Two first-place clubs will take the field today with elite talent on the mound when the Nationals and Indians wrap a two-game series.All-Star Stephen Strasburg will start for Washington, while Carlos Carrasco toes the rubber for Cleveland in the first meeting between these hurlers. This Interleague clash -- along with
Two first-place clubs will take the field today with elite talent on the mound when the Nationals and Indians wrap a two-game series.
All-Star Stephen Strasburg will start for Washington, while Carlos Carrasco toes the rubber for Cleveland in the first meeting between these hurlers. This Interleague clash -- along with starts by Madison Bumgarner, Yu Darvish and Gerrit Cole -- will be available for streaming live on MLB.TV.
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Here's what to watch for throughout the day (all times in ET):
Strasburg looks to start new winning streak: [email protected], 12:10 p.m.
Strasburg's 13-game winning streak came to an end last week as he took his first loss of 2016. The right-hander surrendered a season-high six runs to the Dodgers. It was just the second time this year that the Nationals lost a game Strasburg started.
"There have been games where I thought I deserved the loss, and the team picked me up. I couldn't get it done today," Strasburg said after the game. "I'm going to learn from it and hopefully get back out there and give the team a better chance to win."
Strasburg will look to rebound in the finale vs. the Indians today, starting opposite Cleveland's Carrasco, who will present a formidable challenge for the Washington bats. Carrasco has a 1.56 ERA over his last eight starts and shut out the Royals for six innings his last time out.
Stat that matters: The Nationals' Trea Turner made his first start in center field on Tuesday against the Indians. The rookie has flashed tremendous speed through 11 big league games, hitting three triples and stealing five bases without being caught.
Bumgarner takes the hill: [email protected], 3:45 p.m.
Bumgarner has been a model of consistency for the first-place Giants this season, allowing no more than four earned runs all season and two or fewer in 16 of his 21 starts. The San Francisco ace has pitched at least six innings in 18 consecutive outings. He'll try to extend that streak today against the Reds, a club he hasn't always faired well against. Bumgarner is 3-3 with a 4.33 ERA in seven career starts vs. Cincinnati.
The Reds will counter with right-hander Dan Straily, who's had a strong start to the second half, allowing just two runs through 13 innings. The 27-year-old, who was claimed on waivers at the end of Spring Training, has made four straight quality starts.
"He's been one of our best, most consistent starting pitchers," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He's come out of the half throwing the ball really well."
Stat that matters: Bumgarner has been especially tough on left-handed batters, who are missing on 37.2 percent of the swings they take against him (67-of-180). That ranks second out of all qualified starting pitchers.
Darvish takes on division foe: [email protected], 8:05 p.m.
Darvish hasn't missed a beat since returning from a stint on the disabled list on July 16, striking out 20 batters in 10 1/3 innings. Darvish limited his opponent to two earned runs in each of his second-half starts, but suffered losses as the Rangers' bats managed just one run in each. Still, the results were encouraging for Texas as the club tries to defend its lead in the American League West.
"I felt good about what Yu did and what he showed tonight," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "I look for big things from Darvish in his next few starts."
For Oakland, Sean Manaea will take the mound, coming off the best start of his young career. Manaea tossed a season-high eight scoreless innings vs. the Rays, retiring the first 14 batters he faced and totaling seven strikeouts.
Stat that matters: The A's are among the teams that have had the most success against Darvish since he reached the big leagues in 2012. The Texas righty is 1-8 with a 4.94 ERA in 10 career starts vs. Oakland.
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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com.