a white flag on 2014 by trading closer Joakim Soria to Detroit last week.

Darvish was on the mound at Yankee Stadium in the fifth when the rain started, taking the eventual loss thanks to a balk and a short homer to right by New York's Brett Gardner. That leveled Texas' record in four Darvish assignments vs. the Yanks despite the 3rd-year major leaguer owning a tiny 1.84 ERA in those outings. The one hitter in New York's lineup that has given him trouble is fellow countryman Ichiro Suzuki (7-for-19, .368).

Though the Rangers have struggled overall this season, they've been successful when Darvish pitches at home. He's got an impressive 2.49 ERA in 65 innings at Globe Life Park, Texas winning six of the nine starts.

Hot and humid is the forecast for the entire series, with a 20%-30% shot of a stray thunderstorm popping up in the DFW metroplex this week. Any rain that does appear should do nothing more than delay a game for a short period, though that could affect starting pitchers depending on the timing. Expect temps in the low-to-mid 90s for the start of Monday's tilt, along with a 6-10 mph ENE breeze.

Though you generally associate sluggers with both lineups, this series has been on a big 'under' run recently. All four of the games last week in New York failed to reach the totals, as did three of the four last year in Texas. I can't ignore a streak like that and will look to the low side of the scoreboard hurdle for my free pick in Game 1.

MLB Pick: Yankees-Rangers Under 8 (-105)

Season: 91-91 (-0.25)