This could be the first series of the season the Yankees wouldn’t mind losing. If the Rangers (69-54) swept the Yankees (78-46), the Rangers would most likely become the AL wild card leader, moving ahead of the Red Sox. Going into the series, Texas is down 1.5 games to Boston, and New York has a commanding seven game lead over Boston.
Just for the record: I believe the Yankees should never lose games on purpose. Letting Texas win would mean the Yankees are scared of the Red Sox. For one, they shouldn’t be. Secondly, that gives the Sox all the confidence in the world if they did face each other in the postseason.
The Yanks have won both sets against the Rangers, winning four out of six games. These three upcoming will be the last time they meet in the regular season.
|Date:||Rangers starters||Yankees starters|
|7:05 p.m., Tues.||Kevin Millwood (9-8, 3.48)||Chamberlain (8-3, 3.98)|
|7:05 p.m., Wed.||Derek Holland (7-7, 4.72)||A. Pettitte (10-6, 4.25)|
|1:05 p.m., Thurs.||Dustin Nippert (4-2, 3.95)||A.J. Burnett (10-7, 4.08)|
Millwood has been one of the keys to the turnaround in the Rangers’ rotation. Chamberlain hasn’t pitched since two Sundays ago, so it will be interesting to see how he deals with the extra rest.
Holland has been very impressive since the All-Star break, but so has Pettitte. Wednesday night could be an intense battle between two lefties. (Is it just me, or does it seem like Pettitte always matches up against another lefty?)
Nippert, a converted reliever, is having a solid year in the rotation. He has beaten the Red Sox twice in the last five weeks (if you didn’t believe my first statement). Burnett will make his sixth bid at his 11th win of the season.
As I said earlier, I always want the Yankees to try to win every game, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if they lost a couple this series. Something to keep in mind: the Yankees are 41-18 at home (best in baseball) and the Rangers are 28-30 on the road.