The Texas Rangers are in the Bronx this weekend for a three-game set with the New York Yankees in a rematch of last season’s ALCS. Saturday’s Game 2 from Yankee Stadium is set to start at 10:05 a.m. (PT) and it will be available on MLB TV.
Saturday’s weather forecast calls for a 70 percent chance of afternoon showers with temperatures in the upper 40’s.
Texas is coming off a rough week where it not only lost two of three games to Detroit, but also lost regining AL MVP Josh Hamilton for the next two months after he broke his arm sliding into home. The Rangers are currently in first place in the AL West with a 9-3 record overall. They were 3-3 on the road heading into Friday night’s series opener.
Texas’ pitching has been lights-out so far from the starting rotation right through the bullpen with a 2.55 team ERA. The Rangers have also been effective at the plate with a team batting average of .269 and 66 runs scored, both ranking third in the AL heading into weekend action.
The loss of Hamilton in the heart of the lineup will undoubtedly hurt, but the Rangers are still loaded with guys that can hit the ball including Nelson Cruz, who leads the team with 12 RBI and five home runs.
Left-hander Derek Holland is slated to get the start for Texas on Saturday. He was rock-solid his last time out in six scoreless innings against Baltimore. He has now given up 12 hits and just three earned runs in 12 innings to go 2-0 on the year.
Holland has struggled in the past against the Yankees with a record of 0-2 and a 9.49 ERA.
New York dropped two of three games to Boston last weekend, but bounced back with two straight wins over Baltimore. The first game of that series was rained out.
Joe Girardi's club now has a 7-4 record, including 6-2 at home, and a one-game lead over the Orioles in the AL East with Friday's results still pending.
The Yankees’ pitching has not been the best with a team ERA of 4.73, which is ranked 11th in the AL. Hitting has also been an issue with a .253 team batting average, but the Yanks have made the most of their opportunities with 63 runs.
Mark Teixeira and Russell Martin lead the way for New York. Teixeira has 11 RBI and four home runs and Martin has nine RBI and three home runs.
Freddy Garcia will be making his first start of the season. He went 12-6 last year with a 4.64 ERA and a WHIP of 1.38 in 28 starts while with the White Sox. Lifetime against the Rangers he is 7-5 with a 4.29 ERA.
Texas is 4-2 as a favorite this season and 5-1 as an underdog. The total has stayed ‘under’ in six of 11 games.
New York is 6-3 as a favorite and 1-1 as an underdog. The total has gone ‘over’ in eight of 11 games.
Head-to-head, the Rangers are just 2-4 in their last six games at Yankee Stadium, but have won eight of the last 11 games overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in four of the last five games in New York and in three of the last four games overall.
The Yankees should open as a slight favorite for this game, but stick with the Rangers’ bullpen to outperform New York’s to get the win.