The New York Yankees will kick off their series with the Texas Rangers on Monday with a rare weekday day game in this Labor Day showdown. The Yankees continue to cruise towards October with a healthy lead in the AL East while the Rangers have their eyes on 2020. Texas, however, will undoubtedly get up to play the hated pinstripes in this one, but will that be enough for them to topple the Evil Empire in this holiday showdown?
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- Date and Time: Monday, September 2, 2019, 1:05 p.m. ET
- Location: Yankee Stadium, New York, New York
- 2019 MLB Betting Odds at Betcris: (Check Back Later)
- Rangers vs. Yankees 2019 MLB TV Coverage: ESPN
Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to get the start for the Yankees to open up this series.
The right-hander was an All-Star this MLB season but doesn’t have All-Star type numbers now with a 10-7 record, 4.47 ERA and 1.223 WHIP in his 157 innings of work.
The veteran has a 4.31 FIP and has done well limiting the free passes but does have 24 homers hit against him and a lackluster 7.3 K:9.
The 30-year old Tanaka has not pitched well in the second half of the season with a 5.71 ERA in nine starts. That said, he’s coming off a very promising outing against the Mariners, going seven scoreless innings and allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out seven. Perhaps that’s the start of a turnaround.
Just as impressive as those numbers was the fact Tanaka produced them on the road. He’s struggled away from Yankee Stadium all year but has been a great pitcher at home with a 3.26 ERA in 14 starts and a 1.109 WHIP. He’ll take on the Rangers in a familiar setting on Monday.
In his last home start, he through 6.1 innings of two-run ball against the Indians.
The Rangers’ starter in this one remains a mystery. Texas went with Emmanuel Clase as an opener last time through the order.
The 21-year old right-hander went an inning in that game, giving up a couple walks and a hit, but he managed to keep the Angels off the board.
It could be Clase or another reliever given the nod as the opener in Monday’s series opener. Or, with rosters expanding for the month of September, the Rangers could call someone else up to make the start. In either case, it’s not a great matchup for the Rangers on the bump.
The Rangers’ bullpen isn’t that great, especially with Chris Martin in Atlanta, but Rafael Montero, Taylor Guerrieri and Jose Leclerc are all throwing the ball rather well right now.
Still, the pen doesn’t compare to the Yankees’ which is a huge issue considering the starting situation in this game.
For the Yankees, they have Tanaka to set up for the pen and then can go into the trio of Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino, and Aroldis Chapman to close this out and make it a six-inning game.
Of the three big guys, Chapman has the worst ERA at 2.26. All three have allowed plenty of free passes, but they work around that with electric stuff. Chapman and Ottavino are big strikeout pitchers while Britton’s sinker helps keep the ball on the ground.
Beyond those three, the Yankees have more depth in the pen than the Rangers, too, with Tommy Kahnle having a nice season.
The Yankees are the best offense in baseball and while the Rangers are in the upper-half of the sport in runs scored this season, they pale in comparison in nearly every category.
New York blows the Rangers out of the water in home runs as well as average, OBP and slugging. For comparison, the Yankees have a .835 team OPS. Texas’s team OPS is .750. Here in the second half of the season since the Rangers have started their collapse, the gap is even more severe.
Since the All-Star break, the Yankees have a .892 team OPS and 101 homers. Texas has hit 60 bombs and has a .703 OPS in that same time. New York has scored 107 more runs.
Nick Solak has been great in his first few games for Texas while Willie Calhoun is swinging well, too.
While there are a few bright spots, the overall offense is a mess. There is no offense behind the plate. Injuries to Nomar Mazara, Joey Gallo, and Hunter Pence take away three of the best hitters on the team.
Rougned Odor and Delino Deshields are still getting at bats because of lack of options while Elvis Andrus continues to struggle through a tough season.
For the Yankees, they’ve got several key injuries, too, but they’ve gotten great production from the replacements.
It doesn’t seem to matter who is in the Yankees’ lineup as they always manage to score runs.
From Aaron Judge to Gary Sanchez to Gleybar Torres, this team is loaded. Beyond that, D.J. LeMahieu, Gio Urshela, and Mike Tauchman were all supposed to be role players, if that, and all three have an OPS+ of at last 133.
The Yankees are playing this one at home where they have a .710 winning percentage this season. Of course, they’re a good team regardless of the venue.
Offensively, this is the best team in baseball. The bullpen, meanwhile, is nearly as impressive. While the rotation is a question, the Yankees have their best arm on the mound for this one.
New York boasts the best record in the American League and has been nearly unbeatable in August with a .714 winning percentage after winning four straight heading into the weekend.
On the other side of this matchup, the Rangers have been slipping for the last couple months. Through June, Texas was one of the bigger surprises of the season with a 46-36 record as recently as June 28. Since then, the Rangers are 19-33. They’ve lose nine of their last 14 baseball games and have a .391 overall winning percentage on the road.
Tanaka hasn’t been all that reliable of late, but he’s coming off a great outing and pitching at home where he has thrived.
Count on a strong start from Tanaka who should be able to give the Yankees six innings before the deep back-end of the bullpen comes in to shut the door.
Offensively, the Yankees are too good not to get a few homers and drive in some runs against whoever takes the ball for Texas. After all, this is at home where New York thrives and the ball flies out with ease.
Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees Pick: Look for Tanaka and the Yankees to get an easy win at home.
Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees Score Prediction: Yankees 7, Rangers 3