MLB 2017 Season Preview
National League East
FanPicks examines the National League East division for the upcoming Major League Baseball season. Get ready for fantasy baseball.
The Braves are in an enviable position for a team on a rebuilding track. They already have a franchise player in Freddie Freeman and the makings of one in Dansby Swanson. They have a couple of players who have already bloomed into good role players, but they really only have a starter kit for a pitching staff beyond Julio Teheran and too many positions where they will be fielding placeholders. The consensus is that the Braves have one of the best farm systems in the game after their flurry of trades, but while some of the youngsters will be seen at SunTrust Park this year, it will be another two years at least before they are collectively ready to make their mark.
Whether the Marlins snap baseball’s second-longest postseason drought (13; the Mariners’ streak stands at 15) depends upon their success at resolving the rotation. In the end, the biggest factor will be health. The Marlins were at the top of the Wild Card standings until injuries became too much to overcome with their lack of depth.
New York Mets
If the starting rotation of Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz all pitch to their talent level, the Mets could be scary good and have a rotation that rivals any in baseball. And the lineup could be in the top half of the NL, too, with enough hitters still around their prime. But there are no certainties with the Mets, as we’ve learned in recent seasons. If all goes well, this is a team capable of winning the World Series. If it doesn’t, the Mets could struggle to reach .500.
The experience gained by a handful of important young players should allow for more improvement in 2017, though the offense is still woefully short of making this team a contender. Finding out which young players are going to be difference makers and getting even more youngsters to the majors remains the chief goal.
Ninety-five wins, the same number as 2016, would be a pretty good over-under for the Nationals in 2017. They shouldn’t have too much trouble winning the NL East, a division they carried by eight games last year. But the question remains whether they have the firepower to get past whatever other team emerges as playoff competition in October. But success in October is fickle, and this year could be the Nats’ year, if only because the law of averages says it should be.
MLB September 23, 2016 Primetime Preview
Diamondbacks (64-88) vs Orioles (82-71)
The Arizona Diamondbacks may have the Baltimore Orioles’ number during their rare interleague contests (Enter Contest), but right-hander Yovani Gallardo routinely has gotten the better of the desert dwellers throughout his career. Gallardo looks to improve upon his 7-2 mark and 2.32 ERA in 12 career starts when he takes the mound at Camden Yards.
Nationals (89-63) vs Pirates (76-76)
The Washington Nationals have an opportunity to shower themselves in champagne as soon as Friday. They can win their third National League East title in five years. Washington’s magic number resides at two.
Yankees (79-73) vs Blue Jays (83-69)
The Toronto Blue Jays’ pursuit of a wild-card spot in the American League heats up on their final homestand of the season, beginning Friday against the New York Yankees. The Yankees are three games out of the second AL wild card and four behind the Blue Jays, who stands atop the wild card. They are one game ahead of Detroit and 1 1/2 clear of the Baltimore Orioles.
Red Sox (89-64) vs Rays (65-87)
The Boston Red Sox have won eight straight games against American League East opponents for the first time in 26 years and can extend the streak to nine when they face the Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox pushed their lead in the AL East to 5 ½ games and reduced their magic number to five to clinch the division after sweeping four each from the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees.
White Sox (72-80) vs Indians (89-63)
The Cleveland Indians would prefer to clinch their first American League Central title since 2007 at home and have a good chance to do it this weekend against the struggling Chicago White Sox. The Indians have won five of six to trim their magic number to four and own a seven-game lead over Detroit in the AL Central as they prepare to host the White Sox.
Royals (77-76) vs Tigers (82-70)
The Detroit Tigers may be a bit tired after their sweep of a doubleheader in Minnesota on Thursday but should be ready for their final homestand of the season against the Kansas City Royals. The Tigers took over sole possession of the second wild card in the American League. They moved one-half game ahead of Baltimore with 10 games remaining to the season.
Braves (62-91) vs Marlins (76-77)
One of baseball’s hottest teams has spent 2016 buried in the National League East basement, but the Atlanta Braves are providing plenty of optimism. They are bringing a six-game winning streak into Friday’s game at Miami. Matt Kemp slugged two homers in Thursday’s series-opening 6-3 victory and Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to 26 games. Atlanta has won 14 of their past 22 games and are hitting .281 since the start of August.
