A pair of first-place American League clubs clash in Cleveland as the Red Sox and Indians open up a four-game set at Progressive Field. It's a rematch of last year's American League Division Series when Cleveland swept Boston in three games, and the matchup highlights an abbreviated slate of nine
A pair of first-place American League clubs clash in Cleveland as the Red Sox and Indians open up a four-game set at Progressive Field. It's a rematch of last year's American League Division Series when Cleveland swept Boston in three games, and the matchup highlights an abbreviated slate of nine games streaming live on MLB.TV.
Boston and Cleveland sit atop their respective division entering play today, but other contending clubs are not far behind. The Sox are trying to stave off the Yankees in the AL East, while the Tribe have the Twins and Royals looking to push their way into the top spot in the AL Central.
Boston sends left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound for the series opener. Rodriguez has yet to record a decision in August, but he's pitched well, allowing six earned runs in 17 1/3 innings (3.12 ERA) while striking out 18 batters across three starts.
Cleveland counters with righty Mike Clevinger, who has made just one start in August compared to two appearances out of the bullpen. Clevinger's last start came on Aug. 12, when he twirled seven scoreless innings versus the Rays while striking out nine to earn a win at Tropicana Field.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
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Here's what else to watch for throughout the day (all times ET):
Cole world: LAD@PIT, 7:05 p.m.
Following an uncharacteristic first 2 1/2 months of the season, the Pirates' Gerrit Cole is looking like his former self. Cole is 7-2 with a 3.26 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 77 1/3 innings over 12 starts since allowing seven earned runs in back-to-back starts to begin June.
Cole, who completed at least six innings in 11 of those 12 outings, now tries to slow down the Dodgers as they attempt to make a run at the record for most wins of any team during the regular season.
Left-hander Alex Wood takes the mound opposite Cole as he looks to build on a career year in which he's gone 14-1 with a 2.30 ERA. Unsurprisingly, he's been fantastic in August, going 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA in three starts.
Thrill of the chase: TEX@LAA, 10:07 p.m.
Division rivals in the thick of the Wild Card race square off when the Rangers and Angels meet at Angel Stadium for the opening contest of a four-game set.
Texas left-hander Cole Hamels gets the ball coming off three consecutive victories. The veteran hurler allowed just four earned runs in 22 innings (1.64 ERA) over that span, including a complete game.
Lefty Tyler Skaggs toes the rubber for Los Angeles seeking his second win of the year. Skaggs, who spent time on the 60-day DL for an oblique strain, has been solid in August, giving up five earned runs in 15 1/3 innings (2.93 ERA) with 14 strikeouts.
Double dip: MIN@CWS, 5:10 p.m., TBD
The Twins and White Sox will play a doubleheader Monday evening to make up for a rained-out contest back on May 10. Carlos Rodon (1-4, 4.00 ERA) is scheduled to take the hill in Game 1 for Chicago. The White Sox will call up right-hander Carson Fulmer from Triple-A to start the nightcap for his big league debut..
Right-handers Dillon Gee and Tim Melville are slated to start for the Twins, though the order had not been specified.
The Twins have a chance to gain ground in the AL Wild Card race, and potentially catch the Indians. Manager Rick Renteria has the White Sox, who play 11 of their next 14 games against the Twins and Rays, ready to play the role of spoiler.
"If you need to use that as a motivation, you use it as a motivation," Renteria said. "Our motivation should always be simply we go out there to play a really good, clean baseball game and give ourselves a chance to come out on top. The results in and of themselves are results."
Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @OMacklinMLB.