Now it’s Tanaka’s turn. Last night, J. Happ kept the mo’ going, cooling off some hot Texas bats and extending the Yankees win streak to 4 games.
Tanaka vs The Rangers
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Give the continuing struggles of Luis Severino, one can start to make the case that Tanaka ($10,400) has indeed regained his status as current ace of the New York rotation. His record of 9-2 with a 3.76 ERA, and 1.07 WHIP are pretty much at his MLB career numbers (3.58 ERA and 1.09 WHIP), and he’s had 6 decent outings in a row. Tanaka didn’t get the run support he needed, but allowed only 7 earned over his last six starts, going 2-0 with 4 no-decisions.
The Rangers came into this series winning 9 of their last 12, and it wasn’t because of their pitching. This lineup always seems to include it’s share of dangerous hitters and over the years they’ve lambasted Yankee pitching to the tune of double-digit losses.
Rangers on the current roster who’ve taken Tanaka deep are Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara, and Rougned Odor (twice). Shin-Soo Choo has hit Tanaka at a .429 clip (6-14 with 1 double), and no Ranger has more at-bats against him. Of these hitters, Gallo has launched 4 home runs over his last 7 games, and Odor is enjoying a solid August at .333 (11-33, with 4 home runs, 3 doubles and a triple).
Mike Minor vs The Yankees
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Lefty Mike Minor ($6,200) (8-6, 4.53 ERA, 1.16 WHIP) was the 7th overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft, selected by the Atlanta Braves. He had a promising start to his pro career but ran into arm trouble by 2015, with season-ending surgery for a torn labrum in May of that year. By December, the Braves gave up on him and let him walk. Minor then inked a 2-year deal with the Kansas City Royals, who had him in the bullpen where he thrived. A free agent again after the 2017 season, Minor signed a 3-year, $28M deal with the Rangers with the understanding that he’d compete for a spot in the starting rotation.
Over Minor’s last three starts he’s recored a no-decision against the Oakland A’s, and wins over the Houston Astros and Baltimore Orioles. He’ll give you between 5 and 7 innings, and keep his club in the game for the most part. Over 117.1 innings so far in 2018, Minor has struck out 98, walked 26 and allowed 19 home runs.
Stanton Calling The Limo
With a .333 mark (7-21) which includes 4 home runs, Giancarlo Stanton ($5,100) is making damn sure Minor gets to The Stadium tonight. Only a handful of other current Yankees have faced Minor, none with enough at-bats to make any judgment. But if last night was an indication, the Bronx Bombers may once again live up to that moniker.
Neil Walker ($3,400) is red-hot, Miguel Andujar ($4,100) can’t be overlooked, and Aaron Hicks ($4,700) is feeling it right now. Building a stack with that bunch wouldn’t be your worst move this evening. This will be Minor’s first career start in Yankee Stadium, with only one previous inning of relief there under his belt.
The Wise Guys
The Yankees are a slight favorite to win tonight, and have been a season-long solid bet when favored at home (38-14, a 73% winning percentage). Over their last 5 matchups, the Rangers are 4-1 against the spread when playing the Yankees on the road, and 2-4 straight up over their last 6. Tonights under/over is 9, and the moneyline favors New York at -211. Texas is underwater against non-divisional opponents (32-35), while the Yankees are at an MLB-best 46-18 against non-divisional opposition.
Remember this is for speculation only, not meant to be taken as gospel. And don’t forget to double-check your lineup(s) just prior to game time as the weather may create havoc for you. We exist under the manta that “You can’t predict baseball” but it’s fun trying. Good luck with your lineup and let’s go Yankees!