The Week Ahead: Yankees, Reds

Don't look now, but the Rangers have the best record in the American League again.

And another interesting week ahead with a road series at New York against the Yankees followed a weekend set of three games against the Cincinnati Reds.

Two more contenders with solid starting pitching, even with the Rangers set to miss New York's C.C. Sabathia.

Here's what to watch for:

Yankees still dominate in Bronx: Yes, the Rangers won two out of three games from New York at Yankee Stadium in the 2010 American League Championship Series. Otherwise, the Bronx has been a house of horrors for the Rangers. The Yankees are 15-5 at home against the Rangers since the start of the 2010 season, outscoring Texas 138-81. New York is 11-2 against the Rangers at Yankee Stadium since 2010 in regular season games.The Yankees just didn't win the games that mattered most.

All or nothing: The Yankees are 24-0 in games when they scored five runs or more, the only team yet to lose when posting at least five runs. The problem is the Yankees lose too many games like their 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday. New York has been held to four runs or less in 23 of its last 31 games, going 13-18 in that stretch since May 21. Injuries have been a major problem with shortstop Derek Jeter out all season and first baseman Mark Teixeira again sidelined with a wrist injury. The Yankees have gone 41 games without scoring in double digits, their second longest run in two decades.

Enter The Sandman: The Yankees do still have the amazing Mariano Rivera, so you better have the lead going into the ninth inning against New York. Rivera has saved 26 of his 27 opportunities. His 26 saves are tied for the major league lead with Baltimore's Jim Johnson and Pittsburgh's Jason Grilli (the Rangers' Joe Nathan has 25 saves). The 43-year-old Rivera, who is retiring at the end of the season, has reached 25 saves for the 16th time in his career. It's been a historic run since being a setup man to John Wetteland in the 1996 American League Division Series.

Reds bring the Ks: Cincinnati pitchers like the strikeout. The Reds' pitching staff has produced at least 10 strikeouts 26 times this season. They've had at least 15 strikeouts four times, the latest 17 Ks in 13 innings on June 18 against Pittsburgh. The Rangers Yu Darvish can match some of that. He has six double digit-strikeout games this season, the most in baseball.

Leake on a roll: The Rangers will face a hot pitcher Saturday night in the Reds' Mike Leake. The 25-year-old right-hander is 3-1 with a 1.85 ERA for June. Leake is 5-1 with a 1.31 ERA for his last eight starts and 7-3 with a 2.04 ERA for his last 13 starts. The Reds will also start Johnny Cueto (4-1, 3.21 ERA) on Friday and righty Mat Latos (7-1, 3.05 ERA) in the three-game series in Arlington.