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Key things to watch for in today's games

Hurlers on rumor mill to see action in potential final starts for clubs
MLB.com

The dominoes have begun to fall, and there's less than a week remaining until the league's non-waiver Trade Deadline. Three prominent pitchers -- Cole Hamels, Johnny Cueto and Yovani Gallardo -- have all heard their share of trade buzz this season, and they'll all have a chance to start today.

Hamels and Cueto have never been traded, but Gallardo knows about switching jerseys. The right-hander signed as an amateur with the Brewers and spent eight big league seasons in Milwaukee before being traded to Texas in January, and now it looks like he could be on the move again.

The dominoes have begun to fall, and there's less than a week remaining until the league's non-waiver Trade Deadline. Three prominent pitchers -- Cole Hamels, Johnny Cueto and Yovani Gallardo -- have all heard their share of trade buzz this season, and they'll all have a chance to start today.

Hamels and Cueto have never been traded, but Gallardo knows about switching jerseys. The right-hander signed as an amateur with the Brewers and spent eight big league seasons in Milwaukee before being traded to Texas in January, and now it looks like he could be on the move again.

Gallardo, against that backdrop, will make his first career start against the Los Angeles Angels today, and he'll be looking to end a skid that has seen him post a 5.28 ERA in his last three outings. Gallardo has managed a 3-5 record and a 3.36 ERA in 11 road starts this season.

Video: TEX@HOU: Gallardo strikes out Castro to begin frame

Here are a few other matchups and games to look forward to today.

Digging for Cole, PHI @ CHC, 4:05 p.m. ET
One way or another, the rumors are about to end for Hamels. The lefty, who has pitched his entire career for the Phillies, is one of the hottest trade targets available on the market. Hamels has a 5-7 record and a 3.91 ERA, but he's given up 14 earned runs combined in his last two starts.

Hamels, a three-time National League All-Star, has gone 113-90 with a 3.31 ERA in 10 years in Philadelphia, and he earned distinction as the Most Valuable Player in the 2008 World Series. The 31-year-old was taken 21st overall in the 2002 Draft, and he's been a rotation mainstay for the Phillies since 2006.

The Cubs, one of the rumored destinations for Hamels, are fighting to stay in position for one of the NL's Wild Card slots, and Jake Arrieta will start today's game. Arrieta has a 2.52 ERA in his first 19 starts, and he's 4-0 with a 1.17 mark in four July outings. Last year, Arrieta finished ninth in the NL Cy Young Award balloting.

Full Sale ahead, CWS @ CLE, 7:10 p.m. ET
Chris Sale is quietly having a dominant season. Sale, the ace of the White Sox, leads all American League pitchers with 163 strikeouts, and he ranks ninth with a 2.86 ERA. The left-hander will try to keep his high-octane results coming today with a matchup against the division-rival Indians.

Video: CWS@CHC: Sale sparkles over seven-plus frames

Sale, an AL All-Star in each of the last four years, was named the league's Pitcher of the Month for June after he logged a 1.83 ERA in six starts. He hasn't been quite that dominant this month, notching a 2-1 record and a 2.82 ERA in three July starts. Sale has allowed 12 homers this season and four in July.

The Indians, who are fighting to make it back to .500, will hand the ball to Carlos Carrasco. Carrasco is 10-7 with a 3.94 ERA this season, but he's proven to be better on the road than at home. Carrasco has posted a 3.10 ERA in nine road starts and a 4.79 mark in 10 starts at home.

Red alert, CIN @ COL, 8:10 p.m. ET
Much like Hamels, Cueto has had to hear his name bandied about all year. Cueto was signed out of the Dominican Republic by Cincinnati as an 18-year-old in 2004, and he's managed a 91-63 record with a 3.23 career ERA. Last year, he won a career-high 20 games and was an NL All-Star.

Video: CIN@WSH: Cueto dominates Nats in Final Vote push 

Cueto, 29 years old, is having another stellar season, and his current ERA (2.79) would give him a mark under 3.00 for the fifth straight year. Cueto, in fact, is 6-6 this year and he hasn't logged a losing record since going 9-14 as a 22-year-old rookie in 2008. The Reds are 10-8 in Cueto's 18 starts.

The Rockies will go with Chris Rusin, who was acquired from the Cubs on a waiver claim last September. Rusin has pitched well in his first season with Colorado, posting a 3-3 record and a 3.88 ERA in 11 games. Prior to his promotion, Rusin was 3-2 with a 6.29 ERA for Triple-A Albuquerque.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.