Most of the talk Tuesday entering Game 1 of the series between the Texas Rangers and Yankees was about New York shortstop Derek Jeter.  A calf injury suffered in Monday's 1-0 loss to the Indians landed Jeter on the disabled list just as he was closing in on his quest to become the 28th major leaguer to reach the 3,000-hit plateau.

As it turned out, CC Sabathia and the Yankees did just fine without their captain in Tuesday's series opener, cracking three home runs in a 12-4 rout as -145 favorites. 


The two clubs will get right back at it Wednesday evening under the bright lights of the ESPN cameras (7:05 PM ET).  A pair of 24-year-olds take the mound with lefty Derek Holland slated for the Rangers opposite Ivan Nova. 

The Yankees are -130, plus or minus a few pennies, on the MLB money line with 10 runs for the total

 

New York has won five of the first seven games played between the clubs this season.  The Yankees twice took two of three from the Rangers, winning a home series in April and another on the road in May. Four of the seven have jumped the number for totals bettors. 

The win lifted the Yankees to within 1.5-games of the Red Sox in the AL East Division after Boston saw its 9-game win streak halted in Tampa.  Texas maintains a 2-game lead atop the AL West over the surprising Mariners. 

Ivan Nova Pitcher New York YankeesIt will be interesting to see how the Yankees perform without Jeter for a couple of weeks.  New York hits the interleague trail through Chicago this weekend followed by three in Cincinnati early next week.  The Yankees coming to town always makes for big press in those locales, and it would've been especially true while Jeter chased the 3,000-hit mark. 

Holland (5-1, 4.41) will be facing the Yankees for a third time this season, and matching up against a third different New York starter.  Against the Yanks for his career, Holland is 1-3 with a 6.98 ERA in four starts and three relief outings, including his postseason appearances. 

The first 2011 outing came the Bronx on April 16 getting +110 at MLB betting shops.  Holland worked into the eighth, with Robinson Cano's 2-run homer in that inning punctuating the evening's scoring in a 5-2 Yankees win 

He just about let a 5-0 lead slip completely away in the other start, May 7 at home as an even-money underdog.  Again it was Cano who chased Holland with a sacks-full triple in the top of the fourth.  Texas held on to win the game, 7-5. 

It will also be the third time this season for Nova (5-4, 4.30) to go up against the Rangers, accounting for the extent of his career action vs. Texas (1-1, 3.86) The Dominican's previous starts came against Rangers southpaw Matt Harrison, one here in New York and the other on the road. 

The Yankees dropped the April home start as 130 chalk, winning the outing in Texas with the MLB odds a pick.  The UNDER cashed in both games. 

Thursday's series finale is a matinee start in the Bronx (1:05 PM ET)).  CJ Wilson is scheduled for Texas with Hector Noesi expected to draw the starting assignment for New York.  It's the last regular season for 2011 between the two ALCS combatants from last October, and it's easy to imagine they'll see each other this postseason.