New York Yankees
Fresh off of their first postseason series victory in franchise history, the Texas Rangers are back with a new challenge: Take out the grandest dynasty in the history of baseball in a seven game series. Game 1 of ALCS betting action against the New York Yankees goes off on Friday night in Arlington.
This wasn't the greatest offensive series that the Rangers ever could have asked for, but they ultimately ended up taking advantage of some great hustle plays to score just enough runs to beat the Tampa Bay Rays in five games in their ALDS. The only problem with going five games is that superstar LHP Cliff Lee, who pitched a complete game in Game 5, won't be available as a starter until Game 3 of this series.
The Yanks took care of business in very businesslike fashion against the Minnesota Twins last week. They swept a three game series and absolutely dominated from start to finish. The offense features nine batters that are hitting at least .273, with only one straggler, OF Brett Gardner. Manager Joe Girardi has the ability to set this rotation up as he pleases, and to no surprise, after a full week of rest, LHP CC Sabathia will be called on once again.
Sabathia didn't have his best stuff in Game 1 of the ALDS, as he allowed four runs in just six frames. The outing was significantly shorter than anyone in the Yankee dugout figured, especially for a man that has thrown 243.2 innings this year. Sabathia is getting a ton of run support this year, just as he did in the Game 1 victory, as the men in pinstripes are averaging giving him 5.7 runs per start. Sabathia is 8-3 all-time against Texas in 14 starts with a worse than average 4.29 ERA. His last start this year against the Rangers was great, as he only allowed one earned run in six innings of work for a 'W'.
LHP CJ Wilson might have found a way to shut down the Rays last week, but this is a significantly different challenge. The southpaw has never pitched well against the Yankees, as he is just 0-3 with two saves and three holds against them, and he has just a Murderer's Row of batters to try to get through. The victory for Wilson in the ALDS marked his second straight dating back to the end of the regular season, but no one can be confident in the fact that he didn't win a game the entire month of September, one start of which came against these Yankees.
New York wants to come out and set the tone in this MLB betting battle early just like it did against the Twins. Wilson doesn't know what is about to hit him, especially if Sabathia is throwing bagel after bagel on the board as well like he can. Don't be shocked to see the bullpen end up getting used quite a bit on Friday night for Texas, as the Yanks might be putting on a whooping.
ALCS Picks: New York Yankees -140