Chris Archer will take the mound tonight for his first career start against the Dodgers, the club to which he's been most closely tied in recent trade rumors.Archer is among the players many speculate could be moved prior to the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline, but for now, he remains
Chris Archer will take the mound tonight for his first career start against the Dodgers, the club to which he's been most closely tied in recent trade rumors.
Archer is among the players many speculate could be moved prior to the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline, but for now, he remains with the Rays, who will open a two-game Interleague set with Los Angeles at 10:10 p.m. ET.
Fans can catch this matchup along with the rest of the day's 16-game slate -- featuring starts by Noah Syndergaard, Chris Tillman, Félix Hernández, Danny Salazar and Kyle Hendricks -- streaming live on MLB.TV.
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Here's what to watch for throughout the day (all times in ET):
Archer makes first career start vs. Dodgers: TB@LAD, 10:10 p.m.
Archer has endured an up-and-down season this year amid frequent trade rumors, posting a 4.60 ERA through 21 starts. The Rays have struggled to find success with their ace on the mound, going just 2-10 in his last 12 starts.
"I definitely would like to stay here because I like the people that we have in our organization," Archer said. "But it's a part of the business. I wouldn't feel wronged, because with signing my deal, I knew this was a possibility and would eventually happen."
For Los Angeles, Bud Norris will toe the rubber, making his sixth appearance (fifth start) with the Dodgers since arriving via a trade with the Braves last month. Norris hasn't fared well since changing teams; he has a 5.64 ERA with the Dodgers.
Stat that matters: Archer has fared much worse on the road (6.37 ERA) than when pitching at Tropicana Field (2.95 ERA). Opponents are hitting .292/.359/.508 against Archer on the road this season.
Cashner goes for Padres as rumors swirl: SD@TOR, 7:07 p.m.
Like Archer, Andrew Cashner will also pitch against a club he could soon join. Cashner will start for the Padres against the Blue Jays, who are said to be among the teams with interest in the right-hander. Padres manager Andy Green said Monday that he's discussed the possibility of a trade with Cashner, as well as with outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. and catcher Derek Norris. Should Cashner be dealt prior to tonight's start, Green said Paul Clemens would start instead.
"It's been talked about for over a week now that something's imminent," Green said. "But obviously, the days keep passing by, and nothing's happened. It's my expectation, and I've told him to expect to pitch here [against the Blue Jays]."
Cashner has boosted his trade value with a strong start to the second half, having limited the Giants and Cardinals to one run apiece while striking out at least eight batters in each outing. Toronto will counter with right-hander Marcus Stroman, who matched his season high with eight innings his last time out, holding the D-backs to one run.
Stat that matters: Stroman is unbeaten (5-0) with a 1.75 ERA in nine career appearances (six starts) against National League opponents.
Cards, Mets play two: STL@NYM, Game 1 at 4:10 p.m., followed by Game 2
After Monday's series opener was postponed due to inclement weather, the Cardinals and Mets -- two clubs in contention for an NL Wild Card spot -- will return to the field this afternoon for a doubleheader. The postponement likely came as a relief for the Cardinals after a flight delay had them arriving at their New York hotel around 8:30 a.m. ET Monday.
Monday's scheduled starters, St. Louis' Carlos Martínez and Syndergaard of the Mets, will start Game 1, while Jaime García and Bartolo Colon will take the mound in the nightcap. Martinez has excelled in six career appearances (three starts) against the Mets, going 1-1 with a 0.57 ERA. He hasn't allowed more than three runs in a start since May 25. Syndergaard, meanwhile, rebounded from a bout of arm fatigue heading into the All-Star break to limit the Cubs to one unearned run over 5 2/3 innings in his second-half debut.
Stat that matters: Syndergaard owns a 2.54 ERA and a .219 opponents' batting average in 14 starts when pitching on six or more days' rest.
King Felix looks to rebound: SEA@PIT, 7:05 p.m.
Hernandez's highly anticipated return didn't go as planned last week. In his first start since missing nearly two months with a right calf injury, Hernandez surrendered five earned runs on 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings against the White Sox. He'll look to improve upon that outing when his Mariners take on the Pirates.
"I think he was the same Felix as usual," Mariners catcher Mike Zunino said after Hernandez's last start. "He was a little up in the zone for him, but he's just getting back."
The Pirates will counter with Francisco Liriano, who's coming off a win over the Brewers in which he struck out a season-high 13 batters.
Stat that matters: Seattle designated hitter Nelson Cruz has reached safely in seven straight games. He's hitting .345/.424/.552 (10-for-29) with two homers and seven RBIs in eight games since the break.
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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com.