MLB InGame Showdowns

Another two games are set for InGame action.  A maximum of 5 swaps are allowed in this contest with play time of 5 consecutive minutes necessary before a starting player can be benched. Each entry will receive 2 Power Multiplier which can be applied to any starting player to receive 2x points for a duration of 15 minutes respectively. Check out the matchups previews below and play for free.

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Nationals at Yankees Preview

The New York Yankees have relieved heavily on homers of late, with 20 of their last 22 runs scored courtesy of the long ball. After Didi Gregorius recorded his third multi-homer performance of the season in the opener, the Yankees (43-19) vie for a sweep of the abbreviated two-game interleague series versus the visiting Washington Nationals (36-28) on Wednesday.

Gregorius is batting .313 over his last 12 games after belting a pair of solo homers in Tuesday’s 3-0 triumph for New York, which has won 10 of 12 overall and 18 of its last 22 at home. The Yankees’ bullpen pushed its scoreless innings streak to 21 2/3 innings with 3 1/3 spotless frames in the opener, lowering its ERA to a majors-best 0.63 in 42 2/3 innings over the last 14 games. New York’s fourth shutout this season resulted in the second time in as many games that Washington has been blanked, with the latter collecting just eight hits in the process. Manager Dave Martinez said Bryce Harper is expected to be fine after the 2015 National League Most Valuable Player was hit in the elbow and foot by a pair of pitches in Tuesday’s tilt.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, ESPN, MASN (Washington), YES (New York)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Erick Fedde (0-1, 4.76 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Sonny Gray (4-4, 4.81)

Multiple media outlets reported that Fedde is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Syracuse to replace fellow right-hander Stephen Strasburg, who was shuffled to the disabled list on Sunday with an ailing shoulder. The 25-year-old allowed three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings to take the loss against San Diego on May 23 in his lone spot start with the Nationals. Fedde has a 3-2 mark with a 4.76 ERA in 56 2/3 innings with Syracuse this season.

Gray was saddled with a no-decision on Wednesday despite retiring the first 12 batters he faced while scattering two hits and striking out eight over eight scoreless innings against Toronto. The 28-year-old has recorded quality starts in three of his last four trips to the mound. Gray has limited the current crop of Nationals to just a .219 batting average against him, although the hurler has yet to pick up a decision in two career starts versus the club.

WALK-OFFS

1. New York manager Aaron Boone said slumping C Gary Sanchez, who is mired in a 4-for-53 stretch with 18 strikeouts, is expected to sit out his second straight game on Wednesday.

2. Washington CF Adam Eaton has hit safely in both games since being activated from the 60-day disabled list.

3. The Yankees are expected to call up Jonathan Loaisiga to replace fellow RHP Masahiro Tanaka to start either Thursday or Friday’s game against Tampa Bay.

Rockies at Phillies Preview

Scott Kingery has been shuffled around the field this season as the Philadelphia Phillies try to find a home for the promising prospect. The 24-year-old looks to follow up a season high-tying four-RBI performance on Wednesday as the Phillies (34-30) bid for a series victory versus the reeling Colorado Rockies (32-34), who have dropped a season-worst five straight and nine of 11.

Kingery belted a three-run homer for his first blast since April 10 as Philadelphia claimed an early lead and held on for their second straight win with a 5-4 triumph on Tuesday. Cesar Hernandez has hit safely in four consecutive contests and scored a run in three straight and six of his last seven for the Phillies, who evened their six-game homestand at 2-2 and improved to 21-11 at Citizens Bank Park this season. Trevor Story had two singles to record his fourth straight multi-hit performance on Tuesday and crossed the plate twice in the opener to give him six runs scored during his six-game hitting streak. Story will get his first look at right-hander Nick Pivetta while left-hander Tyler Anderson will get the nod for the Rockies.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, AT&T SportsNet-Rocky Mountains (Colorado), NBCS Philadelphia

PITCHING MATCHUP: Rockies LH Tyler Anderson (3-1, 4.81 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Nick Pivetta (4-5, 3.76)

Anderson recorded his fourth straight no-decision on Thursday despite working a season high-tying seven innings against Cincinnati. The 28-year-old allowed just two runs on five hits versus the Reds and kept the ball in the park after being taken deep eight times in his previous six outings. Hernandez (6-for-9) and Maikel Franco (3-for-7) have gotten their licks in on Anderson, although the left-hander has flustered both Aaron Altherr (0-for-5, three strikeouts) and Odubel Herrera (0-for-3, three strikeouts).

Pivetta has answered a three-start winning streak with three straight losses after permitting four runs on six hits in five frames in Thursday’s 4-3 setback versus the Chicago Cubs. The 25-year-old British Columbia native has yielded nine earned runs over 14 innings while allowing the opposition to bat .294 against him during his losing skid. Pivetta was torched in his lone appearance against Colorado, yielding eight runs on as many hits in 2 2/3 innings at Coors Field on Aug. 5.

WALK-OFFS

1. Colorado LF Gerardo Parra has recorded five multi-hit performances in his last eight games.

2. Philadelphia 1B Carlos Santana has gone 0-for-5 — albeit with three walks — in his last two contests on the heels on a seven-game hitting streak.

3. Rockies C Tom Murphy excelled in his major-league debut with three hits on Tuesday after batting .289 with 16 homers in 49 games with Triple-A Albuquerque to open the season.

Twins at Tigers Preview

The Detroit Tigers went nearly the entire month of May without Miguel Cabrera earlier and now will be without their slugging first baseman for the remainder of the season. Cabrera ruptured a tendon in his biceps in Tuesday’s 6-4 loss to Minnesota and will undergo season-ending surgery, leaving Detroit scrambling as it resumes the three-game set versus the Twins on Wednesday.

