At the start of the year how many people out there thought the Yankees would be on the brink of another World Series appearance? Just as expected, a majority of you. How many thought the Texas Rangers would be there? Just as expected…very few. Despite not being given much of a chance, the Texas Rangers are set to square off with the New York Yankees in the ALCS. For the Rangers this is their longest post-season run. For the Yankees, this is just part of the routine.
Coming into this series, everyone thought that Cliff Lee would start on 3 days rest and give the Rangers a strong start to the series. This isn’t the case as CJ Wilson will start for the Rangers. That’s a huge break for the Yankees because it means, at the very most, they will only face ace Cliff Lee twice. For the Rangers it leaves a lot of questions and puts A LOT of pressure on two young guys, Wilson and Colby Lewis, who had no playoff experience prior to this years ALDS. The pitching matchup for game 1 looks like Sabathia-Wilson while game 2 shapes up as Hughes-Lewis leaving game 3 to Pettitte-Lee. One thing worth noting is that Wilson is 0-1 during 3 starts against the Yankees this year and sports an unimpressive 5.65 ERA. Another thing worthy of taking notice is that Hughes and Pettitte have both been very strong for the Yanks allowing only 2 runs during 14 innings of work between the two.
In terms of offence the Yankees certainly have the lineup to do damage, as they did lead the majors in runs during the regular season. In the opening round the Yankees teed off on the Twins pitchers racking up 13 runs in only 15 innings. That stat is more impressive when you take into account that the Yankees got production from 10 different guys and hit an impressive .314. For the Rangers, they don’t quite have the firepower (although they did hit 8 homers in the ALDS), but a guy named Ian Kinsler could be a force as he belted out 3 bombs in the ALDS for the Rangers and has appeared to find his swing. The big stat of playoffs though is where the holes in the Rangers offense start to appear. With guys on base they only managed to hit .206 and .231 when they were in scoring position. Vladdy Guerrero and Josh Hamilton will have to put up big numbers for the Rangers if they want to keep pace with the allstar offense of the New York Yankees.
Yankees vs Rangers Series Betting Odds
We checked all of the top online sportsbooks and have found the following odds are the most favourable for either wager:
New York Yankees -170
Texas Rangers: +160
New York Yankees vs Texas Rangers Series Prediction
Despite everything leaning towards the Yankees taking this series, I feel that the Rangers could upset. They have 2 inexperienced pitchers which may work to their advantage in the sense that they won’t feel the pressure as they haven’t been in that position before. The other reason the Rangers could pull off the upset is that the offense started to heat up against the Tampa Bay Rays and if Ian Kinsler can keep it up and help Josh Hamilton and Vladdy Guerrero produce then this could be closer than it looks on paper. I’m taking the Rangers in 6.
Best Bet: Texas Rangers +160
Written by: Allan Etmanski