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Series preview: Yankees at Cubs

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs host the New York Yankees for two games beginning on Tuesday night.

Pitching matchups

Tuesday: Jason Hammel (4-2, 3.06) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (6-0, 2.17), 7:05 p.m. CT

Wednesday: Jeff Samardzija (0-4, 1.62) vs. Chase Whitley (0-0, 0.00), 1:20 p.m. CT

They meet again: The Cubs will be the first team to face Tanaka for a second time this season as they'll try again to beat the pitcher they tried to sign in the offseason. Tanaka was dominant in their first meeting last month, going eight innings while giving up just two hits and a walk. Will seeing his splitter a second time be an advantage for the Cubs? Not likely considering Tanaka went through the lineup several times back in April and the Cubs couldn't figure it out. He struck out 10 in the 3-0 win.

Shark watch: While Tanaka can't lose, Samardzija can't win. His miniscule ERA without earning a victory has been well documented as has the two runs of support per game he's getting. One theory says the Cubs have faced the opponent's top pitchers when Samardzija takes the mound, but that won't be the case on Wednesday. Whitely was a 15th-round pick in 2010 and will be making just his second career start. He threw 4 2/3 innings of shutout ball in his debut against the New York Mets last week.

Soriano returns: The $136 million man returns for the first time since being traded to the Yankees last summer. Soriano spent six and a half years with the Cubs, earning a better reputation as the years went on. He struggled in the postseason in 2007 and 2008 but became a mentor to younger players and improved greatly on defense in his final two seasons in Chicago.