Cabrera was hurt when he took an awkward swing at an offspeed pitch and immediately grabbed his arm, but the severity of the injury wasn’t revealed until after he was sent for an MRI exam. “It’s a very sad day for our baseball team,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He’s a special player and a special person to have around here. It’s a blow. I feel terrible for him.” Minnesota vaulted past Detroit into second place in the American League Central as Ehire Adrianza belted a grand slam as part of a three-hit game in the series opener. Jose Berrios owns a 3-1 record against the Tigers despite an 8.49 ERA, but he beat them with eight strong innings on May 21, allowing two runs on three hits.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FS North (Minnesota), FS Detroit

PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins RH José Berríos (7-5, 3.66 ERA) vs. Tigers LH Matthew Boyd (4-4, 3.20)

Berrios tossed his second complete game of the year and his first since his season debut, striking out 10 and limiting the Chicago White Sox to two runs and six hits to improve to 4-1 over his last five starts. The 24-year-old has racked up 44 strikeouts over his last five starts, including nine in the victory over Detroit last month. Nicholas Castellanos is 5-for-10 with a homer and four RBIs off Berrios.

Boyd posted his first road victory of the season at Boston in his last outing, limiting the Red Sox to two runs and four hits over 6 1/3 innings. The 27-year-old had his second shortest outing of the season at Minnesota in a 6-0 loss on May 17, permitting only one hit while allowing two runs and walking four. Brian Dozier has been a nemesis for Boyd, going 13-for-32 with three homers, three doubles and five RBIs.

WALK-OFFS

1. Adrianza is 9-for-20 with two homers, seven RBIs and seven runs scored in his last seven games.

2. John Hicks, batting .285 with five homers and 22 RBIs, will take over as Detroit’s starting first baseman.

3. The Twins signed RH Matt Belisle one day after he was released by Cleveland.

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Posted in MLB

MLB InGame Showdowns

Another two games are set for InGame action.  A maximum of 5 swaps are allowed in this contest with play time of 5 consecutive minutes necessary before a starting player can be benched. Each entry will receive 2 Power Multiplier which can be applied to any starting player to receive 2x points for a duration of 15 minutes respectively. Check out the matchups previews below and play for free.

Play Now!!!

Red Sox at Orioles Preview

The visiting Boston Red Sox will try to clinch their fourth straight series win over the Baltimore Orioles when the teams play the second of three straight at Camden Yards on Tuesday. Two sacrifice flies in the top of the 12th inning accounted for all the offense in a 2-0 win for the Red Sox in the series opener Monday night.

Steven Wright and five relievers combined on a five-hit shutout for Boston, which is 10-1 in the last 11 contests against the Orioles dating to last season and has claimed six straight games in Baltimore. Mookie Betts returned from an oblique strain and had a hit in five trips to the plate in the opener of a 10-game road trip for the Red Sox. Orioles shortstop Manny Machado missed Monday’s contest due to an illness and could return Tuesday to face Eduardo Rodriguez, against whom he is 6-for-31 with five strikeouts. Baltimore counters with streaking rookie David Hess as it attempts to end a five-game slide.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), MASN2 (Baltimore)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Eduardo Rodriguez (7-1, 3.68 ERA) vs. Orioles RH David Hess (2-2, 3.07)

Rodriguez has won four straight and already surpassed last season’s win total after emerging victorious against Detroit on Wednesday. He limited the Tigers to one run and five hits over 5 2/3 innings while striking out five in his fifth consecutive home outing. The 25-year-old started his current winning streak with 5 2/3 scoreless innings in a victory over Baltimore on May 20, improving to 5-5 with a 3.97 ERA in 12 career meetings.

Hess has a 0.96 ERA over his last three starts after stifling the Toronto Blue Jays through six innings his last time out. The solid stretch began after a rocky effort opposite Rodriguez at Fenway Park last month, when Hess gave up five runs across 4 2/3 frames. The Tennessee native has a 3.00 ERA in two home starts while yielding 10 hits and a walk in 12 innings.

WALK-OFFS

1. Orioles 1B Chris Davis was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts Monday as his average through 57 games fell to .150.

2. Red Sox LF Andrew Benintendi is 13-for-30 with six walks in eight games against Baltimore this year.

3. Boston 1B Mitch Moreland is 2-for-19 over a six-game span to drop his average from .310 to .287.

Nationals at Yankees Preview

The New York Yankees have seen their notoriously loud bats fall silent of late as the club matched a season low with three hits in its last outing and is batting .176 over the last four games overall. The Yankees (42-19) look to avoid hitting the snooze button once again Tuesday when they open an abbreviated two-game interleague series against the visiting Washington Nationals (36-27).

Gary Sanchez is mired in a 4-for-53 stretch while teammates Greg Bird (1-for-16) and Aaron Judge (2-for-23) are also slumping. Slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who has answered a six-game hitting streak by striking out five times in his last two contests, scored a run in the last meeting with Washington – a 3-3 deadlock on May 15 that was suspended after 5 1/2 innings. While the Yankees became the final major-league team to get shut out when they were blanked by the cross-town Mets on Sunday night, the Nationals also lost a 2-0 decision to San Francisco hours earlier to fall to 4-5 in their last nine outings. Anthony Rendon, who belted a solo homer in the suspended game versus the Yankees, is 6-for-16 with five RBIs and six runs scored in his last four games.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, MASN (Washington), WPIX (New York)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Tanner Roark (3-6, 3.56 ERA) vs. Yankees LH CC Sabathia (3-1, 3.59)

Roark recorded his first win since April 30 after allowing two runs on six hits in an 11-2 romp of Tampa Bay on Wednesday. The 31-year-old worked six innings in that contest, marking the 11th time in 12 starts that he has ventured that far into a game. Roark will be making his first career start versus the Yankees, although he is very familiar with Stanton (8-for-33, four home runs) from the slugger’s time with Miami.

Like Roark, Sabathia also snapped a prolonged winless drought in his last outing after yielding two runs on three hits in seven innings of a 7-2 triumph over Toronto. The 37-year-old, who won for the first time since April 29, was taken deep twice to raise his home run total to seven in his last five trips to the mound. Mark Reynolds is 4-for-18 with a homer versus Sabathia, but the left-hander owns a 2-1 career mark against the Nationals with a 2.25 ERA and an 0.92 WHIP while limiting the club to a .185 batting average.