Phillies (69-84) vs Mets (81-72)
The New York Mets’ pitching carousel took another unfortunate turn. Starter Steven Matz experienced soreness following a 20-pitch bullpen session. His scheduled Friday start is pushed back due to a left shoulder impingement. The Mets instead will turn to rookie Gabriel Ynoa as they attempt to strengthen their tenuous hold on the first wild card in the National League versus the Philadelphia Phillies.
Friday’s Primetime Games
MLB September 16, 2016
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Rays vs Orioles
The Tampa Bay Rays are making quite an impact on the American League East race from last place and look to cause some more damage when they visit the Baltimore Orioles. The Rays have won four of their last five contests, all against teams in the chase for the division crown. Chris Archer goes to the mound Friday trying to avoid a club-record 19th loss for the Rays and attempting to keep the major league’s best home run-hitting team in check for the second straight night. The Orioles, who occupy one of the two AL wild-card spots, trail Boston by two games in the East after stranding a runner at third in the ninth inning and going without a blast on Thursday. Veteran Ubaldo Jimenez goes for Baltimore on Friday after winning each of his last two starts, including a complete-game gem at Tampa Bay almost two weeks ago.
Marlins vs Phillies
Slugger Giancarlo Stanton could make his return to the starting lineup, as the Miami Marlins look to keep their flickering postseason hopes alive versus the Philadelphia Phillies. Stanton has received limited duty since being activated off the disabled list on Sept. 6, following a near-month absence due to a Grade 3 left groin strain. Miami flexed its offensive muscle by recording seven runs in each contest of its three-game series with Atlanta, improving to 5-2 in its last seven to reside four games out in the second wild-card spot with 16 to play. Marcell Ozuna is 16-for-52 versus the Phillies this season and is batting .318 against them in his career. Philadelphia suffered its fifth loss in seven outings in embarrassing fashion, permitting five homers in Thursday’s 15-2 rout by Keystone State-rival Pittsburgh. All-Star Odubel Herrera is 5-for-9 with two doubles in his last three games overall, but just 4-for-17 with five strikeouts against Friday starter Tom Koehler.
Yankees vs Red Sox
The Boston looks to ride the momentum of just its third walk-off win of the season as it plays the second contest of a four-game series versus visiting New York. Veteran David Ortiz launched a solo shot for his 537th career homer on Thursday, passing Yankees icon Mickey Mantle for 17th place on the all-time list. The sixth win in nine outings for the Red Sox pushed their lead in the division to two games over second-place Baltimore and five over New York, which has answered a seven-game winning streak with four losses in five contests. New Yorks’s Starlin Castro collected four hits in the series opener and is 11-for-17 during his four-game hitting streak. The 26-year-old Dominican is 29-for-84 with nine RBIs and 11 runs scored in 22 career encounters with Boston.
Tigers vs Indians
The Detroit Tigers have a last-gasp chance to make a run at the American League Central Division title. They are coming off a four-game split against the AL-worst Minnesota Twins to remain six games behind the Indians and in a six-team cluster fighting for the two wild cards. Detroit will send rookie Michael Fulmer to the mound in the series opener after its starting pitching combined for only 9 1/3 innings in the last three games against the Twins. Cleveland squandered an opportunity of its own to pull away from the Tigers, but dropped three of four at the Chicago White Sox. The Indians have the luxury of turning to ace Corey Kluber, who has won both starts against Detroit this season in dominant fashion.
Twins vs Mets
Locked in a three-team battle with San Francisco and St. Louis for the two wild cards in the National League, the New York Mets couldn’t ask for a more favorable schedule entering their final 16 games. The Mets kick off a 10-game homestand against the Minnesota Twins, owners of the worst record in the majors. New York could use a boost from outfielder Jay Bruce, who is batting .192 in 36 games since he was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds. Winners of eight of their last 11, the Mets send 43-year-old Bartolo Colon to the mound Friday in search of his 14th victory. Minnesota is coming off a four-game split at Detroit but has lost 21 of its last 27 games overall.
