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Yankees vs Rangers series preview

The Yankees begin an 11-game home stand on Thursday when they play the Rangers. Texas took two of three in Arlington when these two teams met earlier in the year; back when Gleyber Torres was in the infant stages of his call-up and became the youngest player in AL history to homer in four consecutive games.

The Yankees are fresh off a sweep of the White Sox, which was much needed after their performance at Fenway. The Rangers just took two of three from the Mariners, after taking three of four from the Orioles. They are the cellar-dwellers of the American League West, sitting 22.5 games out of first place with a 51-65 record.

Game 1: JA Happ vs Ariel Jurado

The Yankees are expected to activate Happ (11-6, 4.05 ERA) from the DL, as the hand, foot and mouth virus has exited his system. He made his debut for the Yanks a week and a half ago, going six innings and allowing one run on three hits in a win against the Royals.

Happ owns a career 2.97 ERA against the Rangers with a 1.04 WHIP. In a start against them while pitching for the Blue Jays earlier in the year, he went seven innings and allowed two runs while striking out nine.

Jurado (2-1, 4.02 ERA) has been sporadically spot starting for the Rangers. In three starts, the 22-year-old averaged about five innings. He threw six innings of one-run ball against the Astros on July 28. Other than that, his other starts were mediocre.

Game 2: Masahiro Tanaka vs Mike Minor

Tanaka (9-2, 3.76 ERA) had one of the better starts in the Boston series his last time out. Although going just 4.2 innings, he allowed only one run while throwing 97 pitches. He’s continued to look sharp as of late, sporting a 0.46 ERA in his past three outings.

Tanaka threw once earlier this year in Texas, going five innings and allowing four runs and a pair of home runs. Career wise, ‘Masa has a 6.52 ERA in five career starts against the Rangers.

In his first season returning to the starting rotation post shoulder surgery, Minor (8-6, 4.53 ERA) hasn’t been too bad for the Rangers. He owns a 4.15 ERA in his past five starts, with 24 strikeouts in 26 innings. Although, against teams with a .500+ winning percentage Minor is 2-3 with a 4.87 ERA.

Game 3: Lance Lynn vs Drew Hutchison

The Yankees’ last-minute trade deadline acquisition has not allowed a run in 11.2 innings since joining the team after 7.1 innings of two-hit baseball against the White Sox. Lynn (8-8, 4.58 ERA) has provided some relief thus far to a starting rotation that struggles with length.

This will be his first career appearance against the Rangers. Against teams with a .500 or below winning percentage, Lynn has a 3.13 ERA with 8.1 K/9.

Hutchison (1-2, 6.29 ERA) started out the season in a relief role with the Phillies, but was DFA’ed. After going through a Minors stint with the Dodgers, the Rangers picked him up when he opted out of the Minor League contract. He’s thrown just 24.1 innings this year, having allowed 13 runs in as many innings through his last four appearances.

Game 4: CC Sabathia vs Martin Perez

Sabathia (6-4, 3.49 ERA) had a huge bounce back start last time out against the White Sox. After a string of four less than impressive outings, the southpaw went 5.2 innings and allowed one run while striking out a season-high 12 batters. However, he struggled against Texas this year (4.1 innings, 7 ER on May 23) and throughout his career (5.41 ERA in 23 starts).

Perez (2-4, 6.15 ERA), who missed a couple months this season with a broken elbow, has been lit up by the opposition. He’s allowed 11 home runs in 10 starts and has a 1.93 WHIP, while allowing over 13 hits per nine innings. He hasn’t had much experience against the Yankees, but has permitted 12 runs in the 12.2 innings thrown against them.

Similar to the White Sox, the Yankees should have no problem taking care of the Rangers this time around.