WALK-OFFS

1. Washington rookie OF Juan Soto is 20-for-61 and has reached base safely in 16 of 19 games played.

2. New York’s bullpen allowed only two unearned runs and struck out 25 in 19 1/3 innings over the past week.

3. Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy (right knee surgery) is expected to accompany his club to Yankee Stadium and could be activated from the disabled list this week, according to the Washington Post.

Twins at Tigers Preview

The Detroit Tigers just suffered the scheduling misfortune of having to play three of the best teams in the American League – the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians – in consecutive series and took one game from each opponent. After a well-deserved day off, the Tigers will host the division-rival Minnesota Twins on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series.

Detroit battled all three of the likely playoff teams while finishing up a stretch of 18 games in 17 days and managed to go 10-8 before getting a day off. “We’re hanging in there,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters. “We played a lot of close ballgames. One swing here and there could’ve changed it, and one good pitch here and there. So, 10-8, yes, but we could’ve been better, and I think that’s what keeps driving these guys. We can do better.” The Twins are hoping they can do better as well after dropping four of their last six and scoring three runs or fewer in each of the four setbacks. Minnesota will try to get the bats going against Detroit left-hander Blaine Hardy while countering with veteran Jake Odorizzi on Tuesday.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FS North (Minnesota), FS Detroit

PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins RH Jake Odorizzi (3-3, 4.24 ERA) vs. Tigers LH Blaine Hardy (2-1, 3.66)

Odorizzi is winless in his last five starts and is coming off the lone loss in that span after allowing three runs on six hits and a walk in five innings against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday. The 28-year-old is struggling to work deep into games and completed six innings only twice in his last 10 starts. Odorizzi is seeing Detroit for the first time this season and is 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA in four career starts against the Tigers.

Hardy is trying to hang onto a spot in the rotation and followed up two strong performances with a loss at Boston on Wednesday. The 31-year-old was ripped for five runs on eight hits in six innings and allowed a home run – just his third homer surrendered in 32 innings. Hardy was better in a no-decision at Minnesota on May 21, when he scattered two runs and seven hits across five innings while striking out four.

WALK-OFFS

1. Tigers RHP Jordan Zimmermann (shoulder) will make his third minor league rehab start on Monday and could return to the majors this weekend.

2. Twins SS Eduardo Escobar was named AL Player of the Week on Monday after batting .462 with nine extra-base hits and eight RBIs last week.

3. Minnesota 3B Miguel Sano struck out at least once in each of his last 13 games.

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Posted in MLB

MLB InGame Showdowns

Another two games are set for InGame action.  A maximum of 5 swaps are allowed in this contest with play time of 5 consecutive minutes necessary before a starting player can be benched. Each entry will receive 2 Power Multiplier which can be applied to any starting player to receive 2x points for a duration of 15 minutes respectively. Check out the matchups previews below and play.

Play Now!!!

Indians at White Sox Preview

The Chicago White Sox just finished off a series win against one powerhouse opponent and will try to make it two in a row when they host the Cleveland Indians in the opener of a four-game series on Monday. The White Sox took two of three from the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park over the weekend and are winners of six of their last 10 games.

Chicago is slowly climbing the standings and owns series wins over both Boston and Milwaukee in the last two weeks, although the current run of success began after it dropped three in a row at Cleveland from May 28-30. The White Sox beat the Red Sox with pitching, allowing a total of six runs in the three games while getting solid starts from Dylan Covey, Carlos Rodon and Reynaldo Lopez. The Indians totaled 25 runs against Chicago’s staff in last month’s three-game sweep and polished off a series win at the Detroit Tigers over the weekend by bashing their way to 14 hits in Sunday’s 9-2 triumph. The White Sox will try to slow that offense with the struggling Lucas Giolito while Cleveland counters with fellow right-hander Carlos Carrasco.

TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland), NBCS Chicago

PITCHING MATCHUP: Indians RH Carlos Carrasco (7-4, 4.23 ERA) vs. White Sox RH Lucas Giolito (4-6, 7.08)

Carrasco battled through a rough four-start stretch but snapped out of the funk while allowing one run and striking out 10 in seven innings to get the victory Wednesday against Milwaukee. The 31-year-old Venezuelan was ripped for six runs in 3 2/3 innings at Minnesota in his previous turn on June 1. Carrasco had little trouble in four starts against Chicago in 2017, posting a 3-0 record with a 1.23 ERA.

Giolito is trying to battle out of his own funk and earned a win at Minnesota on Tuesday while surrendering two runs and six hits over six innings. The 23-year-old issued just two walks over 12 innings in his last two starts after handing out 37 free passes across 49 frames over his first 10 starts. Giolito started at Cleveland on May 29 and absorbed the loss while allowing five runs and nine hits in six frames.

WALK-OFFS

1. Indians C Roberto Perez left Sunday’s game after being hit in the hand with a pitch and could be forced to the disabled list.

2. Chicago 1B/3B Matt Davidson is 0-for-13 with eight strikeouts over his last four games.

3. Cleveland SS Francisco Lindor snapped out of a five-game hitless funk by going 3-for-5 on Sunday.

Cubs at Brewers Preview

Milwaukee hasn’t hosted postseason baseball since 2011, but the atmosphere will be about as close as can be expected in June when the Brewers host the Chicago Cubs for a three-game National League Central showdown starting Monday. The first-place Brewers lead the Cubs by a half-game despite dropping seven of eight against Chicago this season.

The Cubs had a four-game winning streak snapped Sunday but have won 11 of 14 to close the gap on the Brewers, who dropped five of their last eight after posting two victories in three contests at Philadelphia over the weekend. The Brewers could have slugger Eric Thames, who has been on the disabled list since April 25 with a torn ligament in his left thumb, back as soon as Monday to provide some pop in the middle of the lineup. The Cubs’ rotation will remain short-handed, though, as manager Joe Maddon told reporters Sunday there is no timetable for right-hander Yu Darvish’s return and it is unclear whether he will pitch before the All-Star break.

TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NBCS Chicago Plus, FS Wisconsin (Milwaukee)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs LH Jose Quintana (6-4, 4.20 ERA) vs. Brewers RH Junior Guerra (3-4, 2.83)

Quintana’s performance has been uneven, but he has put together two strong outings in a row. The 29-year-old recorded a season-high 10 strikeouts Wednesday against Philadelphia, allowing two runs and three hits over 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision. Quintana has been dominant against the Brewers, going 4-1 with a 0.63 ERA in six meetings – including two wins this season in which he has allowed only five hits over 13 scoreless innings.

After a couple of rough outings to begin May, Guerra has gotten back on track with quality starts in four of his last five outings. The 33-year-old allowed three runs over six innings in a tough-luck loss at Cleveland last time out. Guerra is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in seven games (four starts) against the Cubs, but he was tagged with the loss in a 3-0 defeat April 28 at Chicago despite giving up one run and three hits over six frames.

WALK-OFFS

1. Chicago RF Jason Heyward has recorded an extra-base hit in four straight contests for the first time since a six-game streak in 2015.

2. The Brewers on Sunday added depth by acquiring INF Brad Miller from Tampa Bay in exchange for 1B Ji-Man Choi.

3. Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo has driven in a run in seven straight contests with an at-bat, the longest streak by a Cub since Moises Alou had an RBI in 10 consecutive games in 2004.

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Posted in MLB

MLB InGame Showdowns

Another two games are set for InGame action.  A maximum of 5 swaps are allowed in this contest with play time of 5 consecutive minutes necessary before a starting player can be benched. Each entry will receive 2 Power Multiplier which can be applied to any starting player to receive 2x points for a duration of 15 minutes respectively. Check out the matchups previews below and play.

Play Now!!!

Giants at Nationals Preview

Max Scherzer is bidding to win his third consecutive National League Cy Young Award and is threatening to turn the race into a runaway as he goes for his major league-leading 11th win on Sunday in the finale of a three-game series against the visiting San Francisco Giants. Scherzer has won nine consecutive decisions, including a 10-strikeout effort at San Francisco on April 25.

The Nationals leveled the series with a 7-5 victory Saturday, sparked by the return of leadoff hitter Adam Eaton, who scored twice in his first game since April 8. Bryce Harper became the first player in the NL to reach 19 homers, ending a seven-game drought in which he struck out 14 times and failed to register an extra-base hit. The Giants were unable to overcome an early five-run deficit in Saturday’s setback but they have amassed 14 runs and 26 hits in the series. Catcher Nick Hundley had a three-run homer and RBI double as San Francisco lost for only the second time in its last nine games.

TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, NBCS Bay Area (San Francisco), MASN2 (Washington)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants LH Derek Holland (3-6, 4.91 ERA) vs. Nationals RH Max Scherzer (10-1, 1.95)

Holland has failed to pitch beyond five innings in seven of his 12 starts and lasted only four innings last time out, settling for a no-decision after giving up two runs and four hits against Arizona. His road ERA (4.50) is a more than a run lower than at AT&T Park (5.55) but he also has served up seven homers in 38 innings away from home. Eaton is 2-for-5 against Holland, who will make his first career start versus Washington.

Scherzer won his third straight start with eight overpowering innings against Tampa Bay on Tuesday, striking out 13 and allowing two runs on five hits. It marked the ninth time he has recorded at least 10 strikeouts, including 12 in eight scoreless innings at Baltimore on May 30. Scherzer has split eight career decisions against the Giants, but he has shackled Andrew McCutchen, who is 4-for-25 with 14 strikeouts.

WALK-OFFS

1. Washington placed RHP Stephen Strasburg on the 10-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation.

2. McCutchen has five two-hit contests during a six-game hitting streak.

3. Nationals RHP Brandon Kintzler will undergo an MRI exam after exiting Saturday’s game due to forearm tightness.

Royals at Athletics Preview

The Oakland Athletics will try to bounce back from a shutout loss and claim another series win over the visiting Kansas City Royals when the teams complete a four-game set Sunday afternoon. Danny Duffy and two relievers combined on a four-hit shutout in the Royals’ 2-0 win in the third game of the set Saturday.

It was Kansas City’s second win in six matchups with Oakland – all of which have taken place in June. Alex Gordon slugged a solo homer to back Duffy’s dominant effort as the Royals snapped a six-game losing streak. They’ll aim for their first winning streak of the month behind right-hander Brad Keller, who opposes Sean Manaea for the Athletics. Matt Chapman had three of Oakland’s four hits in Saturday’s loss and is 10-for-22 in the six matchups with Kansas City this month.

TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, FS Kansas City, NBCS California (Oakland)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Brad Keller (1-2, 2.12 ERA) vs. Athletics LH Sean Manaea (5-6, 3.59)

Keller is making the most of his opportunity in the rotation, allowing two runs over 7 1/3 innings over back-to-back starts. That comes after 21 relief appearances in which he posted a 2.01 ERA. The 22-year-old, who is facing Oakland for the first time, has allowed two runs on seven hits in 12 2/3 innings during day games.

Manaea failed to get through six innings in each of his last four starts after doing so in seven of his first nine. He is winless during the four-game slump while sporting an ERA of 7.58 and the 26-year-old gave up at least four runs in three consecutive home starts. Manaea threw five innings and combined with three relievers in a four-hit shutout at Kansas City in their only prior matchup in 2016.

WALK-OFFS

1. Royals RF Jorge Soler (toe) was out of the lineup and is day-to-day.

2. Athletics 2B Jed Lowrie is 0-for-12 with five strikeouts over his last three games.

3. Oakland is 25-18 when the opposition starts a right-hander, compared to 8-14 against lefties.

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Posted in MLB

MLB InGame Showdowns

Another two games are set for InGame action.  A maximum of 5 swaps are allowed in this contest with play time of 5 consecutive minutes necessary before a starting player can be benched. Each entry will receive 2 Power Multiplier which can be applied to any starting player to receive 2x points for a duration of 15 minutes respectively. Check out the matchups previews below and play.

