MLB Post-Season Team-by-Team Outlook
After six months and a calendar of 162 games, we are ready for the major baseball series. FanPicks will cover all the daily fantasy baseball post-season games. What are you waiting for? Reserve your spot for the upcoming wild cards matchups between the Twins and the Yankees, and the Rockies versus the D-Backs on the National side. It’s starting Tuesday Night. Here’s an outlook of every team who made it in.
The surprise team of the year. They are young, dynamic, dashing and barely have enough output from their starting pitchers to qualify in the playoffs. They are the potential cinderella’s of the post-season story.
New York Yankees
A dangerous formation. Undoubtedly the most formidable big bats staff in the playoffs. The catch is that they have to take the lead in the first five innings. Aaron Judge will need the support of his teammates. Jacoby Ellsbury had a good end of the season, which is reassuring.
Boston Red Sox
For the first time in their history, the Red Sox have won the title of their section two years in a row. They did it without much power, which is far removed from their usual identity. The pitchers held the fort throughout the season, but the relief proved less effective after Joe Kelly’s injury.
They are even more formidable than last year as they pushed the world series in seven games in the absence of starters Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. This year, they are healthy and Trevor Bauer is among the elite. The Indians have a depth that few teams can boast, both on the mound and on the attack.
The Astros have a devastating attack made up of young people who are hungry for a championship ring. Carlos Correa is finally back a 100 percent healthy. Getting Justin Verlander in the rotation was the missing piece they needed.
The Colorado pitching staff is largely underestimated, led by a gang of young starters (German Marquez, Kyle Freeland and Antonio Senzatela).
Among the teams drafted, the D-Backs are maybe the one that has the best chance of going all the way. JD Martinez came in to support Paul Goldschmidt after his acquisition of the Detroit Tigers. And Zach Greinke is no longer alone. Robby Ray and Patrick Corbin, the latter with a good second half of the season, give depth to the mound.
A strong team on paper, but with a lot of question marks. Is Bryce Harper ready? What about Max Scherzer? The lack of control of Gio Gonzalez on the big occasion is not very reassuring, especially against the Chicago Cubs, whose attack has been the best of the National League since the break.
The World Series champions are back in series. Quietly entering in the playoff picture, they have been consistent since early July with an attack that produced as expected. They have several challenges on the mound though. Another trip to the world series is not out of the question.
Los Angeles Dodgers
How can a team that plays for, 800 for more than a month can have a sequence of 1-15 thereafter? The Dodgers are an enigma and even with a season-end of 8-2, doubts remain. Who will support Kershaw? Seager, Bellinger and Turner can not do it alone.
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MLB 2017 Season Preview
National League Central
FanPicks examines the National League Central division for the upcoming Major League Baseball season. Get ready for fantasy baseball.
Last season, the Cubs had one of the best defenses in baseball history, blending dominance of the strike zone with excellent fielding across the diamond. They’ll allow more runs in 2017, but with a healthy season from Kyle Schwarber and continued development from other young hitters, they might also score more. Few teams are bulletproof, and fewer still immune to the vagaries of baseball’s long season and the thin margins that decide most games. Still, there’s no reason to predict anything other than a second straight NL Central title for this group.
The Reds would be happy to get back over .500. That’s going to depend largely on the bullpen, which was so bad early last year that the team was out of it by May. The hope is righthanders Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen. They are converted starters with top-shelf stuff and they can fix the pen. The club goes to spring training with no defined closer, although Iglesias saved six games in eight tries down the stretch. The rotation has some depth if the young pitchers step up. The Reds have added quantity. They’ve traded for nine starters since the deadline in 2014. They need some quality to compete this year. The offense was eighth in the National League in runs last year, so with better pitching, the record should improve. Still, there are far too many ifs to expect the Reds to contend.
With the Central Division-rival Cubs expected to run roughshod for the foreseeable future, the Brewers’ plan to rebuild from the ground up comes at a good time. As a small-market team, their best chance for sustained success is stockpiling as many young high-ceiling players as possible, letting them develop and then rolling them out in the major leagues. It’s an approach that takes remarkable patience, but one that can bear real fruit if done correctly.
