Game: Texas Rangers at New York Yankees
Time: 7:05 PM ET
Starting Pitchers: Taylor Hearn vs. Corey Kluber
Odds: Rangers +240, Yankees -260
There is simply no room for error for the New York Yankees. Tonight’s game against NL West’s last-place Texas is a game the Yankees should win. They need to as heading into tonight New York is a half-game behind Toronto in the race for the AL’s second wild card. The Blue Jays have been hot winning seven of their last ten games. The Yankees are just 3-3 in their last six, but they have taken the first two games of this series with Texas.
Taking the third won’t be as easy as it might look. Texas will put Taylor Hearn (6-5) on the mound. Hearn started the season as a reliever but was moved to the starting rotation. He has been solid ever since. Prior to his last start, Hearn had a string of seven straight games in which he gave up three earned runs or fewer. Texas won each of his last four starts.
Now, his last start was a disaster, but Hearn was going up against the Chicago White Sox. They tagged him for eight hits and seven earned runs in an 8-0 loss. That start aside, Hearn has been better as a starter than a reliever. His biggest problem is not his pitching. It’s the offense that supports him, or rather the lack of offense on the Rangers end.
Over the last week or so, an already weak Rangers lineup has been even worse. In their last seven games, Texas has scored a total of 11 runs. Over that same period, the Rangers rank 29th in team batting average and 30th in on-base percentage. You can’t score without baserunners unless you’re hitting a ton of home runs. When the Rangers do get baserunners, they have trouble bringing them home. In Tuesday night’s loss to New York, Texas was 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
The Rangers may or may not have success against Yankees starting pitcher Corey Kluber. Since his return to the rotation in late August, Kluber has struggled. He went three straight starts where he didn’t last past four innings. He finally had a breakthrough in his last start on Sept. 17 against Cleveland. Kluber pitched six innings, allowed four hits and no runs in an 8-0 win. If the same Kluber is on the hill tonight, he should have success against a weak-hitting Rangers lineup.
One thing to watch tonight is the wind. A wind of 12 to 13 miles per hour that will blow in from right field is expected right around game time. It’s essentially the same conditions that the two teams had on Tuesday night. Texas scored just once and the total went Under.
The total went Under in the first game of the series too. In fact, four of the last five Rangers games and six of the past eight Yankees games have seen the total go Under. Don’t forget, Texas is averaging just 1.57 runs in its last seven games.