There's plenty left on the line as teams jockey for playoff position with two weeks left in the regular season, and you can stream every game on MLB.TV.Today has a full slate of games, headlined by the Orioles looking to stay alive in the American League Wild Card chase against
There's plenty left on the line as teams jockey for playoff position with two weeks left in the regular season, and you can stream every game on MLB.TV.
Today has a full slate of games, headlined by the Orioles looking to stay alive in the American League Wild Card chase against AL Cy Young Award candidate Chris Sale. The Twins are also wrapping up their series against the Yankees in a potential preview of the AL Wild Card Game, while Milwaukee's Aaron Wilkerson makes his first Major League start and two great lefties face off at Tropicana Field.
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Here's what to watch for throughout the day (all times in ET):
Chris Sale alert: BOS@BAL, 7:05 p.m.
Sale starting is reason enough to watch any game, but every game for the Orioles is crucial right now, as they currently sit 5 1/2 games out of the second AL Wild Card spot.
Sale has as good a case as any American League pitcher for the AL Cy Young Award this season. His 35.9 percent strikeout rate leads Major League pitchers despite him being the only pitcher to reach 200 innings, while his .189 xBA is tops in the AL. However, the lefty has been beatable as of late, with a 4.64 ERA in his last six starts.
The Orioles will match up against Sale with their own southpaw in Wade Miley. Miley has held the Red Sox in check over two starts, with two runs allowed over 12 innings against the O's division rival.
Aaron Wilkerson's first start: MIL@PIT, 7:05 p.m.
Wilkerson is one of the better stories in baseball, as he has finally made it from Independent Ball to the Major Leagues. After one clean relief appearance with a pair of strikeouts, the 28-year-old will get his first career start today.
The Pirates will match Wilkerson with their own rookie: Steven Brault. The left-hander has been lights out for Triple-A Indianapolis this season with a 1.94 ERA over 120 1/3 innings, and he's held opponents to three runs over 11 innings in two Major League starts this season.
Battle of the lefties: CHC@TB, 7:05 p.m.
Today's matchup between the division-leading Cubs and the Rays brings one of the best left-handers of the past decade against perhaps one of the best left-handers of the next decade.
Jonathan Lester hasn't quite been his regular self this year, but he's having his best strikeout year in seven seasons with 9.20 strikeouts per nine innings. There should be plenty more whiffs today, as the Rays' 25.4 percent strikeout is second-worst in baseball.
The Rays will call on former top prospect Blake Snell, who has been on a hot streak as of late. He's held opponents to two or fewer runs in five of his last seven starts, which has lowered his ERA from 4.78 to 4.25.
Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. Follow him on Twitter at @benweinrib.