Play Now!!!

Orioles at Blue Jays Preview

The Toronto Blue Jays seemingly can’t buy a break at home, as they failed to take advantage of a sterling pitching performance in their last outing to fall to 1-10 in their last 11 contests at the Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays (26-35) bid to change the narrative on Thursday as they open a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles (19-41).

Sam Gaviglio scattered three hits over seven scoreless innings on Wednesday for Toronto, but his offense failed to get it in gear as it struck out 15 times in a 3-0 setback in 13 frames against the New York Yankees. Kendrys Morales had two of his team’s four hits for the Blue Jays, who have lost seven of their last eight and 17 of 22. Baltimore knows a thing or two about losing skids as it owns the majors’ worst mark, but it did record consecutive victories for just the fourth time this season after capping a two-game interleague sweep of the New York Mets with Wednesday afternoon’s 1-0 triumph. Manny Machado saw his eight-game hitting streak halted in the matinee, but his sacrifice fly in the eighth inning proved to be the difference.

TV: 7:07 p.m. ET, MASN (Baltimore), Sportsnet (Toronto)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH David Hess (2-2, 3.47 ERA)) vs. Blue Jays LH Jaime Garcia (2-4, 6.08)

Hess sustained a hard-luck defeat on May 30 after Bryce Harper’s solo homer in the third inning accounted for his lone damage among four hits in six innings of a 2-0 setback versus Washington. The 24-year-old rookie, who took over for Chris Tillman in the rotation, has helped a beleaguered bullpen by pitching six or more innings in three of his first four starts. Hess threw a first-pitch strike to 17 of the 23 batters he faced to get ahead in the count against the Nationals.

Garcia was blitzed for four runs on seven hits in a season-low 1 2/3 innings during Friday’s 5-2 setback versus Detroit. The 31-year-old has allowed the opposition to bat a robust .291 against him this season. Danny Valencia is 2-for-3 in a small sample size versus Garcia, but the left-hander won his lone start against Baltimore despite being touched for five runs on 10 hits — including two homers – in 5 1/3 innings.

WALK-OFFS

1. Toronto LF Curtis Granderson is 0-for-17 with nine strikeouts in his last five contests.

2. Baltimore CF Adam Jones is 17-for-42 with six runs scored in his last 10 games.

3. Blue Jays top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. exited Wednesday’s Double-A game against Akron with an apparent leg injury after sliding into second base in the fourth inning.

Mariners at Rays Preview

Nelson Cruz is enjoying his best stretch of the campaign and the Seattle slugger looks for his seventh multi-hit outing in nine games Thursday when the Mariners open a four-game series against the host Tampa Bay Rays. Cruz is 12-for-31 with three homers during the stretch after going deep for the 11th time this season during Wednesday’s 7-5 loss to the Houston Astros.

Seattle had a five-game winning streak halted with Wednesday’s setback but owns a one-game lead over Houston in the American League West due to a 14-4 stretch. Shortstop Jean Segura went 5-for-9 in two games against the Astros and the back-to-back multi-hit outings raise his major league-leading count in that category to 27. Tampa Bay has scored only 12 runs during a six-game slide and manager Kevin Cash defended the recent practice of starting a reliever after Jonny Venters retired only one batter and allowed five runs in the first inning of Wednesday’s 11-2 loss to the Washington Nationals. “(Wednesday) was one of those gut-wrenching days,” Cash said afterward. “It didn’t go our way and smacked us right in the face. One bad outing, one bad whatever you want to call it. I don’t think it’s fair to get away from it.”

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, ROOT Sports Northwest (Seattle), FS Sun (Tampa Bay)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Mariners RH Mike Leake (5-3, 4.71 ERA) vs. Rays RH Ryne Stanek (1-1, 3.65)

Leake allowed two runs and six hits over seven innings against Tampa Bay on Friday but didn’t get a victory because closer Edwin Diaz blew the save in the ninth inning. The 30-year-old Leake is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in three career starts against the Rays but has struggled with Carlos Gomez (8-for-20, one home run). Leake has a solid 1.66 ERA over his past three starts and hasn’t issued a walk over his last four turns.

The Rays are 3-5 when opening with a reliever as Stanek will start a game for the third time under the unique approach. The 26-year-old is unscored upon in seven of his past eight appearances and has allowed only three hits in 8 2/3 innings during the stretch. Stanek retired all five Mariners he faced in a relief appearance Saturday and has given up one hit in 2 2/3 innings in two career outings versus Seattle.

WALK-OFFS

1. The Mariners swept the Rays in Seattle last weekend while holding Tampa Bay to five runs.

2. Tampa Bay announced that it will recall 1B Jake Bauers from Triple-A Durham prior to Thursday’s contest.

3. Seattle released veteran LHP Marc Rzepczynski five days after designating him for assignment.

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Posted in MLB

MLB InGame Showdowns

Another two games are set for InGame action.  A maximum of 5 swaps are allowed in this contest with play time of 5 consecutive minutes necessary before a starting player can be benched. Each entry will receive 2 Power Multiplier which can be applied to any starting player to receive 2x points for a duration of 15 minutes respectively. Check out the matchups previews below and play for free.

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Yankees at Blue Jays Preview

Slugger Aaron Judge looks to bounce back from a horrific doubleheader performance when the New York Yankees open a two-game series against the host Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. Judge became the first player since at least 1920 to strike out eight times in a doubleheader as the Yankees split Monday’s twinbill in Detroit.

Judge was hitless in nine at-bats in the doubleheader and struck out five times in the nightcap as New York had its five-game winning streak halted. The 2017 American League Rookie of the Year is 2-for-19 with 13 strikeouts in four games this month and has struck out 83 times – second-most in the majors – after fanning 208 times last campaign. Judge is 8-for-20 with two homers versus scheduled Toronto starter Marco Estrada, while Giancarlo Stanton (6-for-17) and Gary Sanchez (4-for-21) each have hit four blasts against the right-hander. The Blue Jays also just finished playing Detroit and ended a five-game skid on Sunday with an 8-4 win as Justin Smoak and Randal Grichuk each recorded a homer and three RBIs.