The Pirates seemingly have little chance of overtaking the Cubs in the NL Central this season, though they plan to give it a shot. However, if they fall too far behind in the standings, they are likely to shift into rebuilding mode and sort out which young players — especially starting pitchers — fit into their long-term plans and try to add more prospects by trading outfielder Andrew McCutchen.
St. Louis Cardinals
After a decade as a regular resident and sometimes king of October, the Cardinals are no longer the organization within their division that others aspire to be. This team still has stars like third baseman Matt Carpenter and is banking on a style better suited for their ballpark to prove that 2016 was a brief eclipse. Overcoming top prospect Alex Reyes season-ending injury will be tough, but the Cardinals are still intent on showing the rest of the league, especially a certain team in the Windy City, that the sun hasn’t set on their empire.
MLB World Series Game 7 Recap
CHICAGO CUBS WIN!!!
Going to extra innings was merely a minor inconvenience for a team that waited 108 years to win the World Series (Join FanPicks). It took a while, but for the first time in more than a century, the Chicago Cubs are the last team standing. The Cubs scored two runs in the top of the 10th inning, then held on to beat the Cleveland Indians 8-7 Wednesday night at Progressive Field in a wild seventh game of the World Series. They’ve captured their first championship since 1908, as Series MVP Ben Zobrist and Miguel Montero came through with run-scoring hits in the 10th.
The Game 7 loser is now the major league team with the longest World Series drought. Cleveland last won the World Series in 1948. The Indians took a three-games-to-one lead with a 7-2 win in Game 4 at Wrigley Field, but the Cubs won the last three games of the series, outscoring Cleveland 20-13 in that span. The Cubs are only the seventh team in history to win a World Series after being down 3-1. They are the first team to win Games 6 and 7 on the road since the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates did it in Baltimore. Cleveland had the home-field advantage in the series but lost three of the four games played at Progressive Field. Cleveland’s last visit to the World Series also ended with an extra-inning loss in Game 7. The 1997 Florida Marlins topped the Indians 3-2 in 11 innings.
10th Inning Highlights
On Wednesday, with the score tied at 6, and after a 17-minute rain delay, Kyle Schwarber led off the top of the 10th inning with a single off Bryan Shaw (0-1). Albert Almora pinch-ran for Schwarber. Kris Bryant flied out to deep center field, allowing Almora to move to second. The Indians then intentionally walked Anthony Rizzo. Zobrist lined a double into the left field corner, scoring Almora and moving Rizzo to third. The Indians intentionally walked Addison Russell, but Montero foiled that strategy as well by stroking a single to left field to make it 8-6.
Cleveland, refusing to go quietly, scored a run in the bottom of the 10th. With two outs and nobody on base, Brandon Guyer singled off Carl Edwards Jr. and then took second on defensive indifference. Rajai Davis lined a single to center, scoring Guyer to make it 8-7. Mike Montgomery relieved Edwards and retired Michael Martinez on groundout to third base, ending the game and starting the celebration in Chicago.
MLB World Series Game 7
Cubs vs Indians (3-3)
A longstanding drought will end for either the Chicago Cubs or Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night while the other team will be flooded with heartbreak. The visiting Cubs forced a decisive World Series Game 7 with Tuesday’s 9-3 victory. They are aiming to win their first pennant since 1908 while the Indians are trying to break a rut that dates back to 1948 (Enter Contest).
Chicago recovered from a 3-1 deficit to win the last two games but has yet to solve Cleveland ace Corey Kluber, who is looking to become the first starting pitcher since Detroit’s Mickey Lolich in 1968 to record three victories in a single World Series. Chicago shortstop Addison Russell (age 22) is coming off his own sterling performance as he became the second youngest player to hit a grand slam (behind New York Yankees legend Mickey Mantle) and matched the Series record of six RBIs. He joins Yankees Bobby Richardson (1960), Hideki Matsui (2009) and former St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols (2011) among that select group of 6 RBIs in a World Series.
Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant went 4-for-5 in Game 6 and homered for the second straight game while first baseman Anthony Rizzo also had a homer among three hits. Kyle Schwarber is batting .333 for the Cubs in the World Series despite missing the previous six-plus months due to knee surgery. Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, who grew up in the Chicago area, had three hits and a homer in two of the past three games.
Cubs RH Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 1.31 ERA) vs. Indians RH Corey Kluber (4-1, 0.89)
Hendricks, who won 16 regular-season games, took a no-decision in Game 3 of the World Series when he allowed six hits and two walks in 4 1/3 scoreless innings. The 26-year-old is ecstatic to have the opportunity to help the Cubs end their 108-year title drought.
Kluber has struck out 15 in 12 innings during the World Series while allowing just one run in his two victories. He has repeatedly had his best stuff during the postseason despite regularly pitching on short rest and manager Terry Francona has been impressed that the 2014 American League Cy Young Award winner has remained sharp.
The one-sided affair in Game 6 allows the Indians to have stellar left-hander Andrew Miller (0.53 ERA, 29 strikeouts in 17 postseason innings in 2016) and right-handed closer Cody Allen (22 strikeouts in 11 2/3 scoreless innings in 2016) rested for Game 7 while Cubs left-handed closer Aroldis Chapman pitched 1 1/3 innings on Tuesday despite the margin.
MLB World Series Game 6
Cubs vs Indians (Indians lead 3-2)
The World Series Game 6 could be decided by the team that gets a lead early and turns things over to the bullpen. The Chicago Cubs finally became that team with the early lead and the dominant reliever in Game 5 and play another elimination game when they visit the Cleveland Indians for Game 6 on Tuesday (Enter Contests). The Cubs, who trail 3-2 in the series, asked Aroldis Chapman to record eight outs in a one-run game Sunday and were rewarded when he allowed one hit and struck out four. The Indians, who used left-hander Andrew Miller for multiple innings since the start of the postseason, are keeping things loose while following the lead of manager Terry Francona.
Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor is batting .421 in the World Series and hit safely in four of five games, going 0-for-3 in the Arrieta-started Game 2. Chicago’s Kyle Schwarber is expected to return to the lineup as DH. Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks would start a potential Game 7 against the Indians ace Corey Kluber, who pitched Games 1 and 4.
Cubs RH Jake Arrieta (1-1, 3.78 ERA) vs. Indians RH Josh Tomlin (2-0, 1.76)
Arrieta took a no-hitter into the sixth inning in Game 2 at Cleveland and ended up with the win, his first of the postseason. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner had a little trouble controlling his arsenal with three walks, but struck out six.
Tomlin surrendered two hits in 4 2/3 scoreless innings in Game 3 and was yanked by Francona at the first hint of trouble in a game the Indians went on to win 1-0. The 32-year-old Texan allowed two or fewer runs in each of his last eight appearances going back to the regular season and yielded one home run in that span. Tomlin is going on three days’ rest in Game 6 but only threw 58 pitches in Game 3.
MLB World Series Game 5 Recap
Indians vs Cubs (Indians lead 3-2)
Aroldis Chapman usually never works much more than an inning as Chicago Cubs closer. With a win-or-be-eliminated situation in the World Series Game 5, Cubs manager prepared Chapman to be ready to enter the game earlier if needed to. Chapman worked a season-high 2 2/3 innings in relief to preserve a one-run lead as the Chicago Cubs stayed alive in the World Series Game 5 with a 3-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
Chapman struck out four, including Jose Ramirez for the final out to secure his fourth postseason save. He threw 42 pitches to 10 hitters and secured Chicago’s first World Series win at Wrigley Field since Game 6 of the World Series on Oct. 8, 1945 against Detroit. The Cubs now trail 3-2 as the World Series shifts back to Cleveland for Game 6 on Tuesday (Enter Contests). Game 7, if necessary, would be played Wednesday in Cleveland.
