After splitting a series 2-2 with the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees head down south, deep in the heart of Texas, to face the Rangers.
The Rangers have been at the mercy of the Yankees for over a decade, and this season has been no different, as the Bombers swept the Rangers in their last meeting back in April.
The Yankees have enjoyed playing in Texas, posting a 15-4 record since 2005.
This time the Rangers look a little different, with the addition of ace Cliff Lee. Lee is quite familiar to the Yankees, as he has dominated the team as an Indian, Mariner, and Phillie—but as a Ranger, he is yet to be seen.
Let’s look at the first showdown in this two-game trip, Tuesday night’s match-up:
A.J. Burnett (NYY) vs. C.J. Wilson (TEX)
Yankees starter A.J. Burnett can safely add "scratch" to his personal history, as Burnett was slated to start on Sunday night against the Red Sox but did not due to back spasms. Last outing, Burnett allowed a historical five doubles during a seven-run fifth inning against his old team, the Blue Jays. Burnett had just won his last two starts before imploding in the fifth. It was the same old tune for Burnett, as his fastball wasn’t sinking and then he got wild. Burnett is a crucial part of the puzzle for the remaining stretch of the season and this would be a perfect time to start giving the Yankees some solid outings again. In 2010, Burnett is 9-9 with a 4.93 ERA.
C.J. Wilson is also coming off a horrible start, his worst in 2010. The lefty Wilson lasted just three innings, striking out three, walking four and allowing four earned runs against the awful Mariners. Wilson has the most walks in the AL with 66, but has struck out 103 batters over 22 starts. Yankee bats crushed Wilson earlier this season, as he lost the game, 5-1. Wilson will be especially careful with new Yankee Lance Berkman and Nick Swisher, who both have hit Wilson well in the past.
Wilson’s major advantage would have been his lack of Yankees face-time, as the Bombers struggle with unfamiliar pitchers. Problem is, they never got scared in the first place and that is not good.
Burnett is 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in his four starts against the Rangers in pinstripes, so I am predicting Burnett will come through with a solid performance.
Burnett gets the win.
Yankees beat Rangers 6-2.
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