TV: 7:07 p.m. ET, YES (New York), Sportsnet (Toronto)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Yankees LH CC Sabathia (2-1, 3.73 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RH Marco Estrada (2-6, 5.68)

Sabathia is winless over his last five starts but has suffered just one loss during the stretch. The 37-year-old has pitched five innings or fewer in four consecutive outings and seven of his 10 turns. Sabathia is 17-11 with a 3.51 ERA in 33 career starts against the Blue Jays – an 0.96 ERA in two no-decisions this season – and has struggled with Kendrys Morales (9-for-25, homer) and Smoak (10-for-31, two homers).

Estrada has dropped four straight decisions and is 0-5 over his last seven outings. The 34-year-old, who is 7-3 with a 4.27 ERA in 17 career appearances (16 starts) against New York, has posted a 6.53 ERA during his current four-game slide. Estrada’s last victory came against the Yankees on April 20, when he yielded five runs and seven hits over five innings, and he also settled for a no-decision on March 31 after giving up three runs and four hits in seven frames.

WALK-OFFS

1. The Yankees are 5-3 against the Blue Jays this season.

2. New York 2B Gleyber Torres homered in Monday’s first game to become the first Yankee to reach 10 blasts before his 22nd birthday since Hall-of-Famer Mickey Mantle in 1953.

3. Toronto RHP Roberto Osuna (domestic assault charge) had his administrative leave extended through June 11 by Major League Baseball. The 23-year-old last pitched for the Blue Jays on May 6.

Tigers at Red Sox Preview

Two of their key players are already on the disabled list and the Boston Red Sox hope a third will avoid it when they host the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night for the opener of a three-game series. J.D. Martinez, who leads the major leagues with 50 RBIs and is tied for the league lead with 19 homers, left Sunday’s 9-3 victory at Houston with back spasms, but Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters the slugger is expected to be ready for Tuesday.

Boston’s Mookie Betts, who leads the majors with a .359 batting average, is on the DL with an abdominal strain, while veteran All-Star second baseman Dustin Pedroia (knee) has hardly played this year and went back on the list recently. The Red Sox have still won seven of their last 10 after splitting a four-game set at Houston by winning the last two games and will send veteran Steven Wright to the mound Tuesday against fellow right-hander Artie Lewicki. The Tigers split a doubleheader against the New York Yankees on Monday, taking the nightcap 4-2, and have won nine of the last 13 overall to close within 2 1/2 games of first place in the American League Central. Nicholas Castellanos was held without a hit in four at-bats during the second game but boasts multiple hits in five of the last seven games (13-for-30) for Detroit, while Miguel Cabrera has hit safely in all five games since his return from the DL on Friday and six straight overall.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FS Detroit, NESN (Boston)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers RH Artie Lewicki (0-0, 3.60 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Steven Wright (1-0, 2.25)

Lewicki makes his first start of 2018 after allowing six earned runs in 15 innings across six appearances out of the bullpen this season. The 26-year-old Virginia product has given up one earned run over seven innings in his past three outings and has yet to allow a homer among 18 hits in the majors this year. Lewicki, who faces Boston for the first time in his career, gave up five runs over five innings in his lone major league start last season against Kansas City.

Wright makes his first start of 2018 and the 41st of his career after permitting four hits over nine scoreless innings out of the bullpen in his last four appearances. The 33-year-old knuckleball specialist went 1-3 in five starts during 2017 and was 13-6 one year earlier across 24 starts with a 3.33 ERA. Miguel Cabrera and James McCann have each homered against Wright, who is 0-1 with an 8.04 ERA in three career starts versus the Tigers.

WALK-OFFS

1. Detroit has recorded at least one double in 52 straight games, the third-longest such streak since 1908.

2. Boston LF Andrew Benintendi is 15-for-36 with four homers and 11 RBIs over his last nine contests.

3. The Tigers won four of the seven meetings last year, but the Red Sox won two of the three played in Boston.

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Posted in MLB

MLB InGame Showdowns

Another two games are set for InGame action.  A maximum of 5 swaps are allowed in this contest with play time of 5 consecutive minutes necessary before a starting player can be benched. Each entry will receive 2 Power Multiplier which can be applied to any starting player to receive 2x points for a duration of 15 minutes respectively. Check out the matchups previews below and play.

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Yankees at Orioles Preview

The New York Yankees are riding high with victories in 10 of their last 11 completed series to remain right in the thick of the race for first place in the American League East. The Yankees (35-17) will take their show on the road Thursday as they begin a season-high 11-game trek with the opener a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles (17-39), who won three of four from New York last month.

Aaron Judge collected two hits and a run scored in back-to-back outings for the Yankees, who exacted a small measure of revenge against Houston following the 2017 AL Championship Series by taking five of seven meetings this season. The 26-year-old slugger is 1-for-5 with a homer against Thursday starter Andrew Cashner after collecting five hits – including a blast – to go along with four RBIs and three runs scored against Baltimore from April 5-8. The Orioles’ beleaguered offense continues to be stymied, as the club saw its losing skid extend to five games after being shut out for the second time in three contests following Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to Washington. Manny Machado had a double off Max Scherzer to push his hitting streak to five games heading into a tilt with the Yankees, against whom he went 7-for-19 with two homers, five RBIs and three runs scored in last month’s series

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, YES (New York), MASN (Baltimore)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Yankees RH Sonny Gray (3-4, 5.98 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Andrew Cashner (2-6, 5.07)

Gray answered a sterling performance with a less-than-desirable one, as he followed a one-run effort over eight innings in a 10-1 romp at Kansas City on May 20 by allowing five runs in 3 2/3 frames six days later in an 11-4 setback versus the Los Angeles Angels. The 28-year-old issued at least three free passes for the fifth time in his last seven starts to give him a staggering 28 walks in 10 starts (49 2/3 innings). Gray improved to 3-4 in his career against Baltimore after recording a quality start in an 8-3 win on April 7.