Chicago denied the Indians’ bid to clinch their first World Series championship since 1948. Cubs’ starter Jon Lester improved to 3-1 in the postseason (1-1 in the World Series) after allowing two runs over six innings. He threw 90 pitches with 42 coming in his final two innings. Indians starter Trevor Bauer (0-2 in the series and the postseason) gave up three runs in a four-inning outing.
Jose Ramirez gave the Indians a 1-0 lead by hitting a two-out home run to left on an 0-1 pitch. It was his first home run of the postseason. Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant matched it in the fourth with a leadoff home run to left, his second of the postseason, as the Cubs started to rough up Bauer in what turned into a three-run fourth. Cleveland cut a 3-1 deficit in half in the sixth off Lester as Francisco Lindor’s two-out base hit to center scored Rajai Davis.
In the seventh, Mike Napoli reached on a leadoff single off reliever Carl Edwards Jr. and advanced to second on a passed ball. The Cubs then turned to Chapman, who closed the inning without any scoring. Chapman struck out Yan Gomes to open the eighth but was out of position when first baseman Anthony Rizzo stopped a Rajai Davis grounder down the line but had no one to throw it to. Davis, the potential tying run, then stole second with one out and third with two gone. However, Chapman ended the threat by striking out Lindor looking.
Despite the loss, the Indians return to Cleveland with two chances to clinch the World Series. The last time the Indians clinched the World Series at home was in 1920 against Brooklyn Dodgers.
MLB World Series Game 4 Recap
Indians vs Cubs (Indians lead 3-1)
It could hardly get much better for Jason Kipnis on Saturday, during the World Series Game 4. The Cleveland second baseman broke out of a 7-for-42 postseason slump as he slammed a three-run homer in his hometown ballpark. It helped propel the Indians to the brink of a World Series crown. Kipnis, a suburban Chicago native, provided a backbreaking 402-foot shot to the Wrigley Field bleachers. It led the Indians winning against the Chicago Cubs 7-2 and claiming a 3-1 lead in the World Series. Cleveland could clinch its first big league title since 1948 with a victory on Sunday night at Wrigley Field (Enter Contest).
Corey Kluber allowed one run and scattered five hits over six innings and picked up his second World Series triumph since Tuesday. Kluber (4-1 post-season) struck out six and walked one. He had just one troublesome inning, which was the first. The Cubs grabbed a 1-0 lead after one inning of play. Chicago’s edge was short-lived as Cleveland scored twice in the second inning. They’ve added single runs in the third and sixth and put the game out of reach with a three-run seventh.
The Indians padded their lead in the sixth inning. Lonnie Chisenhall’s one-out sacrifice off reliever Mike Montgomery plated Francisco Lindor to make it 4-1. In the seventh, Kipnis clubbed a three-run homer to right off Travis Wood, the fourth Chicago pitcher of the night. Kipnis’ third postseason home run drove in pinch hitter Coco Crisp, who had doubled, and Rajai Davis, who was hit by a Justin Grimm pitch. The Cubs collected a late token run on Dexter Fowler’s solo homer in the eighth.
Kipnis went 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored. Teammate Carlos Santana also had three hits, including a second-inning home run. Kluber threw 81 pitches before being taken out the game. Fowler’s leadoff home run in the eighth off Cleveland reliever Andrew Miller was the first run the left-hander has allowed in 16 postseason innings. Miller, who worked two innings of relief in his second straight appearance, could also be in the mix again for Sunday.
