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Indians Vs. Rangers: Cleveland Starts Set Against Tough Texas Team

The Cleveland Indians will host the Texas Rangers for a three game set starting on Friday, in a battle of two division leading teams.

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It's somewhat familiar territory for the Cleveland Indians right now considering last season, as they hold a slim lead in the AL Central with the Detroit Tigers in a bit of a tail spin. The Texas Rangers on the other hand are in very familiar territory. The two time World Series finalists are once again sitting atop the AL West and hold an impressive 17-8 record even after a two game losing streak.

The two teams will be looking to improve their division leads as they start a three game set in Cleveland, and the Rangers get to start the series with some fire power on the mound in Colby Lewis.

Lewis has lit the world aflame so far for the Rangers with a 3-0 record and 1.93 ERA, putting up 29 strikeouts to just four walks. He has history on his side going into Friday's game as well, Texas has taken 21 of their last 25 games against the Indians. They'll also possibly be getting both Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton back from injury, two huge bats for young Indians pitcher Jeanmar Gomez to face.

A tough task for the Indians, but if they want to prove themselves as a true contender in an AL Central that was supposed to belong to Detroit these are the kind of games and series that they'll need to step up in. They do have more offensive mettle recently than they did at the start of the season, and the addition Johnny Damon should help as well.

The game will be at Progressive Field at 7:05 p.m. ET.

More on the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers can be found at their respective SB Nation blogs, Let's Go Tribe and Lone Star Ball. More news and analysis on Major League Baseball in general can be found at Baseball Nation.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.