Pirates vs Reds
Andrew McCutchen has powered his way out of a pronounced slump with three homers in his last two contests. The 2013 National League MVP looks to keep the Pirates’ faint hopes for a fourth straight postseason berth alive against the Cincinnati Reds. McCutchen was mired in a 2-for-22 slump before belting a homer on Wednesday and two more to highlight a three-hit performance in Pittsburgh’s 15-2 triumph over Keystone State-rival Philadelphia. The Pirates’ fourth victory in 17 outings moved the team within 5 1/2 games of the second wild-card spot with 17 to play. Cincinnati is long removed from contemplating its postseason chances, although it has won five of six overall. Veteran Brandon Phillips recorded back-to-back three-hit performances to conclude the last series against the Pirates and is 12-for-24 in his career versus Friday starter Ryan Vogelsong.
Nationals vs Braves
The Washington Nationals continue to close in on the National League East title, and their dominance of the Atlanta Braves is a big reason why. The Nationals won 14 of the 16 meetings with the Braves this season, and start the weekend with a 10-game lead over the New York Mets and a magic number of seven to clinch the division crown. Washington appears to be peaking at the right time, winning eight of its past 10. Rookie infielder/outfielder Trea Turner hit .364 during the Nationals’ 10-game homestand and has at least one hit in 43 of 53 games since the All-Star break. Atlanta, which trails the Nationals by 31 games, has allowed 31 runs in its last four games and has held opponents to fewer than five just once in its past nine contests. First baseman Freddie Freeman brings a career-best 20-game hitting streak into the series, hitting .333 in that span with four homers and 17 RBIs.
MLB Primetime Games
September 14, 2016
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Pirates vs Phillies
The Pirates will need to provide a little more offense to help their rookie pitcher Steven Brault against the Phillies. The youngster got only five runs from his teammates in his first five big league starts. He drew solid outings in his past three games and looks to continue his stretch on the road. Along with Jameson Taillon and Chad Kuhl, Brault is the third rookie currently in Pittsburgh rotations.
Orioles vs Red Sox
The two best hitting teams will put their best pitchers on the mound in this one. Baltimore will go with Kevin Gausman, who’s received at least five run support in three of his last five start. American League Cy Young contender Rick Porcello will be Boston’s weapon of choice for the matchup. He’s been even more rewarded than his counterpart, getting at least 10 runs support in four of his last five outing.
Marlins vs Braves
Things are not looking good for the Brave today. They will need to contend with one of the hottest pitcher in MLB right now, Jose Fernandez. His most recent performance was phenomenal, as he struck out 14 against the National League West leading Los Angeles Dodgers. it was his third 14 strikeout performance this season. Fernandez has a 3.65 ERA in four career starts at Turner Field. He gave up a career-high 9 runs in his last start at the Ted.
Brewers vs Reds
A sweep of the Brewers could be on the horizon for the Reds at Great American Ball Park. Despite top basestealer Billy Hamilton missing from that matchup for the Reds, second best speedster, Milwaukee’s Jonathan Villar, will be there. Villar has 54 steals this season and is 4 behind Hamilton. The Brewers shortstop is also shredding it with power this season. He posted his 16th home run on Tuesday.
Twins vs Tigers
The Tigers have the opportunity to gain ground in the American League Central and Wild Card Standing, as they continue their series versus the worst team in baseball, the Minnesota Twins. Detroit failed to win against them on Tuesday. It will now be on Anibal Sanchez to bring them to a victory. The hurler is in need of a good outing if he want to stay in the rotation when Jordan Zimmerman comes back from injury.
Athletics vs Royals
This will be the first time that A’s left-hander Sean Manaea will start against the organization that drafted him back in 2013. The Royals, on the other hand, will try to focus and get back into the post-season race. The fell the first two game of the series against Oakland and can’t afford to lose a third. They are trailing the Baltimore Orioles by five games in the American League Wild Card race.
August 18 MLB Rundown
Thursday Evening Matchups
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Astros vs Orioles
Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, who reached 1,000 hits against the Cardinals on Tuesday, has had a lot of success against Baltimore, just not recently. In Houston’s three-game sweep of the O’s earlier this season, Altuve went 1-for-13.
Dodgers vs Phillies
Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager has hit safely in eight straight games, going 15-for-36. Teammate Adrian Gonzalez is 18-for-40 with 11 RBIs and 12 runs scored during a 10-game hitting streak.
White Sox vs Indians
Cleveland’s first baseman Carlos Santana has a career batting average of .364 (4-for-11) off Rodon. Santana is the only Cleveland batter with double-digit career at-bats vs. the southpaw hitting over .200.
