The MLB betting action goes on Monday, May 17, with nine games around the country including the American League showdown at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, so here’s the best Yankees vs. Rangers betting pick.
The New York Yankees and Texas Rangers open a four-game series, meeting for the first time since September 2019. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the visitors are listed as huge favorites to win the opener, as the Yankees will send their top ace to the mound. New York has won five of its last eight encounters with Texas, but the Yankees are winless in two straight outings at Globe Life Field.
The Yankees hope to extend their rich vein of form
The New York Yankees played in Baltimore on Sunday afternoon, trying to sweep the Orioles in a three-game series. Excluding that clash, the Yankees have won 11 of their last 14 games overall even though their offense hasn’t been at its best.
The Bombers are scoring only 4.00 runs per game (23rd in the majors) while slashing .223/.318/.698. Their batting average is the sixth-worst in the majors, and the Yankees’ slugging percentage is only 20th-best in baseball, although New York hit 52 home runs (tied-5th).
The Yankees surrender 3.62 runs per game (4th in the MLB). Their pitching staff owns the third-lowest ERA of 3.18. Gerrit Cole will toe the slab Monday, and the 30-year-old righty is 5-1 with a microscopic 1.37 ERA and 0.68 WHIP in eight starts this season. Cole is 5-2 with a 3.75 ERA in ten career starts against Texas.
The Rangers look to break out of their slump
The Texas Rangers won seven of their first nine games in May, but it’s been a bumpy ride since a two-game set at Oracle Park in San Francisco. The Rangers entered their Sunday’s clash at Houston riding a five-game losing streak and sitting at the fourth spot of the AL West standings with an 18-23 record.
Texas is scoring 4.22 runs per contest (17th in the majors) on a .241/.311/.392 slash line. The Rangers’ offense is doing a good job, but their defense is a big issue, allowing 4.61 runs per game (21st) on 9.0 hits (28th).
Jordan Lyles will get the starting nod Monday, looking to improve his 1-3 record out of the first eight starts in 2021. The 30-year-old righty sports a poor 6.63 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, and 36/15 K/BB ratio across 38 innings. He met the Yankees just once, and it was way back in 2016, pitching 2.2 frames in relief and yielding three earned runs on a couple of hits.
- 11-3 in the last 14 games overall
- 9-2 in the last 11 games against the American League
- 2-6 in the last eight games overall
Gerrit Cole is enjoying a good season, and I’m expecting another dominant performance in this clash against the Rangers. Last time out, Cole shut down the Rays, allowing just four hits through eight frames of work while punching out 12.
As I’ve mentioned, the Rangers’ bats are surprisingly doing well, but hitting hard against Gerrit Cole will be a mountain to climb. On the other side, Jordan Lyles will have a tall task against the struggling Yankees’ offense that owns plenty of dangerous weapons.
Pick: Take New York Yankees -1.5 at -145
The Yankees bullpen is the third-best in the majors, sporting a 2.78 ERA with a 10.56 K/9, while the Rangers’ relievers are 17th with a 3.94 ERA and 9.06 K/9. Gerrit Cole and his relievers should not allow more than a couple of runs, and the Yankees’ ace could easily last seven or eight frames.
Therefore, I’m backing the under, though the Yankees’ offense could score a bunch of runs on its own if the Rangers’ pitching staff starts to struggle. The visitors to cover remains my top betting pick here.
Pick: Go under 8.0 runs at -114