All 30 teams are in action today as a few key series take place ahead of Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, and fans can catch all the action on MLB.TV.The Rangers continue their series with the Orioles in what could determine whether both clubs are sellers at the Trade Deadline. In
All 30 teams are in action today as a few key series take place ahead of Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, and fans can catch all the action on MLB.TV.
The Rangers continue their series with the Orioles in what could determine whether both clubs are sellers at the Trade Deadline. In Milwaukee, the Cubs and Brewers duel in a significant race in the National League Central. In Boston, the first-place Red Sox continue their series against the red-hot Royals, who have catapulted themselves into contention this month. And in Washington, a potential postseason preview continues between the Rockies and Nationals.
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Here's what to watch for today (all times ET):
Playing catch-up: CHC@MIL, 7:10 p.m.
The Cubs entered the weekend 11-2 since the All-Star break and back atop the division standings. Right behind them are the Brewers, who are in the midst of a critical stretch that could determine if they make the playoffs. After this weekend, Milwaukee faces the Cardinals, Rays and Twins.
Chicago right-hander Kyle Hendricks will make his second start since returning from the disabled list after missing seven weeks with soreness in his pitching hand. The reigning ERA champion worked just 4 1/3 innings on Monday against the White Sox, and he admittedly said a return to a five-day routine will help moving forward.
Hendricks will square off against Junior Guerra, who hasn't quite been himself since suffering a calf injury on Opening Day. Since his return on May 26, he's had the 11th-highest barreled ball rate (9.2 percent), according to Statcast™.
Postseason preview? COL@WSH, 7:05 p.m.
The Rockies and Nationals will remain with their rotations on turn after Friday's game was rained out. That leaves Colorado right-hander German Marquez against Washington righty Tanner Roark on Saturday.
Marquez, one of four rookie Rockies starters, is riding a string of three quality starts, during which he's struck out 23 and walked just four. He generated a career-best 17 swinging strikes his last time out against the Pirates.
Roark appears to have turned a corner since the All-Star break after a rough first half. His last outing against Arizona was easily his best of the year. He threw seven innings and allowed just two runs with 11 strikeouts.
Make-or-break weekend? BAL@TEX, 8:05 p.m.
Entering the weekend in fourth place in the American League East and 5 1/2 games out of a postseason spot, the Orioles have been called sellers ahead of Monday's deadline. Zach Britton and Brad Brach have both been linked to trade rumors, and with an uphill climb -- particularly in the AL's toughest division -- Baltimore's roster could look different after this series.
They find themselves in a very similar spot to the Rangers, who entered the weekend 4 1/2 games out of the playoffs, and reportedly are now open for business on ace Yu Darvish.
On Saturday, Baltimore will turn to right-hander Kevin Gausman, who has been outstanding his last two starts, including a win over the Rangers. In 12 innings, he allowed just nine hits and struck out 16. For Texas, Austin Bibens-Dirkx will make his first appearance since July 18, also against the Orioles, and his first start since June 30.
Red-hot Royals continue at Fenway: KC@BOS, 7:10 p.m.
In pursuit of another potential postseason run, the Royals acquired Trevor Cahill from the Padres on Monday to help bolster their rotation. The veteran right-hander will make his first start for Kansas City at Fenway Park on Saturday night opposite Eduardo Rodriguez. In 11 starts for San Diego, Cahill had a 3.69 ERA. He's been particularly effective with runners on base, with a .184 expected batting average against in such situations, third-best in MLB, per Statcast™.
Rodriguez has struggled some since returning from the DL after missing a month and a half with a right knee injury, failing to go more than 5 1/3 innings in each of his two starts back. In three career starts against the Royals, the lefty is 1-1 with a 4.08 ERA.
Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.