Marlins vs Reds
Veteran second baseman Brandon Phillips returned to the Reds lineup on Wednesday after missing the previous two contests due to injury and delivered the key hit with a go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh.
Nationals vs Braves
Nats outfielder Jayson Werth has reached base in 45 consecutive games. He has a chance to tie the franchise record if he reaches base on Thursday.
Twins vs Royals
Twins rookie right-hander Tyler Duffey goes for his second win over the Royals in six days.
Mariners vs Angels
Fourteen game winning pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma has dominated the Angels’ two biggest threats in large sample sizes. Mike Trout is hitting just .214 (9-for-42) and Albert Pujols only .133 (3-for-45) vs. Iwakuma.
Padres vs Diamondbacks
Arizona right fielder Yasmany Tomas isn’t having any issues at the plate as he went 3-for-4 with two homers and a career-best six RBIs in Wednesday’s 13-5 victory over the New York Mets. Tomas has slugged 12 homers in his past 19 games and has seven multi-homer games while belting 25 this season.
Mets vs Giants
Giants ace Madison Bumgarner has been superb against the Mets in his career by going 4-0 with a 1.03 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in five career outings. Mets counter-attacks with their ace Jacob deGrom, who is 3-0 with a 0.84 ERA in three career starts against the Giants. Pitching duel to be expected.
August 17 MLB Preview
Wednesday Evening Matchups
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Red Sox vs Orioles
Red Sox ace David Price face off against heralded O’s rookie Dylan Bundy. Outfielder Mookie Betts has been a real thorn for Baltimore’s pitching, as he has hit seven homers in five games at Camden Yards this season.
Dodgers vs Phillies
Jake Thompson’s progression from Phillies prospect to Major League starter continues. He will have to watch out for Los Angeles Howie Kendrick though. The veteran outfielder is 14-for-25 with two homers, eight RBIs and six runs scored during his six-game hitting streak.
White Sox vs Indians
Indians first baseman Mike Napoli extended his hitting streak to 16 games Tuesday, the longest active streak in the Majors.
Marlins vs Reds
In his third start back from Tommy John surgery, Reds pitcher Homer Bailey looked like his pre-surgery self with 11 strikeouts over six scoreless innings. He needed 31 pitches to get out of a jam in the fifth but had enough in the tank to fan the side in the sixth. On Wednesday, Reds fans will get reacquainted with Homer Bailey, and he with the mound at Great American Ball Park. It will be the Cincinnati right-hander’s first time pitching at home since August 7th 2014.
Twins vs Braves
The wait is over for Braves fans, as top prospect Dansby Swanson is set to make his Major League debut at shortstop Wednesday against the Twins. The move is in line with Erick Aybar Tuesday trade to the Tigers.
Brewers vs Cubs
For all the deserved hype surrounding their star-studded lineup, the Chicago Cubs have leaned on their starting pitching during a red-hot start to the second half. After two more strong pitching performances powered the Cubs to a doubleheader sweep of the visiting Milwaukee Brewers, left-hander Jon Lester looks to help Chicago make it three straight.
Athletics vs Rangers
Yu Darvish and rookie left-hander Sean Manaea will go at it again for the series finale between the Rangers and A’s. The two matched up in Arlington on July 27, a game in which Manaea had a career-high nine strikeouts.
Mets vs Diamondbacks
Jonathon Niese has been waiting for the opportunity to prove he deserves a spot in the Mets’ starting rotation. Niese, who was acquired from the Pirates for right-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo at the non-waiver Trade Deadline on Aug. 1, will make his first start since the trade in the spot previously occupied by recently optioned Logan Verrett. The D-backs counter with Zack Godley.
Mariners vs Angels
Seattle’s Cody Martin steps up into the rotation as fill-in for the injured James Paxton. It will be Martin’s first satrt with the Mariners. He’ll face the Angels and Tyler Skaggs, who allowed seven runs in his last start.
August 10 Fantasy Baseball Preview
Wednesday Evening Matchups
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Padres vs Pirates
Out of the starting lineup for three games due to a sore shoulder, Gregory Polanco provide a jolt in his return for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Polanco’s three-run homer was the decisive blow in Tuesday’s 6-4 triumph for Pittsburgh against San Diego. Penciled in at the cleanup spot for the first time in his career, Polanco continued his breakout campaign with his 16th homer to keep the Pirates 2 1/2 games behind Miami for the second wild card in the National League. Andrew McCutchen showed signs of breaking out of his funk by reaching base four times, including a season-high three via the walk.
