Those storylines will come together at Tropicana Field on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET, as the Yankees and Rays will play the third act of a four-game series between American League East rivals.
Archer is coming off a disappointing outing against the Orioles on Monday that saw him allow a career-high seven runs and 12 hits, the most by a Rays starter since Matt Moore allowed 12 last June 9 against the Orioles.
"I thought he was more up [with his pitches] than normal," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "I looked at the report that we get after every game regarding the pitchers, the velocity, the movement, that kind of stuff. I thought he was up, and that verified they were up. The thing is, they weren't missing."
Archer said that he did not look at any film of that Baltimore start, but the Rays' coaching staff brought some tips to his attention that he hopes will produce better results against the Yankees.
"Twelve hits tells me I wasn't locating," Archer said. "Up, down, in, out, pitch execution period. Everything's a learning experience."
Nova is coming off an outing in which he commanded the Red Sox, holding them to two runs and eight hits over 7 1/3 innings.
The right-hander said that this night was done after seven innings, but Nova was pleased that manager Joe Girardi asked him to get one more out in the eighth, which he recorded on a flyout.
"First, [it means] confidence," Nova said. "In a one-run game, to go out there in the eighth inning when I thought I was done for the game. He said, 'I want you to get me one more out.'"
Archer is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA in three career starts against the Yankees. His three wins against the Yankees last season made him the first rookie with three wins over the Yankees in a season since Kevin Brown turned the trick with the Rangers in 1989.
Nova is 2-1 with a 4.56 ERA in five appearances (four starts) against the Rays at Tropicana Field. The Yankees were 6-0 in his first six starts against the Rays but are just 2-4 in his last six.
Rays: Medical matters
Only three starting pitchers in the AL East are on the disabled list, and all three are Rays: Right-handers Jeremy Hellickson (arthroscopic right elbow surgery) and Alex Cobb (left oblique strain) and the left-handed Moore (pending Tommy John surgery).
Dr. James Andrews, the Rays' medical director, will operate on Moore on Tuesday in Pensacola, Fla.
Moore will become the first Rays Major Leaguer to undergo Tommy John surgery since right-hander Jason Isringhausen nearly five years ago (June 16, 2009).
Yankees: Help on the way
The Yankees announced after Friday's 11-5 loss that they designated left-hander Cesar Cabral for assignment, signing right-hander Matt Daley to a Major League contract and adding him to the roster for Saturday's game.
Daley, 31, is a product of Garden City, N.Y., and was 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in four appearances at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season. He had a 0.88 ERA in seven appearances for the Yankees last September and has also seen big league time with the Rockies.
- Archer averaged 95 mph on his fastball last season, according to FanGraphs, making him the hardest-throwing starter in the AL (minimum 100 innings). Lefty Derek Holland of the Rangers ranked second at 93.6 mph.
- The Rays optioned right-hander Brad Boxberger to Triple-A Durham after Friday's game. A corresponding roster move will be announced on Saturday.
- The Yankees allowed 11 runs on Friday after allowing only 12 runs in their previous six games. It marked their first blown lead of four runs or more since a loss to the Red Sox on Sept. 6, 2013, when they led, 8-3, and lost, 12-8.
- Sean Rodriguez homered off Adam Warren in the eighth inning on Friday. It was his first home run off a right-handed pitcher since July 3, 2012, when he went deep off Nova.