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On Deck: Yankees

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On Deck: Yankees

AP

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 2013 season. 

The Opponent: The New York Yankees come to town for the first and only time this season and will do so after a late-night, extra-inning walk-off loss to their archrival Red Sox on Sunday night. The Yankees have tumbled from first place in the AL East to fourth, but it's still a jam-packed divi

Past 2013 Meetings: The Rangers have a 2-1 series advantage this season after taking the last two games of a three-game set in The Bronx back in June, including a gem tossed by Derek Holland with a two-hit complete-game shutout to close out the series.

Pitching Matchups: Monday -- Yu Darvish (8-4, 3.02 ERA) vs. Ivan Nova (4-2, 3.63); Tuesday -- Alexi Ogando (4-2, 2.93) vs. Phil Hughes (4-9, 4.57); Wednesday -- Derek Holland (8-5, 3.10) vs. Andy Pettitte (7-7, 4.47); Thursday -- TBD vs. Hiroki Kuroda (9-6, 2.65).

What's Hot: The table-setters in the Rangers' lineup have gotten off to a hot start in the season's second half with Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus both getting on base, yet the Rangers haven't been scoring many runs in these first three games out of the break. Derek Holland is still pitching very well, and really has been the team's ace this season if you throw out the first month of the season when Yu Darvish was unhittable.

Brett Gardner is hitting .545 in his first three games out of the all-star break, and Robinson Cano is hitting .417 with four RBIs. But the Yankees problem all season has been their lack of offense -- perhaps moreso than even the Rangers' offensive struggles this season.

What's Not: One of the key things has been poor base-running for the Rangers, and that once again reared its ugly head on Sunday night when they ran into two outs on the bases in a 4-2 loss to the Orioles with the key one coming on a miscommunication between David Murphy and third-base coach Gary Pettis.

Ichiro has two hits in his previous 14 at-bats, and CC Sabathia gave up seven earned runs on Sunday, but will miss the Rangers.

Familiar Faces: Not a great amount of familiarity between the two rosters, but there is one awfully familiar face to Rangers' fans coming to the Ballpark this week, and you almost hope to see Mariano Rivera get a chance to close out a game in the four-game set. Rivera is on his farewell tour and will be honored by the Rangers prior to Thursday's game as he's set to retire as the greatest closer the game has ever seen.

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