Padres rookie Jabari Blash went 2-for-4 with a homer on Tuesday and is 7-for-24 since his recall from the minors after batting .120 during his first stint with the team earlier in the season. San Diego sents Edwin Jackson to the mound to oppose Ryan Vogelsong in a matchup of veteran right-handers.
Rays vs Blue Jays
J.A. Happ has provided quite the return on the Toronto Blue Jays’ investment this season. Signed to a three-year, $36 million deal in the offseason, Happ puts his string of a career-high nine straight victorious decisions on the line Wednesday versus the Rays. The 33-year-old’s 15 wins this season have comfortably surpassed his previous best total in 2009, although none have come at the expense of Tampa Bay. Happ settled for a pair of no-decisions versus the Rays in April before getting shredded for a career high-tying eight runs on seven hits in a 13-2 shellacking on May 16. Evan Longoria, who is batting .385 in his career against Happ, collected three hits and as many RBIs in Tuesday’s 9-2 victory over Toronto. The 30-year-old is 6-for-15 with two homers, five RBIs and four runs scored in his last four games.
Yankees vs Red Sox
The Yankees are trying to balance moving the youth onto the roster while gracefully shuffling the veterans out the door, and Alex Rodriguez did not get into the game on Tuesday. The 14-time All-Star, who is set to be released by New York after Friday’s game, is expected to at least play on Thursday and could get an at-bat or two on Wednesday.
Reds vs Cardinals
Billy Hamilton is running wild on the basepaths and looks to increase his major league-leading steals total. The speedy Reds center fielder has stolen nine bases over his last three contests, including five in the first two games of this series, to increase his season total to 48. Hamilton, who is 6-for-11 with four walks and six runs scored during his three-game spree, is an astounding 20-for-22 stealing against Cardinals star Yadier Molina, who is considered one of the top throwing catchers in the game. Hamilton reached base four times and scored three runs to fuel Tuesday’s 7-4 win, which occurred one day after St. Louis staged a five-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning to post a 5-4 victory. Molina went 2-for-4 with a homer on Tuesday to improve to 7-for-14 over his last four games and has reached base in each of his last 22 contests.
Rockies vs Rangers
Prince Fielder, in his third season with the Rangers, is walking away from the game after undergoing neck surgery on July 29. It is the second surgical procedure on his neck in a 26-month span. The Rockies were without right fielder Carlos Gonzalez for the past two games. He’ll likely be held out once again on Wednesday.
Angels vs Cubs
Jason Hammel will be activated from the bereavement list to make the start and looks to improve upon his 6-1 record and 2.24 ERA at home. He has won four straight starts to set a career-high for wins after tossing six shutout innings against Miami on Aug. 2. The 33-year-old has allowed four runs and 16 hits in 24 innings during the winning streak and hasn’t given up more than two runs in a start since July 1. Hammel is 1-3 with a 6.59 ERA in six games (five starts) against the Angels, with the last meeting in 2013.
Astros vs Twins
Dallas Keuchel tossed his first shutout of the season in his last turn and looks to post a second consecutive strong outing. The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner gave up just three hits in a 5-0 victory over the Texas Rangers while recording his fourth career shutout. Keuchel has experienced a bumpy campaign and was rocked for seven runs in five innings by Detroit in his previous turn. Astros All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve went 4-for-4 in Tuesday’s 7-5 victory over the Twins after being rested Monday to end his consecutive games streak to 202. Minnesota has won seven of its last 10 games behind the red-hot Brian Dozier, whose solo shot and two RBIs on Tuesday gave him six homers and 13 RBIs during the stretch.
Braves vs Brewers
Braves Erick Aybar carries a 14-game hitting streak. He has provided a breath of fresh air for his cellar-dwelling club. Aybar collected two singles in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory for Atlanta, which has won four in a row and six of seven overall. The 32-year-old Dominican traditionally has struggled versus the Brewers, going 8-for-36 in nine career encounters and 0-for-3 versus Wednesday starter Chase Anderson. Ryan Braun went deep on Tuesday for the fourth time in seven outings, during which he has recorded 11 RBIs.
