Chris Sale will look to build on his impressive first season in the Red Sox's rotation when the ace left-hander takes the mound tonight in Seattle.Sale has already reached 200 strikeouts on the season and he has done so in just 20 starts, joining some elite company. According to the
Chris Sale will look to build on his impressive first season in the Red Sox's rotation when the ace left-hander takes the mound tonight in Seattle.
Sale has already reached 200 strikeouts on the season and he has done so in just 20 starts, joining some elite company. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Sale joined Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers in history to reach 200 strikeouts in 20 starts or less.
In his first 20 starts with his new team, Sale is 12-4 with a 2.48 ERA and is averaging 10 strikeouts per outing. At this point, Sale has become a must-see pitcher when on the mound, and fans can follow tonight's action live on MLB.TV.
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Here's what to watch for throughout the day (all times ET):
Sale starts in Seattle: BOS@SEA, 3:40 p.m.
Most pitchers would be thrilled to finish a season with 200 strikeouts, but Sale has already reached that milestone, and it's only July. He's sure to build on his Major League-leading total tonight at Safeco Field.
"I've not been around a pitcher that's had those kinds of totals," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "The strikeout capability is certainly unique. He's an elite pitcher, and it's not just with one pitch. It's with three different ones he can get strikeouts with. But to see how consistent he's been with strikeout totals is unique and certainly impressive."
Sale is 2-1 with a 1.30 ERA in his past four starts. He's 4-1 with a 2.44 ERA in seven career starts against the Mariners, including three complete games. He'll be opposed on the mound by Seattle's Andrew Moore, who will make his sixth start of the season.
Matinee in the Bronx: CIN@NYY, 1:05 p.m.
The Yankees and Reds wrap up their two-game Interleague series this afternoon at Yankee Stadium. New York won on Tuesday to improve to 7-5 since the All-Star break, while the Reds dropped to 2-10 in the second half. These teams previously split a two-game set at Great American Ball Park in May.
Luis Severino starts for the Yankees, who are holding on to the first American League Wild Card spot. Homer Bailey gets the ball for the Reds in his seventh start since returning from the disabled list at the end of June.
All eyes on Darvish: MIA@TEX, 8:05 p.m.
There are plenty of story lines heading into the rubber match of a three-game Interleague series between the Marlins and Rangers.
Yu Darvish gets the ball for Texas in his final start before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. The Rangers are reportedly leaning toward keeping Darvish and making a run at an AL Wild Card spot, though Darvish is a free agent after the season and his name has consistently appeared in the trade rumor mill. Miami's Jose Urena will oppose Darvish on the mound.
Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre continues his march toward 3,000 hits; he is just seven hits shy of becoming the 31st player to reach the historic milestone.
Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton has been on a tear at the plate, and his 11 homers this month are five shy of the MLB record for July. (Albert Belle hit 16 homers in July 1998, and Mark McGwire matched that total the following year.) Stanton is also two homers shy of setting a Marlins record for any month.
Crosstown Series shifts to South Side: CHC@CWS, 8:10 p.m.
After splitting two games at Wrigley Field to open the week, the Cubs and White Sox shift their intra-city series to White Sox home Guaranteed Rate Field tonight for the first of two games on the South Side.
Jacob Arrieta starts for the Cubs, who are a half-game behind the Brewers for first place in the National League Central. The former Cy Young Award winner is 2-1 with a 2.13 ERA in four starts this month.
The trip back to the South Side will give White Sox fans a chance to see Yoan Moncada, baseball's top prospect. Moncada has played just one game at Guaranteed Rate Field since being promoted. James Shields toes the rubber for the White Sox.
Altuve looks to keep raking: HOU@PHI, 7:05 p.m.
Astros second baseman Jose Altuve brings a career-high 17-game hit streak into tonight's series finale with the Phillies. Houston is seeking a three-game sweep in Philadelphia. Altuve is hitting .513 (39-for-76) during the streak, which is the longest active streak in the AL.
Mike Fiers starts for the Astros, who own the best record in the AL at 67-33 and are 37-12 on the road. Fiers is 6-2 with a 2.36 ERA in his last 10 starts (since May 30).
Aaron Nola gets the start for the Phillies. Nola has also been sharp lately, going 4-1 with a 1.70 ERA in six starts since June 16.
**Austin Laymance** is a reporter for MLB.com.