We suffered a tough beat early this week in our first play of the month when the Marlins got on the board in the ninth inning of an 8–0 game. The run may have been otherwise inconsequential but it tipped the total from under to over and started us off with a loss.
Our second play this month will come from an American League matchup. The Yankees seem to find someone involved in the Wild Card chase to play most every day this time of year. New York moved on from Baltimore to Texas for a weekend set with the Rangers. The Yanks are still holding onto their slim lead atop the Wild Card with a cohort of playoff-hungry Average Joes behind them, Texas being one of them.
The Rangers are down in the Wild Card but they aren’t playing like they’re out. Texas rebounded from a loss in its series finale down in Atlanta with a win back at home last night against the Yankees. Down 5–1 early, Texas rallied and scored 10 unanswered to end up winning 11–5. Elvis Andrus drove in three runs to help make it four out of the last five for Texas.
The Rangers have two teams to jump to get into the final playoff spot. They are even in the loss column with the Angels but have to make up a win. If they do that, they’ll be just two games behind the Twins, who have caught a second wind here in September.
Last night saw some offense at the Ballpark in Arlington but tonight could be a different scene. Andrew Cashner got some attention for his great start on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, which hit his hometown in the state. Cashner went eight innings against the Astros in Tampa Bay and gave up three hits and one run. It was his best start of the year but not terribly unlike what has been typical for him in his first year as a Ranger.
Cashner is having his best season since 2014 when he was a young hot-shot for the San Diego Padres. He only made 19 starts that season, though. This year, Cashner has already made 23, posting a 3.29 ERA, a 1.29 WHIP and a (by far) career-best WAR: 4.3. He’s gone at least six innings in 10 starts since we hit July with the exception of one, when he was lifted with two outs in the sixth at 100 pitches against the White Sox. He’s been as steady as they come for Texas and both he and the team look like they have a lot of confidence in games he starts.
But Luis Severino is one of the very best pitchers in the American League. He’ll surpass 170 innings tonight, maybe 175 but it doesn’t look like the wall is in site, yet. The Yankees sure hope it isn’t for Severino, who thew 69 innings in 2015 and 71 last year. Masahiro Tanaka didn’t look good once again last night and that play-in game is looming.
I figure Texas’ team total is a pretty hard 4.0 and the Yankees somewhere in between 4.0 and 4.5. It leaves enough room to take the 9.0 for a small play.
Free Pick: Under 9.0 (-110)
New York Yankees • Texas Rangers