The boys are back in town. This is where the boys earn their big dollars. The Yankees are clinging to a half-game lead over the Rays as this four-game set kicks off. The magic number over the Red Sox remains at 7 and with each Yankee win/Sox loss, it’ll whittle down. If the Yankees can take three of four game against the Rays, the division crown will be within their grasp. Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira did not play yesterday, so they should be rested for this critical four-gamer. This is definitely a potential ALCS preview so buckle up.

Keys To The Series:

Nothing new to talk about. Just keep Pena in the park, get to the Rays starters early, and keep Upton/Crawford off the bases. It’s time for the starters to showcase their talents for slots in the post-season rotation. This series will feature three of the same pitching match-ups we saw last week.

Monday, 7:05 PM, YES: Matt Garza (14-8, 3.88 ERA) vs. Ivan Nova (1-0, 4.30 ERA)

Last Start:
Garza: Loss, 4 2/3 innings, six runs, four strikeouts (vs. NYY)
Nova: ND, 4 2/3 innings, six runs, two strikeouts (at TB)

**The Yanks got to Garza early last week as they won the game, 8-7.
**Nova looked great through his first four innings against TB, but the wheels came off in the fifth as the Rays posted seven runs.

Tuesday, 7:05 PM, YES: James Shields (13-12, 4.86 ERA) vs. Phil Hughes (16-8, 4.31 ERA)

Last Start:
Shields: ND, 6 1/3 innings, one run, eight strikeouts (vs. NYY)
Hughes: Loss, 6 2/3 innings, four runs, five strikeouts (at TB)

**Shields has been a thorn in the side of the Yanks. In five starts, Shields is 2-0 with a 2.51 ERA.
**Hughes has a 4.88 ERA at home this year and is 0-2 with a 6.59 ERA in September.

Wednesday, 7:05 PM, ESPN: Wade Davis (12-9, 4.19 ERA) vs. AJ Burnett (10-13, 5.08 ERA)

Last Start:
Davis:  ND, six innings, three runs, eight strikeouts (vs. LAA)
Burnett: ND, six innings, three runs, six strikeouts (at BAL)

**Davis is 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA against the Yanks this year.
**Burnett is 1-2 with a 6.89 ERA against the Rays this year.

Thursday, 7:05 PM, YES: David Price (17-6, 2.79 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (20-6, 3.05 ERA)

Last Start:
Price: ND, seven innings, three runs, five strikeouts (vs. LAA)
Sabathia: Win, seven innings, three runs, four strikeouts (at BAL)

**Price is 1-1 with a 4.35 ERA in three starts against the Yanks this year. The Yanks touched him up for seven runs in five innings during his only start in New York.
**Sabathia is 11-1 with a 2.56 ERA at home this year. He is 1-1 with a 1.84 ERA against TB this year.

Enjoy the series!