White Sox vs Royals
Jose Quintana has won nine games in each of the last three seasons and will look to reach double-digit victories for the first time against the Royals. He lost six consecutive starts while receiving a total of eight runs of support earlier this season, but he is 4-0 since July 3 thanks to some increased offensive support. Losers of 12 of its last 17 overall, Kansas City sends Ian Kennedy to the mound to face Quintana.
Orioles vs Athletics
Baltimore had just three hits in Tuesday’s 2-1 loss with the run coming on a homer by center fielder Adam Jones, who has five hits in the series and is 11-for-22 during a five-game hitting streak. Orioles All-Star right fielder Mark Trumbo, who is tied for the major-league lead with 31 homers, is just 7-for-57 with one blast over his past 15 contests.
Tigers vs Mariners
Two former American League Cy Young Award winners will square off in Seattle. Detroit sends 2011 winner Justin Verlander, who also was the AL MVP that season, to the mound against Seattle ace Felix Hernandez, who captured the Cy Young the previous year. Verlander has won each of his last five decisions and recorded at least nine strikeouts in four of his last five outings overall, while Hernandez is 2-0 in four turns since returning from a calf injury that landed him on the disabled list.
August 9 MLB Preview
Tuesday Late Matchups
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Angels vs Cubs
The Cubs’ John Lackey and Angels’ Jered Weaver (Tuesday’s starters) were Los Angeles teammates during Weaver’s first four major league seasons (2006-09), with Lackey serving as his mentor. Lackey received a no-decision in his third straight quality start after yielding three runs and seven hits while striking out eight in seven innings of the Cubs’ 5-4 victory over Miami last Wednesday.
Braves vs Brewers
Center fielder Matt Kemp is endearing himself to his new team with some spirited play of late. Kemp had an RBI single in the fourth inning and scored the go-ahead run in the 12th of Monday’s 4-3 victory over the Brewers. The veteran is 5-for-13 with a homer, four RBIs and three runs scored in his last three games and 7-for-14 with a homer and five RBIs in his career versus Tuesday starter Wily Peralta. He isn’t the only one swinging a hot bat, as teammates Ender Inciarte and Erick Aybar are carrying respective 19- and 13-game hitting streaks into Tuesday’s tilt. Veteran Ryan Braun is doing fine in his own right with hits in 15 of 18 games since the All-Star break for the Brewers, who have dropped four of their last five contests.
Astros vs Twins
Houston’s Jose Altuve received his first day off this season in the series opener against Minnesota. The second baseman leads the major leagues with a .356 batting average. He’s played in 202 consecutive games before Monday’s rest. It was the the longest current playing streak in baseball. Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario collected three hits in the opener to improve to 14-for-28 during his seven-game hitting streak.
Reds vs Cardinals
Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter was 2-for-5 with two RBIs in the opener after being removed from Saturday’s contest and sitting out on Sunday due to an injured oblique. Cincinnati center fielder Billy Hamilton stole two bases on Monday and is tied for most in the majors with 45. He’s 17-for-19 against St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina, which is the most steals by anyone against the respected receiver.
White Sox vs Royals
White Sox left-hander Chris Sale will make his fifth attempt for his 15th win. He’ll oppose right-hander Edinson Volquez, who’s been rocked for the second straight outing at Tampa Bay last Wednesday.
Orioles vs Athletics
All-Star third baseman Manny Machado has four homers and nine RBIs over the past two games. The recent display has increased Machado’s round-tripper count to 26, nine shy of his career high set last season. Oakland left fielder Khris Davis has matched his career best of 27 homers but has just one blast and one RBI over the last nine games.
Tigers vs Mariners
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera notched one of the five singles Monday, giving him at least one hit in seven of his last eight contests. Teammate Ian Kinsler improved to 12-for-27 during a hitting streak that reached seven games. Trailing Cleveland by 2 1/2 games for first place in the AL Central, Detroit are sending Daniel Norris to the mound against Seattle’s Wade LeBlanc in a battle of left-handers.
Phillies vs Dodgers
In a season when the Los Angeles Dodgers have placed a total of 26 players on the disabled list, rookie shortstop Corey Seager has emerged as their most reliable and dangerous offensive threat. The 22-year-old belted two homers in Monday’s series-opening 9-4 win and is batting .326 with nine doubles, four home runs, and 13 RBI over his last 20 games. Seager has taken a commanding lead in the National League rookie of the year race with 21 home runs while serving an invaluable role atop the batting order for Los Angeles.
