What to watch for in today's games
Monday marks the last day of August, which means the calendars are soon turning to fall. September callups are on the horizon, the trade waiver market closes at midnight and teams can finally start turning their full attention to the postseason race and the hunt for a World Series title.
Here are five things to watch for in Monday's slate of games:
• California clash: SF @ LAD, 10:10 p.m. ET
Summer may be winding down, but the heat is on in the National League West, where the first-place Dodgers and second-place Giants will clash beginning Monday night. The first priority for the Dodgers is to bounce back from being no-hit by Jake Arrieta and the Cubs on Sunday night while holding onto their division lead. On the other hand, the first priority for the Giants is whittling Los Angeles' 3 1/2-game division lead.
It would help the Giants if Jake Peavy maintains his stellar pace -- he's 14-3 with a 2.30 ERA in 27 starts lifetime against the Dodgers, including a 7-1 mark and a 2.83 ERA in 14 games in L.A. Brett Anderson, meanwhile, has not made it out of the fifth inning in two of his four starts against the Giants this year.
• Perfect Price: CLE @ TOR, 7:07 p.m. ET
The trade for David Price has amounted to everything the Blue Jays could have hoped for, as the southpaw has turned in a perfect 4-0 record and 1.98 ERA in a Toronto uniform. Monday, he'll be up against the Indians and Danny Salazar, who was scratched from his last start because of a virus.
• NL rivals meet: WAS @ STL, 8:15 p.m.
This game at Busch Stadium will feature one team (the Cardinals) bound for the playoffs and another (the Nationals) still trying to salvage their season and end up there. The two sides have had their share of heated battles, and Gio Gonzalez and John Lackey will face off in the latest edition. Gonzalez has a 0.93 ERA in four starts against St. Louis.
• AL East showdown: NYY @ BOS, 7:10 p.m.
It wouldn't be a late-season showdown between the Red Sox and Yankees without it carrying serious implications for at least one club. The Yankees are in the thick of the AL East race, with Ivan Nova taking the hill against Boston's Eduardo Rodriguez. Nova gave up seven runs and seven hits over four innings in his last start, while Rodriguez is coming off seven days of rest.
• Nuno for Felix: SEA @ HOU, 8:10 p.m.
Mariners left-hander Vidal Nuno's fifth start of the season (all this month) will come when he fills in for Felix Hernandez, who is having his spot in the rotation skipped. On the other side, it's Dallas Keuchel looking to help push the Astros to the playoffs and continue his strong August. He is 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA this month.