New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers Preview and Pick

New York Yankees (61-52) -130, 12 1/2 at Texas Rangers (60-54), 8 pm Eastern Wednesday, ESPN
by Zman of

A couple of high-powered American League teams continue a high-scoring four-game series when the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers play game three Wednesday night at The Ballpark in Arlington.

Baseball bookmakers are listing New York and starting pitcher (and former Ranger) Sidney Ponson (6-2, 4.23) as 130 road favorites for Wednesday’s game, with a sky-high total of 12 1/2, while Texas and rookie Tommy Hunter (0-0, 10.80) are getting +120 as home underdogs.

The Rangers have taken the first two games of this series by scores of 9-5 and, last night, 8-6, and have won three straight.

So going into Wednesday’s game, New York, losers of seven of its last 10 games, is in third place in the AL East, 6 1/2 games back of the division-leading Tampa Bay Rays, while Texas is in second place in the AL West, 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Los Angeles Angels.

Also, in the AL wild-card race, the Yanks are 3 1/2 games behind the race-leading Boston Red Sox, while Texas is five games out.

New York is 25-26 on the road this year, 49-38 as favorites, but just 47-65 vs. the run line.

Texas is 31-24 at home this season, 41-45 as underdogs, and 63-51 vs. the run line.

The Rangers have taken four of five games from the Yanks so far this season, but thanks to an 18-7 win, New York has outscored Texas 32-29 in those five games. Also, the totals are 3-2 in those five games, which have averaged 12.5 total runs per.

Ponson won four games for Texas earlier this season before basically getting kicked off the team. Over his last three starts for New York, including a solid showing vs. the Angels last Friday, Ponson has allowed 10 ER and 28 baserunners (hits + walks) in 16 2/3 IP. Overall this season, his teams are 9-6 in Ponson’s starts, the totals 11-4.

Ponson has started one game vs. Texas this season, and got clipped for seven ER and 12 BR in five innings of that 18-7 Yanks victory a month ago.

Hunter made his ML debut last Friday vs. Toronto, allowing six ER and 10 BR in five innings of work. The Rangers rallied to win that game 9-8, and the game, obviously, went well over its total.

Offensively, New York ranks 7th in the majors this season in team BA at .271, 5th in team OBP at .344, 11th in team slugging at .424, and is averaging 4.9 runs per game.

Texas leads the majors in batting at .281, ranks 3rd in OBP at .353 , 1st in slugging at .462, and leads the majors in scoring at 5.7 RPG.

Over the last five games, the New York bullpen has allowed 12 ER and 27 BR in 16 IP.

Over its’ last five games, the Texas pen has given up nine ER and 18 BR in 15 1/3 IP.

On the injury/personnel front, Texas OF Milton Bradley is listed as questionable/day-to-day for Wednesday’s game with a sore quad, while NY closer Mariano Rivera is dealing with a bad back.

The totals are 46-63 in Yanks games this year, but nine of their last 10 games have gone over the totals, mainly because New York pitching has given up 73 runs over that span.

Meanwhile, the totals are 63-46 in Rangers games this year, and seven of their last 10 games have gone over the totals, as Texas has scored 68 runs and allowed 63 over that span. The totals are also 31-22 in games played at The Ballpark in Arlington, which are averaging 12.5 total runs, the most, by far, among all ML ballparks this season.

Zman’s Pick: I’m taking the Rangers at +120. Good luck!