The New York Yankees struck back with a 1-0 win over the Texas Rangers on Saturday afternoon, and now these two AL hopefuls will each be gunning for a series win in the rubber match on Sunday. First pitch is set for 1:35 p.m. ET from Yankee Stadium. Former Yankee Nathan Eovaldi (9-3, 2.84 ERA) will take the mound against his former team, while New York gives the ball to ace Gerrit Cole (8-1, 2.64).
The Yankees are -120 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Rangers as narrow +100 underdogs. The run total is set for 7.5.
Rangers-Yankees picks: Sunday, June 25
Day to day: OF Travis Jankowski (hamstring)
Out: UTIL Brad Miller (oblique), SP Jacob deGrom (elbow), SP Glenn Otto (shoulder), SP Jake Odorizzi (arm), RP Brett Martin (shoulder)
Out: OF Willie Calhoun (quadriceps), SP Nestor Cortes (shoulder), OF Aaron Judge (toe), RP Ryan Weber (forearm), OF Greg Allen (hip), RP Ian Hamilton (groin), RP Jonathan Loaisiga (elbow), RP Lou Trivino (elbow), SP Carlos Rodon (back), SP Frankie Montas (shoulder), RP Scott Effross (elbow), SP Luis Gil (elbow)
Nathan Eovaldi vs. Gerrit Cole
Eovaldi was among the best pitchers in baseball through May, with a 0.68 ERA over seven starts from April 29 to June 4. He’s been a bit shaky recently, though, pitching to a 5.12 mark over his last three outings — and, most disconcertingly, showing diminished velocity on his fastball. The team insists that Eovaldi feels fine, but he’s thrown a lot of innings so far this year, and if he’s still at 93-94 instead of 96-97 today it may be time to give him some rest. Eovaldi has faced the Yankees once already this year, spinning a complete-game, three-hit shutout against his former team at the end of April.
Cole’s season has had roughly the opposite trajectory: The ace slumped in May, but he’s bounced back in a big way this month, with a 1.78 ERA and 27 strikeouts over 25.1 innings across his four starts in June. The fastball velocity still isn’t quite what it has been — neither is the strikeout rate, and his slider isn’t the devastating weapon we’ve seen in years past — but Cole remains one of the game’s premier workhorses, even if he’s not as overwhelming as usual.
Eovaldi may be slumping a bit of late, but so is this Yankees offense, which has scored more than three runs just once in their last nine games. He dominated New York back in April, and while he may not go the full nine again, I think he’ll do enough to keep them in check. That means Texas will have to do most of the work to get us to this over, but that’s a tall task with the way Cole is throwing right now.
Pick: Under 7.5
At the end of the day, I don’t think the gap between Cole and Eovaldi is as big as the gap between Texas’ lineup and New York’s. In what should be a tight, relatively low-scoring game, I’ll take Corey Seager and Co. to muster just enough offense — especially with plus odds.