Philadelphia has struggled over the last two months, but may have found their right fielder of the future in Aaron Altherr. The German born player missed the season’s first 103 games with a wrist injury, but has provided surprising pop from the second spot in the order. Altherr is expected to receive regular playing time even after Peter Bourjos returns from the 15-day disabled list to join a crowded outfield later this week.
August 8 Fantasy Baseball Preview
Monday Primetime Matchups
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Rays vs Blue Jays
Scheduled Monday Rays starter Jake Odorizzi has not allowed a run in three straight games spanning 20 2/3 innings. Tampa Bay shortstop Brad Miller is 8-for-21 with three homers and seven RBIs during a six-game hitting streak.
Giants vs Marlins
National League Cy Young Award candidates Johnny Cueto of the Giants and Jose Fernandez of the Marlins are scheduled to square off. They have combined to hold the opposition to two or fewer runs in 28 of their 43 starts this season, although neither managed to win his last time out. Miami saw an high-profile chase come to an end in Sunday’s victory over the Rockies, as Ichiro Suzuki became the fourth player born outside the United States and 30th in major-league history to reach 3,000 hits.
Braves vs Brewers
Brewers rookie center fielder Keon Broxton reached base nine times in the series and is hitting .387 with seven walks, three doubles, two homers and seven RBIs in his past 12 games. Milwaukee leads the majors in stolen bases (116). They are led by Jonathan Villar, who stole two bases Sunday and opens the week tied with Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton for the major-league lead (43).
Astros vs Twins
Former top prospect and Twins third baseman Miguel Sano has endured an up-and-down campaign in his first full season in the majors but led the offense with a pair of home runs in Sunday’s 6-3 victory in Tampa Bay.
Reds vs Cardinals
The Reds are highlighting individual successes in an otherwise disappointing campaign and got three hits and four stolen bases from center fielder Billy Hamilton on Sunday. Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips is also red hot going 12-for-19 with eight RBIs in the last five games.
Fantasy Baseball MLB August 5 Preview
Friday Late Matchups
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Blue Jays vs Royals
The Toronto Blue Jays have won three games in a row and eight of 11 to pull within a single percentage point of the number one spot in the American League East. The surging Blue Jays look to continue their torrid stretch, opening a three-game series versus the reeling Kansas City Royals.
Braves vs Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals are getting healthy but are looking for a push in their battle for a National League wild-card spot against the Atlanta Braves. Leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter is expected to participate in the opener after missing 29 games with a strained right oblique. They’ve already had backup earlier this week, when infielders Jhonny Peralta and Brandon Moss came off the disabled list.
Marlins vs Rockies
The Miami Marlins have had a day off to recover from a catastrophic defeat and will try to turn things around against Colorado Rockies. The Marlins kicked off their six-game road trip with three straight losses to the Chicago Cubs, none as bad as Wednesday’s 5-4 defeat.
Brewers vs Diamondbacks
The Arizona Diamondbacks want to end a disappointing run of pitching performances. They’ll host the Milwaukee Brewers for the next few day’s in three-game series set. The bottom-place Diamondbacks have given up 46 runs during a four-game losing streak. Their opponents, on the other hand, recorded nine tallies per contest over the last seven.
Cubs vs Athletics
Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell once dreamed of playing at Oakland Coliseum. Dream will become a reality for him when his squad begin a three-game interleague series against the Oakland Athletics. A former A’s prospect, Russell has blossomed into a key player for the major league-best Cubs. Chicago has now four straight victory and won seven of their last eight.
Red Sox vs Dodgers
The Boston Red Sox are set on closing out a 11-game West Coast trek with a winning record. They will be begin a three-game series against the host Los Angeles Dodgers. Boston is 4-4 on the trip. Versatile Brock Holt delivered the tiebreaking RBI single in the 11th inning of Thursday for a 3-2 victory over Seattle, which split even the four-game series.
Angels vs Mariners
The Seattle Mariners are seeking to make up ground in the American League wild-card race. They are entering a stretch in which seven of their following 13 games are against the soaring Los Angeles Angels. Seattle is just 2-4 versus the Angels this season and Los Angeles is a 12-7 since the All-Star break.
