Major League Baseball's slate of 15 games today will feature some of the best arms in baseball going toe-to-toe. That'll be no more true than in Los Angeles, where $421.5 million worth of aces will battle it out for the first time.Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke were teammates for three
Major League Baseball's slate of 15 games today will feature some of the best arms in baseball going toe-to-toe. That'll be no more true than in Los Angeles, where $421.5 million worth of aces will battle it out for the first time.
Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke were teammates for three years on the Dodgers. There they formed one of the most dominant 1-2 combos in modern pitching history, posting a combined 2.09 ERA over 1,269 2/3 innings as teammates.
Tonight they will pitch against each another for the first time, with Greinke now the ace of the upstart D-backs. First pitch is set for 10:10 pm ET at Dodger Stadium. Arizona has an early lead in the National League West.
"I want to face him," Greinke said, "just to see how nasty he is. He's so competitive that if I started taking it lightly, it would be a bad game plan. He has a great mindset. A great work ethic. He does everything as perfect as you'd want a pitcher to do."
Kershaw said he will take a different approach.
"I'll just try and block it out," the Dodgers' ace said. "It's not fun to pitch to people you know. I'm not good at separating that. I'm just going to have to focus and really think about it like he's another guy. Then the next day I can talk to him."
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Here's what else to watch for throughout the day (all times ET):
Pennant place: STL @ NYY, 7:05 p.m. Probably the loftiest possible matchup, in terms of team pedigree, that baseball has to offer. The Yankees and Cardinals have 59 pennants and 38 World Series championships between them in their storied histories, but haven't seen much of each other since St. Louis topped New York in the 1964 World Series.
That makes the Cardinals' trip to New York this week all the more special. It'll be just the second time these two teams have played since 2005, and the Cardinals' first appearance at the new Yankee Stadium. Michael Wacha (1-0, 1.50) pitches against Masahiro Tanaka (0-1, 11.74).
In Sun We Trust: SD @ ATL, 7:35 p.m. Tune in as the Braves open play in their brand new venue, SunTrust Park, against the Padres. The 41,149-seat stadium, located in Cumberland, Ga., replaces Turner Field as the Braves' new home. Atlanta hitters are already salivating over the park's dimensions; the wall in right center, though higher than Turner Field's, rests significantly closer to home plate, at 375 feet.
Julio Teheran (0-0, 0.00) hasn't allowed an earned run this season, but he's still searching for his first win. He'll be opposed by Jhoulys Chacin (1-1, 8.10).
Divisional dogfight: TB @ BOS, 7:10 pm. Tell Chris Archer the American League East is down this year. Over his first three starts he's had to oppose Tanaka, Aaron Sanchez, and now Rick Porcello. Meanwhile, Porcello, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, had to face Cole and now matches up with Archer. The point is, when these guys get wins, they earn them.
Porcello (1-0, 4.38) and Archer (1-0, 2.45) squared off twice last season. The Red Sox won both games. This could turn into another duel.
Speaking of duels ...
The main event:ARI @ LAD, 10:10 pm. The Greinke-Kershaw showdown is bound to be appointment viewing. Though it may come as little surprise to learn that Kershaw, as he usually does, has the upper hand. Kershaw is 12-8 with a 2.75 ERA in 24 career starts against the Snakes, while Greinke went 1-2 with a 7.13 ERA last season against his former club.
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.