Indians vs Cubs
World Series Game 3 (1-1)
The best starting pitcher led his team to victory in each of the first two games of the World Series with each team laying claim to the better ace once. The Chicago Cubs try to gain control of the series when they host the Cleveland Indians on Friday in the first World Series game at Wrigley Field since 1945 (Enter Contests). Get set for the World Series Game 3 at FanPicks.com
Corey Kluber set a World Series record with eight strikeouts in the first three innings en route to a 6-0 Indians win in Tuesday’s opener and Jake Arrieta took a no-hitter into the sixth Wednesday as the Cubs knotted the series at one win apiece with a 5-1 triumph. The most impressive offensive player in the first two games of the series won’t even have a spot in the starting lineup for the next three contests as Chicago will leave Kyle Schwarber on the bench with a pinch-hitting role in the National League park. Schwarber, who sat out all but two games of the regular season after tearing ligaments in his knee in April, was added to the World Series roster and went 3-for-7 with a pair of RBIs and a run scored while serving as designated hitter in the Amercian League park.
Chicago’s Ben Zobrist is 5-for-8 with an RBI triple in the series. Cleveland’s Carlos Santana, who is 0-for-6 with four strikeouts in the series, could see time in the outfield in Chicago.
Indians RH Josh Tomlin (2-0, 2.53 ERA) vs. Cubs RH Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 1.65)
Tomlin delivered exactly what was asked of him in each of his first two postseason starts, allowing a total of three runs in 10 2/3 innings before handing things off to the team’s dominant bullpen. The 32-year-old Texan served up 36 home runs in 174 innings during the regular season but has yet to yield a home run in the playoffs. Tomlin, who has never faced Chicago, was 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA in three interleague starts this season.
Hendricks outdueled Clayton Kershaw in the clinching game of the NLCS, scattering two hits and no walks over 7 1/3 scoreless innings while striking out six. Hendricks, the major-league ERA leader at 2.13, surrendered one run over 12 2/3 innings in two NLCS starts and went 9-2 with a 1.32 ERA at home during the regular season. The Dartmouth product, who is seeing Cleveland for the first time, was 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA in three interleague starts this season.
NLCS Game 6
Dodgers vs Cubs (Cubs lead series 3-2)
The Los Angeles Dodgers made the decision to save ace Clayton Kershaw forthe NLCS Game 6 instead of asking him to throw again on short rest in Game 5, and now they need him to save their season. Kershaw will take the mound on Saturday at Wrigley Field and try to prevent the host Chicago Cubs from clinching their first trip to the World Series since 1945 (Enter Contests).
The Cubs were shut out in Games 2 and 3 to fall behind 2-1 in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series but exploded for 18 runs in the next two contests. And just like that, they took the series lead. Addison Russell hit a two-run homer in each of the last two games. The Cubs also received four RBIs apiece from Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez. .
Los Angeles now faces the task of winning two straight games on the road but is set up with its best two pitchers in Kershaw and Rich Hill in a potential Game 7.
Dodgers pitcher & team analysis – Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 3.72)
Kershaw allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings to earn the win in Game 2 at Wrigley Field after earning the save in the finale of the NLDS at Washington three days earlier. The former MVP is just 4-6 with a 4.39 ERA in his postseason career. He has never won two games in the same series.
Third baseman Justin Turner has reached base safely in 15 straight postseason games. Los Angeles committed five errors, leading to five unearned runs, in the last two games.
Cubs pitcher & team analysis – Kyle Hendricks (0-1, 3.00)
Hendricks allowed one run on three hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings while going up against Kershaw in Game 2. He ended up with the loss in a 1-0 final. The regular-season ERA champion at 2.13, Hendricks took a liner off the forearm in his NLDS start but was not bothered by any lingering pain in Game 2.
Right fielder Jason Heyward is batting .071 in the postseason, which includes a 1-for-16 in the NLCS.
MLB National League Division Series
Giants vs Cubs Game 3 (2-0 for Chicago)
Madison Bumgarner looks to continue his impressive postseason success and keep the San Francisco Giants alive when they host the Chicago Cubs on Monday (Enter Contests) in Game 3 of their MLB National League Division Series. The left-hander is 5-1 with one save and a 0.88 ERA in eight contests over his last two postseasons (2014 and 2016) after shutting out the New York Mets 3-0 in the Wild-Card Game on Wednesday. He won both regular-season starts against the Cubs this year.