Phillies vs Padres
Philadelphia’s Jeremy Hellickson was a prime candidate to be moved prior to Monday’s trade deadline, but the veteran right-hander will be staying around after-all. He’ll take the ball in Friday’s three-game series opener against the Padres in San Diego. Hellickson stretched his unbeaten streak to three starts (2-0) despite giving up three runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings of a 9-5 victory in Atlanta on Saturday.
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Athletics vs Angels
Yonder Alonso is heating up for the Athletics, going 2-for-4 in each of his last three games and notching at least one hit in five of his last six. Los Angeles improved to 4-2 on its seven-game homestand and used the long ball to do it, belting three home runs — including a walk-off, two-run blast by Albert Pujols in the ninth inning. The veteran slugger finished with three RBI and went 3-for-5, giving him four multi-hit performances in the past six games. Jefry Marte homered for the second straight day to extend his hitting streak to six games and has knocked in a run in four consecutive contests.
Mets vs Yankees
Nathan Eovaldi, the American League’s hardest-throwing starter with a 97.1-mph average fastball, will start for the Yankees against the Mets’ Bartolo Colon, the National League’s second-softest thrower with an 87.8 mph average fastball. For Eovaldi (9-7, 4.78 ERA), the fastball is his primary pitch but not his only weapon, as he also mixes in a cutter and a slider, both of which move approximately as fast as Colon’s fastball. But for Colon (9-6, 3.58 ERA), the heater is truly the alpha and the omega. The veteran right-hander throws his fastball on 89 percent of his pitches.
Orioles vs Rangers
The Baltimore Orioles will look to complete a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers in a battle of first-place teams on Thursday. The Orioles won the opener 5-1 with the help of four solo homers and a masterful performance by starter Dylan Bundy. Kevin Gausman then outdueled Texas ace Cole Hamels, leading the Orioles to a 3-2 victory the following night. Wade Miley (7-8, 4.98 ERA), acquired from the Seattle Mariners on Aug. 1, will make his Orioles debut and try to keep the momentum going in the series finale.
Pirates vs Braves
Don’t expect to see Andrew McCutchen on Thursday when the Pittsburgh Pirates make the final appearance at Turner Field. He won’t be playing. Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle, looking for anything that might get the center fielder’s bat in gear, decided to bench him for the three-game series against the Braves.
Fantasy Draft MLB Hot Picks
June 28th 2016
Tuesday brings back the full lineup of Major League Baseball. With 15 matchup on tap beginning at 7PM EST time, it the perfect time to play Fantasy Draft MLB at FanPicks (click to play). All eyes will be on the Cleveleand Indians as they aim for their 11th straight win. Corey Kluber will take the mound for the tribe and he will face-off against Atlanta Braves Matt Wisler.
This season as been dwindled by top prospects making their debut, with the likes of Julio Urias, Blake Snell and Jameson Taillon entering the fold. Time to make room for the best MLB prospect Lukas Giolito who will start for the Washington Nationals. It will be a challenge against the New York Mets, as he will take on ace Matt Harvey. With so many stories in baseball tonight, let’s see who could steal the show in the hot picks of primetime fantasy baseball contests.
Corey Kluber threw a shutout in his last outing, his second of the year, and third complete game. He allowed three hits and two walks with nine strikeouts against the Tampa Bay Rays. Kluber is 3-1 in June and 5-2 in his last seven starts.
Cole Hamels has won three straight starts and is 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA in five June starts. He has quality starts in seven of his last eight outings.
In five of Adam Conley’s 15 starts, the left-hander has not allowed a run. One of those is his last outing, a win over the Atlanta Braves. It was a career-most eight innings game.
Michael Wacha snapped a 10-start winless streak his last time out, but has made three consecutive quality starts.
Kendrys Morales is hitting .444 (20-for-45) with four home runs and 15 RBIs over his last 12 starts.
Matt Wieters caught the second game of a double header Saturday and hit two homers, giving him nine on the season.
Jose Altuve extended his career-long on-base streak to 30 consecutive games with a third-inning single in Monday’s series opener at Angel Stadium. He’s the first Astros player to reach in 30 consecutive games since Willy Taveras a decade ago. It’s the longest active streak in the Majors.