MLB Predictions 2012: Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees

The Texas Rangers (67-46) and New York Yankees (67-47) will open up an important American League series on Monday night at Yankee Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 ET on ESPN2

Texas Rangers at New York Yankees 

Texas Rangers OF Josh Hamilton is swinging the bat much better in the No. 5 spot in the lineup

Texas took the final two games of a three-game set against Detroit over the weekend, which includes an 8-3 victory on Sunday afternoon.  The Rangers offense has come alive in August, scoring 71 runs in 11 games, which is at a much better pace than plating an MLB-low 81 in 23 games the previous month.  All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton has started to come alive since being dropped two spots in the order, hitting .319 and driving in 15 RBIs since the calendar turned.  Texas is 3-2 as a road underdog of +100 to +125 this season.

Rangers starting pitcher Ryan Dempster (6-5, 2.65 ERA) has led the club to victories in both of his outings since coming over from the Chicago Cubs, including a 6-3 road victory over the Boston Red Sox.  The right-hander is 4-3 with a 1.64 ERA in 10 road games overall, issuing just nine walks and striking out 52 batters in 66 frames.  In four career starts versus the Yankees, Dempster has compiled an 0-3 record and 6.45 ERA.

New York was unable to complete a sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays on the road, suffering a 10-7 setback on Sunday afternoon.  The Yankees return to the Bronx after posting a 4-3 record on their seven-game road trip.  “We are playing in really important games,” commented Yankees manager Joe Girardi.  “We are playing for home-field advantage.”  The club has won eight of the last 11 regular season meetings against tonight’s opponent.  New York is 20-11 at home when the total is 9 to 9.5.

Yankees starting pitcher David Phelps (2-3, 2.42 ERA) briefly moves into the rotation due to CC Sabathia skipping a start, as he’s made seven scoreless relief appearances since July 4.  The right-hander is 0-1 with a 1.50 ERA in eight home outings, with opponents hitting just .157 against him.  Phelps surrendered three runs and five hits in 2.1 innings of relief against the Rangers on April 25.

Sports bettors will likely back the Yankees due to their 35-17 mark in series openers, while the Rangers are 4-10 as a road underdog.

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