In a clash of American League heavyweights, the New York Yankees host the Texas Rangers for a four-game series at Yankee Stadium beginning Monday. The Rangers (67-46) have the AL's best record, while the Yankees (67-46) have the second-best.
The Yankees lead the Tampa Bay Rays by five games in the AL East, and the Rangers lead the Oakland Athletics by 6.5 games in the AL West.
New York placed ace starting pitcher CC Sabathia on the disabled list over the weekend due to elbow stiffness, and will immediately be impacted by the loss of the big left-hander. Sabathia was scheduled to start Monday against Texas. The start will instead go to rookie right-hander David Phelps (2-3 2.42 ERA).
Phelps has made 19 relief appearances and three starts for the Yankees, shuttling between New York and the minor leagues. Phelps, 25, has not started a game since July 15 so the Yankees can't expect him to go deep into the game.
This is a big series for both team as they try to maintain their division leads and position themselves for home-field advantage in the playoffs.
"You look at us and Texas, we have kind of been neck and neck for the best record in the American League the whole year. So yeah, [the games are] important," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
Ryan Dempster, acquired in a deadline deal with the Chicago cubs, pitches Monday for Texas. Dempster is 1-0, 6.35 for the Rangers and 6-5, 2.65 for the season.
Monday's game can be seen on YES and ESPN2 at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Here are the pitching matchups for the rest of the series:
Tuesday: Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees (10-8, 3.24) vs. Matt Harrison (13-6, 3.31)
Wednesday: Freddy Garcia, Yankees (6-5, 4.85) vs. Scott Feldman (6-7, 4.64)
Thursday: Ivan Nova, Yankees (11-6, 4.70) vs. Derek Holland (7-6, 4.92)
4 game series vs Rangers @ Yankee Stadium
|Tue 08/14||7:05 PM EDT|
|Wed 08/15||7:05 PM EDT|
|Thu 08/16||1:05 PM EDT|