On Deck will be here all season to provide you with everything you need to know (and a few things you don't) about every Rangers series during the 2011 season.
The Opponent: The Rangers hit the Big Apple for the second time this season for three games with the Yankees. It looked for a while like the Rangers might be the team to serve up Derek Jeter's 3000th hit, but Jeter hurt his calf on Monday night and might not even play during the series. While it is always cool to see a bit of history happen, playing historical footnote isn't all that enjoyable.
Past 2011 Meetings: Interestingly enough, Jeter's biggest game of the season came in Arlington. He homered twice in the Sunday game between the teams, his only two homers of the season, and the Yankees took two of three. They also took two of three the last time the Rangers visited the Bronx so the stage is set for revenge.
Pitching Matchups: Tuesday - Alexi Ogando (7-0, 2.10 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (7-4, 3.15); Wednesday - Derek Holland (5-1, 4.41) vs. Ivan Nova (5-4, 4.30); Thursday - C.J. Wilson (7-3, 3.09) vs. TBD, possibly Hector Noesi (1-0, 1.76 in relief)
What's Hot: It has been a long, largely embarrassing season for Jorge Posada, but things have brightened up recently. He's 14-for-28 in June with five multi-hit games in his last seven. He hasn't hit lefties, though, so the Rangers will probably avoid him in two of the three games as the Yankees opt for other designated hitter options.
Curtis Granderson surprised a lot of people with his fast start to the season, but jaws have snapped shut at this point. Granderson's 20 home runs are proof that his success was less about a hot streak and more about a fundamental change in his approach at the plate. And the lefty thing won't work in the Rangers' favor here. He's changed his fortune against southpaws to the tune of a .282 average and nine home runs.
If Michael Young was in charge of the schedule, the Rangers would play the Yankees 162 times a year. He's a .303 hitter lifetime against the Bronx Bombers and he particularly likes facing them in their new digs. He's hit .417 in 12 regular season games at the House that Big Stein Built and went 5-for-13 there last October.
What's Not: The Yankees pitching staff has exceeded expectations this season, but injuries are threatening to make it hard for them to continue doing so. Joba Chamberlain is gone for the rest of the season and beyond with Tommy John surgery leaving the bullpen without three of the guys expected to anchor it this season. Bartolo Colon, a shocking success this season, is also out for a spell, which is why Thursday's starter won't be known until Wednesday.
Nelson Cruz is 7-for-39 in his last 10 games, which isn't quite as bad as it sounds. He's got five home runs in that span so it's not like he isn't contributing, but his 14 strikeouts over the same period paint the kind of all or nothing picture that doesn't fit with Cruz's normal productivity.
That Holland-Nova matchup could be an ugly one on Wednesday night. Unless you like slugfests that take close to four hours to wrap up, that is.
Familiar Faces: Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira are doing what Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira usually do at the plate this season. That means there's a pretty healthy chance that you'll find yourself shaking your fist at the screen and cursing their existence every time they come to the plate. In short, nothing's changed from the last time you saw them.