Two of baseball's brightest stars take center stage when Bryce Harper and the Nationals head west to take on Michael Trout and the Angels, highlighting a full slate of games streaming live on MLB.TV.Harper and Trout have met for a regular-season series just once before, in April 2014 when the
Two of baseball's brightest stars take center stage when Bryce Harper and the Nationals head west to take on Michael Trout and the Angels, highlighting a full slate of games streaming live on MLB.TV.
Harper and Trout have met for a regular-season series just once before, in April 2014 when the Angels took two of three from the Nationals in Washington.
The two outfielders have been named to a combined 11 All-Star teams in 12 possible seasons. Trout has won two Most Valuable Player Awards (and finished second in the voting three more times), while Harper has one (and is working on winning another). Both were Rookie of the Year Award winners in their respective leagues in 2012.
A thumb injury kept Trout out of the lineup for more than a month and a half, but it's not inconceivable he make a run at another MVP Award with a big second half after batting .337 with 16 home runs and a 1.203 OPS before the missed time. Harper has avoided any serious ailments to date and is hitting a stellar .329 with 23 long balls and a 1.048 OPS entering Tuesday.
It is not every day we get to see a pair of such immense talent on the field at the same time, but that's exactly what we'll get on Tuesday night, so be sure to tune in. First pitch is at 10:07 p.m. ET.
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Here's what to watch for throughout the day (all times in ET):
Stars align: WSH@LAA, 10:07 p.m.
Harper and Trout will, of course, be the focus of this Interleague clash, but there's another intriguing storyline setting up to take place as right-hander Edwin Jackson is scheduled to make his first start in a Nationals uniform since 2012.
Jackson, who has appeared in a game for 12 Major League clubs, returned to Washington on a Minor League deal and has gone 2-0 with an 0.44 ERA in five games (four starts) for Triple-A Syracuse.
Now Jackson will get another shot in the nation's capital, where he went 10-11 with a 4.03 ERA in 31 starts in '12. Jesse Chavez (5-10, 4.99 ERA) gets the ball for the Angels.
Kershaw on extended rest: LAD@CWS, 8:10 p.m.
Clayton Kershaw has not taken the mound in over a week, making his final start of the first half the Sunday before the All-Star break, which prevented him from being available to pitch in the Midsummer Classic.
The best left-handed pitcher in the game was simply dominant in the first half, going 14-2 with a 2.18 ERA in 19 starts while racking up 159 strikeouts in 132 1/3 innings and earning his seventh straight All-Star selection.
When pitching on six days of rest or more over the course of his career, Kershaw is 14-7 with a 1.84 ERA in 28 starts. You'll want to have your popcorn ready for the ace's first outing of the second half against the White Sox, who send righty Miguel Gonzalez (4-8, 5.15 ERA) to the hill.
Colon's Twins debut: NYY@MIN, 8:10 p.m.
Bartolo Colon, signed to a Minor League deal by Minnesota on July 7, is scheduled to make his Twins debut versus the Yankees. Colon struggled to a 2-8 record and 8.14 ERA in 13 starts with the Braves earlier this season, but he seeks a turnaround in Minnesota.
The 44-year-old Colon will square off against 25-year-old Luis Cessa, who returns to the Yankees' rotation for the first time since June 29. The right-hander is still searching for his first win, having gone 0-3 with a 4.18 ERA in six games (three starts) this season.
Division showdown: SEA@HOU, 8:10 p.m.
The Astros and Mariners go head-to-head in the second game of the series featuring an exciting American League West matchup. Houston's Brad Peacock rides a four-game winning streak into his first start of the second half. Seattle's Sam Gaviglio counters. Gaviglio went 3-2 with a 3.38 ERA entering July before dropping back-to-back outings before the break.
Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter at @OMacklinMLB.