Like Gray, Cashner surrendered five runs in his last outing on Saturday as he was blitzed by Tampa Bay to fall to 1-5 in his last eight starts. The 31-year-old permitted season highs in hits (11) and walks (four) against the Rays while limping through five innings. Cashner pitched significantly better in his last appearance against the Yankees on April 5, improving to 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA in four career appearances after yielding one run on two hits in six frames of a 5-2 win.

WALK-OFFS

1. Baltimore CF Adam Jones is 11-for-26 with a homer and two RBIs in his last six games.

2. New York is just 11-9 versus AL East foes and 24-8 against the rest of the major league teams.

3. Orioles 2B Jonathan Schoop has struck out at least once in each of the last 13 games, including three times on Wednesday

Cubs at Mets Preview

The revolving door that is the New York Mets’ bullpen came through last time out, but it will be tested again during a four-game series against the visiting Chicago Cubs that begins Thursday. The Cubs have averaged nearly six runs over their last 21 contests and have won five of their last seven on the road.

The Mets won for just the third time in 10 games Wednesday, posting a 4-1 victory in Atlanta as four relievers combined for four innings of one-run ball. New York made several roster moves before the contest to reinforce its beleaguered bullpen, which could be taxed again with Seth Lugo stepping out of his relief role to start on short rest in the series opener against the Cubs. After an inconsistent start to the season, Chicago’s offense has come to life in May, though it squandered plenty of opportunities in Wednesday’s 2-1 loss at Pittsburgh. Anthony Rizzo has heated up to contribute largely to the resurgence, hitting .299 with seven homers and 28 RBIs this month after batting .149 with only blast and nine RBIs in March and April combined.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, NBCS Chicago, SNY (New York)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs LH Jose Quintana (5-4, 4.78 ERA) vs. Mets RH Seth Lugo (1-1, 2.48)

Quintana has failed to get through five innings in three of his last five starts, issuing 15 walks over 26 innings in that span. The 29-year-old was pulled after 4 1/3 frames last time out, allowing four runs and five hits in a loss to San Francisco. Quintana is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA in two career starts against New York.

Lugo has been a valuable member of the Mets’ bullpen but will make a spot start after 20 appearances in relief. The 28-year-old worked 17 consecutive scoreless innings before allowing three runs in his last outing Monday at Atlanta. Lugo is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in three career games (one start) against the Cubs.

WALK-OFFS

1. Cubs RF Jason Heyward is 6-for-8 over his last two games, raising his batting average from .222 to .256.

2. Mets CF Brandon Nimmo has recorded eight extra-base hits and six RBIs over his last nine contests.

3. The Cubs on Wednesday placed Carl Edwards Jr. (shoulder) on the 10-day disabled list and recalled fellow RHP Cory Mazzoni from Triple-A Iowa.

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Athletics at Mariners Preview

The Seattle Mariners look to continue their winning ways at the expense of a division rival as they host the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday for the middle contest of their three-game set. Seattle has won three in a row and six of its last seven after posting a 6-3 victory in the series opener.

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Dee Gordon went 5-for-5 with two stolen bases while Nelson Cruz belted a three-run homer for the Mariners, who won two of three against Oakland at home in mid-April. The Athletics registered only four hits en route to their third consecutive defeat, which dropped them to 3-4 on their nine-game road trip. Jed Lowrie hit a solo homer in the setback, giving him at least one RBI in 11 of his last 15 games. Mark Canha has recorded a hit in 11 of his last 12 contests after delivering an RBI single on Tuesday,

TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, NBCS California (Oakland), ROOT Northwest (Seattle)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics LH Brett Anderson (2017: 4-4, 6.34 ERA) vs. Mariners LH James Paxton (1-1, 5.12)

Anderson will be brought up from Triple-A Nashville to make his season debut as he begins the second tour of duty with Oakland. The 30-year-old Texan, who spent his first five years in the majors with the Athletics, split last campaign between Toronto and the Chicago Cubs. Anderson owns an 8-4 record and 1.90 ERA in 15 career starts and one relief appearance against Seattle.

Paxton has not lost since his season debut against Cleveland on March 31, but he has recorded just one victory in five starts during the stretch. The 29-year-old Canadian is coming off a no-decision at Cleveland on Thursday in which he allowed two runs and five hits while registering a career high-tying 10 strikeouts in six innings. Paxton has yet to lose to the Athletics, going 3-0 with a 3.96 ERA in six career starts.

WALK-OFFS

1. Athletics SS Marcus Semien has hit safely in eight of his last nine games.

2. The Mariners placed RHPs Erasmo Ramirez and Dan Altavilla on the 10-day disabled list with shoulder injuries on Tuesday and recalled OF Guillermo Heredia and RHP Casey Lawrence from Triple-A Tacoma.

3. Oakland and Seattle will begin next season with a two-game series in Tokyo, with the Athletics serving as the home team in both contests.

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Posted in MLB

Orioles at Angels Preview

The Los Angeles Angels halted their four-game slide in the series opener and look to post another victory when they host the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday for the middle contest of their three-game set. Los Angeles squandered a two-run lead in the top of the ninth inning of Tuesday’s opener before Justin Upton singled home the decisive run in the bottom of the frame for a 3-2 victory.

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The Angels have won just four of their last 13 games after sprinting out to a 13-3 start and have slipped to third place in the American League West. Albert Pujols was hitless in four at-bats on Tuesday, remaining four hits shy of 3,000 for his career, and is just 2-for-16 over his last four games. Baltimore had slugger Mark Trumbo (quadriceps) in the lineup for the first time this season, and he was hitless in four at-bats with two strikeouts. Orioles star Manny Machado recorded two hits for the fourth time in his last five games to raise his major league-leading average to .366, but his club has dropped seven of its last nine contests.

TV: 10:07 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Baltimore), FS West (Los Angeles)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Dylan Bundy (1-3, 2.97 ERA) vs. Angels LH Andrew Heaney (0-1, 6.91)

Bundy was torched in a loss to Tampa Bay in his last turn as he allowed eight runs – seven earned – and 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings. The 25-year-old had been superb over his first five outings, giving up just five earned runs during the stretch and yielding five hits or fewer on four occasions. Bundy is 1-0 with a 6.48 ERA in two career appearances (one start) against the Angels and has struggled with Mike Trout (3-for-4, homer).

