Two games in the American League playoffs on Monday with both series tied at a game apiece. Tampa Bay hosts Texas in the early start game with the nightcap featuring the New York Yankees playing in Detroit and reprising the pitching matchup that was supposed to be on the hill for the suspended Game 1 contest.

TEXAS RANGERS (COLBY LEWIS) AT TAMPA BAY RAYS (DAVID PRICE) 2:05 PM PACIFIC

The Rays’ decision to start rookie Matt Moore in Game 1 proved to be brilliant as the future superstar shut down the Rangers’ high powered offense. Texas’ bats woke up in Game 2 as they earned an 8-6 victory to send the series to the ‘Cigar City’ tied at a game apiece.

Neither pitcher has been in very good form in the final days of the regular season, though in Lewis’ case that’s more of a statistical mirage than anything else. He’s got a 5.50 ERA in his L3 games, derived primarily from a rough outing in Seattle where he allowed six earned runs. Ultimately, it was ‘no harm no foul’ as the Rangers came back and won that game. In his other two starts in that stretch Lewis allowed 3 ER in a loss at Oakland and 2 ER in a win over the LA Angels.

David Price’s recent form is a bit more problematic—he allowed 5 ER in a ‘must win’ game for Tampa’s postseason hopes against a New York Yankees team that was already looking ahead to the playoffs. He was bailed out by the Rays’ late inning heroics, but his form does give us concern. The Rays were only 8-10 in his home starts this season for a -8.5 unit loss. He’s struggled throughout his career against Texas—he’s got a lifetime record of 0-5 with a 5.58 ERA against the Rangers.

Texas made a small profit on the road this year (+3.7 units) while Tampa Bay lost a fractional amount at home (-0.2 units). In my view, Texas is the better team and we’ll take them as an underdog here.

Bet Texas Rangers (Lewis) +125 over Tampa Bay Rays (Price)

NEW YORK YANKEES (C.C. SABATHIA) AT DETROIT TIGERS (JUSTIN VERLANDER) 5:35 PM PACIFIC

The suspended first game of this series forced the managers of both teams to tweak their pitching staff ‘on the fly’ and they’ll bring back the starters here. Public loves the ‘Bronx Bombers’ but we’d much rather have the Tigers and Verlander at a reasonable price. Verlander was lights out at home this year with a 2.37 ERA and the Tigers won 11 of his 16 starts. Sabathia wasn’t impressive down the stretch but since the Yankees had run away with the AL East by that point that doesn’t mean much.

It’s also a profitable situational spot for the Tigers who were 31-21 +6.2 units, not to mention a very strong home team posting a record of 50-31 +7.7 units. The Yankees lost money against RHP (-4.3 units) and in this game they’re facing one of the best in the business. There’s also the Yankees bizarre day/night disparity—Yankees 44-13 +26 units in day games, 54-53 -17.6 units in night games. It was more pronounced at Yankee Stadium but not something I’m interest in bucking with Verlander on the mound.

Bet Detroit Tigers (Verlander) -130 over New York Yankees (Sabathia)

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