ABOUT THE GIANTS
Madison Bumgarner (2016 playoffs: 1-0, 0.00) baffled the Mets with a four-hitter, striking out six and walking a pair in improving his career postseason numbers to 8-3 with a 1.94 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. The 27-year-old cooled off in the second half of the regular season as well, going 5-5 with a 3.80 ERA after posting a 10-4 record and 1.94 ERA before the All-Star break. Bumgarner went 9-4 with a 2.14 ERA at home this year and has fared well against the Cubs in his career (8-2, 2.25).
The Giants, who face elimination after winning 11 straight postseason series, scored just two runs over the first two games while Chicago’s pitchers have driven in three with their bats. They’ve won nine straight elimination games, the longest such streak in major-league history.
ABOUT THE CUBS
Chicago turns to Jake Arrieta (18-8, 3.10 ERA), who went 11-3 on the road this season and split a pair of starts against San Francisco while posting a 2.08 ERA. The reigning N.L. Cy-Young winner posted a 12-2 record and 2.10 ERA through June but split his final 12 decisions, going 2-3 with a 4.60 ERA in September. Arrieta , who has 40 wins to his credit over the last two seasons, owns a 4-2 mark with a 1.82 ERA in six career starts versus the Cubs. The 30-year-old TCU product has held Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt to a combined 2-for-38.
Angel Pagan is 5-for-11 against Arrieta. Javier Baez is 3-for-6 with a homer in the series and the Cubs received a run-scoring single in the first inning of Saturday’s 5-2 win from Ben Zobrist, who is 6-for-12 lifetime against Bumgarner. First baseman Anthony Rizzo, who belted 32 homers and knocked in 109 runs during the regular season, went 0-for-7 in the first two games. Chicago has gone 2-4 in six games at San Francisco over the last two years and went 46-34 on the road during the regular season.
National League Division Series
Giants vs Cubs Game 1
The Chicago Cubs led the majors with 103 regular-season victories but that doesn’t guarantee them rare postseason success when they open the National League Division Series on Friday against the visiting San Francisco Giants (Enter Contests). Chicago was swept out of the playoffs last season in the NL Championship Series by the New York Mets and hasn’t won the World Series since 1908.
About the Cubs
Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44) will throw the first pitch in the series for Chicago. The 32-year-old was superb at home this season with a 10-2 mark and 1.74 ERA and that helped make him an easy Game 1 choice for the Cubs. Lester, who is 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA in five career starts against the Giants, dropped both turns last postseason for the Cubs but is 6-6 with a 2.85 ERA in 16 career appearances (14 starts).
The Cubs are led by budding superstar third baseman Kris Bryant, the probable NL MVP after having 39 homers and 102 RBIs in his second big-league season. Despite that, Bryant (6-for-34, two home runs) and first baseman Anthony Rizzo (6-for-32, two homers) struggled in the 2015 postseason. The Cubs won four of the seven regular-season meetings with two of their defeats coming against Giants ace LH Madison Bumgarner.
About the Giants
Giants starter Johnny Cueto (18-5, 2.79) went 4-0 with a 1.91 ERA over his final four outings to reach the third-highest victory total of his nine-year career. The 30-year-old is 2-3 with a 5.35 ERA in seven career postseason starts and struggled badly in his first three outings in last year’s postseason with Kansas City before coming up big in Game 2 of the World Series with a complete-game two-hitter in a 7-1 victory over the New York Mets. Cueto is 9-8 with a 3.24 ERA in 24 career starts against the Cubs and is 5-5 with a 3.07 ERA in 15 outings at Wrigley Field.
San Francisco won three World Series crowns this decade and earned the trip to Chicago by blanking the Mets 3-0 in Wednesday’s NL wild-card game. Third baseman Eduardo Nunez (hamstring) isn’t ready to return, so wild-card game hero Conor Gillaspie (decisive three-run homer) is expected to start.
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.