The American League Championship Series shifts to the Bronx and the series is tied at one game apiece between the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees
Texas Rangers at New York Yankees
Texas earned a 7-2 victory in Saturday’s American League Championship Series Game 2 versus the Yankees to even up the series at a game apiece. The Rangers are highly confident that they can gain control of the series tonight with another win. “Any time we have Cliff Lee on the mound, we’re pretty confident,” second baseman Ian Kinsler stated. The team will have to break a five-game postseason losing streak in the Bronx to do it and losing all three games at the stadium in 2010. Texas should have confidence in knowing they were the first team in history to win three road games in any 5-game series, whether LDS or LCS, in either league. Offensively, the club has homered in each of the team’s first seven games this postseason, which happens to be longer than any Texas homer streak in the regular season. The squad is an even 42-42 on the road this season and the total is 35-47 Over/Under.
Rangers starting pitcher Cliff Lee was a combined 12-9 with a 3.18 ERA in 28 regular season starts with his current team and the Mariners this season and went 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in the ALDS versus Tampa Bay. He recorded 21 strikeouts in the two starts and didn’t issue a single walk. Lee will be pitching in his fifth different postseason series and he has tallied a 4-0 record and 0.55 ERA in his first start in the other four series. Including the regular season and postseason, the southpaw has won five straight starts in the Bronx, going 5-0 with a 1.67 ERA. He has won all three starts at the current Yankee Stadium.
New York has posted a 23-6 series record when winning the first game of a postseason series and the club is 217-142-1 all-time in the playoffs. The Yankees streak of scoring at least five runs in eight straight playoff games was snapped with Saturday’s defeat, as it was the second-longest streak all-time behind only Baltimore’s nine-game stretch in 1970-71. It’s also important to note that the club’s 10-game postseason winning streak over the Rangers was also ended. New York has won all three games when opposed by a left-handed starter this postseason after losing its final nine regular season games against southpaws. The team is 10-8 this season when playing after a day off and 34-27 overall versus left-handers.
Yankees starting pitcher Andy Pettitte produced an 11-3 record and 3.28 ERA in 21 starts during the regular season and captured a 5-2 win in the ALDS over the Twins. He allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings of work in that contest at Target Field. The left-hander posted a 7-3 mark and 3.89 ERA in 12 home starts, issuing 23 walks and collecting 44 strikeouts in 69.1 frames. In 23 career regular season starts versus the Rangers, Pettitte has a winning 11-9 record and 5.24 ERA, including a 1-0 mark and 2.25 ERA in one start this season. He is 19-9 with a 3.87 ERA in his postseason career over 256 innings.
Bettors will be interested in playing the Rangers due to their 6-0 mark on the road, but the team is 1-4 in Lee’s last five starts as a favorite of -110 to -150. New York is 8-1 in its last nine home playoff games and 89-41 in Pettitte’s last 130 home outings.