MLB Preview 2012: New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers

The New York Yankees (10-6) and Texas Rangers (13-4) will continue a three-game American League series on Tuesday night at Rangers Ballpark, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:05 ET

New York Yankees at Texas Rangers 

The New York Yankees are 40-18 in their last 58 regular-season games with the Texas Rangers

New York captured a 7-4 win over Texas to start this high-profile series between two of the best teams in Major League Baseball, with shortstop Derek Jeter leading the way with four hits.  He is hitting .629 against left-handed pitching this year, which has definitely caught the dugout’s attention. “I don’t think you ever anticipate anyone being this hot, but I’m going to take it,” commented Yankees manager Joe Girardi.  The Yankees have gone 10-3 in their last 13 games after suffering a three-game sweep in Tampa Bay to open up the season.  New York is 16-17 as a road underdog of +100 to +125 the last two-plus years.

Yankees starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda (1-2, 5.00 ERA) will be making his fourth start of the year, coming off a 6-5 home loss to the Minnesota Twins last time out, giving up six runs and 10 hits over 4.1 innings.  The right-hander suffered an 8-6 defeat against the Tampa Bay Rays in his only road effort this year to start the season, allowing six runs (four earned) and eight hits over 5.2 frames.  He made his only career start versus the Rangers on June 12, 2009, giving up five runs (four earned) in 5.1 innings in a 6-0 defeat.

Texas may have been a bit jet-lagged after winning eight of nine on its latest road trip, but the team should be a little worried about its recent struggles against New York.  The Rangers 18-40 in their last 57 regular-season meetings in the series.  Offensively, the team still manages to lead the majors with 98 runs and a .298 batting average, with outfielder Josh Hamilton leading the way with six home runs and 15 RBIs over his last nine games.  Texas is 31-15 as a home favorite of -125 to -150 the last two-plus years.

Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish (2-0, 3.57 ERA) has led the club to three victories to start the season, including a 10-3 road win over the Detroit Tigers last time out.  He surrendered just a single run and two hits over 6.1 innings in that effort.  The right-hander will need to display control in facing the Bronx Bombers, issuing 13 walks in 17.2 innings thus far.

Bettors will likely back the Rangers due to their 30-7 record as a favorite of -110 to -150, while the Yankees are 2-5 as a road underdog.

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