The second play on Tuesday, and last of June, goes down in the Bronx where the Major-League leading Rangers visit a Yankees team trying to make a push in the AL East. Cole Hamels and CC Sabathia have crossed paths more than once. This time, the two will tango as wily veterans who are pitching, arguably, as well as they have in their decorated careers.
Call it some sort of Nolan Ryan transformation, but the Texas Rangers are winning games. And they are winning in ways that we’ve never really seen them win before: with pitching. A deep staff of starters and relievers is headed by the man on the mound tonight. Cole Hamels comes into this one riding a streak of five straight quality starts and has only surrendered two runs in his last three. This is despite walking seven in those three starts, which is a little high for someone who usually has pinpoint control. He’s going deep into games, not allowing very many hits and winning games for Texas. His opponent, and former National League opponent, is doing the same for the Yankees.
CC Sabathia has gathered a whole lot of attention after winning the job as the fifth starter in spring training, overcoming a tough start and now emerging as the Yankees’ ace. Sabathia’s run of eight straight quality starts was snapped last week in a start against Colorado when he gave up five runs to raise his ERA to 2.71. But Sabathia has looked like his old self in 2016. Opponents are hitting just .235 against the big lefty, down from a career mark of .250. Texas does rely on some left-handed pop with Prince Fielder and others. If Sabathia can limit his walks and keep the Rangers in the park, this one has the feeling of a pitchers duel between two of the game’s better left-handers.
We’ll get on that under for half a unit.
Free Pick: Under 8.5 -115
YTD: 14-13-1 +1.15
2015: 31-25-5 +1.09
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02