Heaney allowed two runs – one earned – and five hits in five innings of a no-decision against the New York Yankees in his last turn. The 26-year-old struck out nine batters, the second-best total in his career, and has fanned 22 in just 14 1/3 frames this season. Heaney owns a 7.59 ERA in two career starts against Baltimore and has experienced issues with Machado (3-for-6, homer).

WALK-OFFS

1. Orioles C Chance Sisco departed Tuesday’s game in the seventh inning after colliding with 3B Pedro Alvarez and receiving an elbow in the face as both players pursued a foul pop-up.

2. Los Angeles placed Kenyan Middleton (elbow) on the 10-day disabled list and recalled fellow RHP Eduardo Paredes from Triple-A Salt Lake.

3. In addition to activating Trumbo, Baltimore also placed INF Luis Sardinas (back) on the disabled list, optioned OF Joey Rickard to Norfolk and recalled INF Engelb Vielma from the Triple-A affiliate.

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Royals at Red Sox Preview

The grand slam is back in vogue in Boston after a year off, and it has become a big part of why the Red Sox won a club-record 19 games in April. The Red Sox hope to carry that success into May starting Tuesday when they host the second of a three-game set against the Kansas City Royals.

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Boston managed to go all season without hitting a grand slam and settled for an American League-low 168 homers overall in 2017, but the Red Sox tallied six in April alone while rolling to a 19-6 mark during the month. Xander Bogaerts became the first Boston hitter to hit his second this season in Monday’s 10-6 triumph, sending a bases-loaded offering from Jason Hammel over the Green Monster in the third inning to give the Red Sox a lead they would not relinquish. Kansas City raced out to a three-run lead in the opener before Boston got to the plate and scored its most runs in almost two weeks, but it wasn’t nearly enough for the club to build upon its first winning streak of the season. Whit Merrifield finished with a pair of RBI doubles for the Royals, who continue to rank last in the majors in runs.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FS Kansas City, NESN (Boston)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Jakob Junis (3-2, 3.34 ERA) vs. Red Sox LH Chris Sale (2-1, 2.31)

Junis could not keep the ball in the park during Thursday’s loss to the Chicago White Sox, surrendering all six of his runs via the career-high five homers he allowed over 5 2/3 innings. The 25-year-old had been mostly dominant over his first four outings, going 3-1 with a 2.03 ERA despite a rough outing on April 14 when he gave up four runs in 4 2/3 frames. J.D. Martinez (1-for-5) is the only Boston hitter to face Junis, who is 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA in his two road starts this season.

Sale did just enough to get the win Thursday at Toronto, working around a pair of solo shots among the three runs and four hits he permitted over six innings. The six-time All-Star’s ERA is the highest it has been through six turns since 2015, although he has still managed to post a .203 batting average against and 0.97 WHIP. Alcides Escobar is 24-for-70 with a homer in his career versus Sale, who is 10-10 with a 2.99 ERA in 32 appearances (21 starts) against the Royals.

WALK-OFFS

1. The Red Sox’s six grand slams are tied with the 1996 Montreal Expos for the most ever by May 1.

2. Kansas City is 6-for-23 with runners in scoring position over the last two games after beginning the season 38-for-214 in such situations.

3. Boston’s 21 wins are tied for its most through 28 games since 2002.

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Pirates at Nationals Preview

Max Scherzer hasn’t missed a beat since capturing his second straight – and third career – Cy Young Award last season, winning four straight decisions while allowing fewer than three earned runs on six occasions in 2018. Scherzer aims to continue his good fortune on Tuesday as the Washington Nationals play the second contest of their four-game series versus the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.

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Trea Turner highlighted his three-hit performance with an RBI single in Monday’s 3-2 victory for Washington, which has won two straight for the first time in two weeks to even its record after four contests on its 10-game homestand. The 24-year-old Turner is 11-for-21 with three RBIs and four runs scored in his last five games overall and 2-for-6 lifetime versus Tuesday starter Chad Kuhl. Corey Dickerson belted a solo homer in the seventh inning to trim Pittsburgh’s deficit to one, but the National League Central-leading Pirates failed to close the gap and saw their five-game winning streak halted as they began their nine-game road trip. Dickerson is heating up to the tune of going 11-for-31 with four RBIs and six runs scored in his last nine games ahead of his first encounter with Scherzer.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, AT&T SportsNet-Pittsburgh, MASN (Washington)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Pirates RH Chad Kuhl (3-1, 4.55 ERA) vs. Nationals RH Max Scherzer (5-1, 1.62)

Kuhl posted his second straight victory on Wednesday after allowing three runs on six hits while striking out a career high-tying eight in an 8-3 triumph versus Detroit. The 25-year-old excelled in his lone career start at Nationals Park, surrendering just one hit over six shutout innings on July 17, 2016. Kuhl wasn’t as fortune in his most recent encounter against Washington, as he was pummeled for six runs on 10 hits in four innings in an 8-4 setback on May 16, 2017.

Scherzer registered double-digit strikeouts for the fourth time this season after fanning 10 in six innings of a 15-2 romp at San Francisco on Wednesday. The 33-year-old has struck out 57 against just nine walks over 39.0 frames while permitting seven earned runs in that stretch. Scherzer, who has a pair of no-hitters to highlight a 4-2 career mark versus Pittsburgh, has kept Gregory Polanco (1-for-11) and Francisco Cervelli (1-for-12) under wraps.

WALK-OFFS

1. Pittsburgh CF Starling Marte hit safely in nine straight games before being retired as a pinch-hitter in the series opener.

2. Washington RF Bryce Harper has walked a major league-high 38 times in 29 contests, putting him on pace for 212 this season.

3. Pirates 1B Sean Rodriguez is mired in a 1-for-18 slump over his last eight games.

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Posted in MLB