Field of Dreams Monday

As the series between New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers’ gets underway it’s beginning to look more and more like a tale to two pitchers.

A struggling rotation has played a large role in the Texas Rangers’ recent woes but they may get some much needed help in the shape of the returning Yu Darvish.

Darvish is the first of two Rangers pitchers set to return from injury and he’ll make his first start in a little more than two weeks in Monday night’s series opener.

Texas’ starters have combined for a 7.21 ERA during a 1-7 stretch and the Rangers (54-44) gave up four runs in the first four innings in their fourth consecutive defeat Sunday, 4-2 to Baltimore.

That loss dropped the club three games behind AL West-leading Oakland.

The Rangers are hoping to end their struggles when they get Darvish (8-4, 3.02 ERA) and Alexi Ogando off the disabled list the next two games.

Darvish would appear to be returning at a good time as he’s 1-0 with a 1.98 ERA in two career starts against the Yankees (52-46).

He did not get a decision in his only matchup this season, giving up three runs over 5 1/3 innings in a 4-3 loss June 25.

The right-hander, however, is also 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in his last four starts, and he surrendered five runs over six-plus innings in a 9-5 loss to Houston on July 6 before his first career trip to the DL for a strained back.

Darvish will face an injury-plagued Yankees team that’s lost seven of 11 and got some bad news on Alex Rodriguez on Sunday.

Rodriguez was expected to return from the disabled list on Tuesday but suffered a strained left quad while rehabbing.

New York followed that announcement by blowing an early three-run lead in Boston en route to an 8-7 loss in 11 innings.

Ivan Nova (4-2, 3.63) will try to help break his club out of its funk with a third victory in as many starts.

The right-hander has a 2.28 ERA and 24 strikeouts over 23 2/3 innings in his three starts since returning from a stint in the minors.

Nova has won his past two decisions against Texas despite giving up four runs in each of his last two matchups.

However, He did not get a decision in his lone meeting with the Rangers in 2012, a 10-6 loss.

With the Yankees injury plagued and the Rangers benefitting from Darvish’s return, backing Texas at -194 is like printing dollar bills,  if you’ve got enough to risk in first place!

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