The New York Yankees continue their 10-game road trip with the start of a 4-game series with Texas tonight in Arlington. There’s a long way to go until October, but the Yankees are starting to distance themselves with the rest of the American League East. They now have a 6.5 game lead of Toronto and are 13 games over .500. They have won 11 of their last 14 overall and 5 of their last 7 road games after winning the weekend series in Minnesota. They lost Friday night to the Twins 10-1, then fell behind 5-0 on Saturday, but then Alex Rodriguez went on to hit 3 home runs in the Yankees 8-5 comeback win. Yesterday, they cruised to an easy 7-2 win.
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Ivan Nova will be making just his 6th start of the year coming off Tommy John Surgery. He hasn’t been too bad, but the Yankees are hoping for more from him. He’s 2-3 with a 3.34 ERA. His strikeout rate is down so far as he only has 15 K’s in 29.2 innings. He hasn’t been very good on the road in his 2 starts going 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA. Like I said, Nova is going to need to step it up for New York as the Yankees don’t have the best starting staff in the league as evident of their 4.23 starter’s ERA.
The Texas Rangers return home for the first time since before the All-Star Break and they’re having the same problems they did before the break. They’re scoring a lot of runs, but they’re letting up even more. They took 2 of 3 in Anaheim this past weekend, but were out-scored 21-18. They have a -28 run differential despite being only 3 games under .500. They’re still only 4.5 games out of the Wild Card spot in the American League. They desperately need pitching help if they want to compete this year. They have the 2nd worst ERA in the A.L. and are the only team to have surrendered over 300 walks.
Matt Harrison is also recently coming off the D.L. and will make his 3rd start this year and only his 9th start since the end of 2012. He’s had back problems the last few years and is coming off back surgery and a long rehab stint. He was hit hard in his first start by Arizona, but then oddly enough was brilliant in Coors Field last week shutting out the Rockies for 6 innings. He was topped off at 91 pitches. He last pitched against the Yankees in August of 2012 and pitched well in a losing effort.
Look, the Yankees are hot and who knows how well Harrison will hold up against this lethal Yankees lineup. I know New York isn’t as good against left-handed pitching, but I believe they can get to Harrison and Nova will pitch just well enough to get the win.
Pick: Yankees -120