This is a matchup that some believe will be for the American League Championship come October. Both teams have superior offenses and top relief pitching, but right now the Rangers have the edge when it comes to the starting rotation. Texas currently at 13-3 has the best record in all of baseball and they come into the Yankee series red hot having a 9-1 record over their last 10 games.
New York also comes in rolling going 7-3 over their last 10 games. The offense has started to kick into gear with Nick Swisher (leads the league in RBIs with 20), Derek Jeter (current batting average of .382) and Curtis Granderson (14 runs scored) hitting over .400 in this past 10 game stretch. Mark Teixeira, who usually has a slow April, is coming on fast from both sides of the plate. Mark over the last 10 contests has .391 average and in Saturday's game against Boston went 3-6 with three runs scored, six RBIs and two home runs, one from each side of the plate.
For the Rangers Josh Hamilton is hitting .418 with 17 RBIs and leads the league with seven home runs. Michael Young also is hitting over .400 with 9 runs scored.
As usual Texas starting pitching has been almost perfect this year with Matt Harrison, new acquisition Yu Darvish, Derek Holland and Colby Lewis not having any losses up to this point. New closer Joe Nathan has four saves so far on this young season. Texas leads the league in average, runs and team ERA of under 3.00.
The pitching matchups for this series are as follows with New York listed first. Tonight LHP CC Sabathia vs LHP Derek Holland in a 6:05 p.m. CT start; Tuesday the two Japanese pitchers will square off with RHP Hiroki Kuroda vs RHP Yu Darvish. Wednesday's starters will be RHP Phil Hughes vs RHP Scott Feldman with both Tuesday and Wednesday games beginning at 7:05 p.m. CT.
Key injury for Texas is starting 3B Adrian Beltre who has a left hamstring strain and will have an MRI today. New York's Brett Gardner is expected to return from a right elbow bone bruise by his scheduled date of May 3.
Sabathia was suppose to be the starter in the Boston finale, but because of the rainout he was pushed back to tonight.
Since losing the opening three games to the Tampa Bay Rays, New York has gone 9-3.
Pre game ceremonies today will have the Rangers honoring Ivan Rodriguez who is retiring after 21 seasons in the Major Leagues. Rodriguez played for Texas from 1991-2002 and at the end of the 2009 season.
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