Baseball is back with a full schedule of Major League games as the second-half gets underway today.Stephen Strasburg starts for the first-place Nationals as he looks to become only the second starting pitcher in the last 30 years to open a season 13-0. Strasburg isn't the only ace on the
Baseball is back with a full schedule of Major League games as the second-half gets underway today.
Stephen Strasburg starts for the first-place Nationals as he looks to become only the second starting pitcher in the last 30 years to open a season 13-0. Strasburg isn't the only ace on the mound today, with Madison Bumgarner set to start for the Giants, owners of the best record in baseball at 57-33, while the Red Sox and Yankees renew their rivalry.
And the best place to catch all the action is on MLB.TV.
MLB.TV Premium has returned with the same features as last year, and is only $79.99 for the rest of the season. This package has the best value and provides access to more than 400 devices and a free subscription to the MLB.com At Bat Premium app (a $19.99 value). It offers the best picture quality ever -- a new 60 frames per second -- for supported devices. Monthly signups for MLB.TV Premium are now underway as well for $24.99.
The new MLB.TV Single Team package is also available as a $59.99 yearly subscription. You can watch a single team's live out-of-market games in full HD.
Here's what to watch for today in the Majors (all times ET):
Strasburg looks to stay unbeaten: PIT@WSH, 7:15 p.m.
Strasburg (12-0, 2.62 ERA) is back on the mound after he elected to sit out the All-Star Game in part to ensure he was prepared for a strong second half. Strasburg has the best record to open a season for a National League starter since Rube Marquard set the MLB record in 1912 (19-0). The only pitcher in the last three decades to open a season 13-0 is teammate Max Scherzer, who did it for the Tigers in 2013.
Left-hander Francisco Liriano (5-8, 5.15) gets the start for the surging Pirates, who won 12 of their last 16 games entering the break.
Stat that matters: The Nationals are 15-1 this year when Strasburg starts.
MadBum goes for Giants: SF@SD, 10:40 p.m.
The Giants had the best record in the first half for the second time since the franchise moved west in 1958, and starting pitching has been a big reason for their success. Bumgarner (10-4, 1.94) has been his usual dominant self, and his career second-half record is 40-25 with a 2.69 ERA. The lefty worked a complete game in his last outing against the Padres, striking out 11 and allowing one run on May 17 at Petco Park.
The Padres will counter with Andrew Cashner (3-7, 5.40), who becomes the club's No. 1 starter now that Drew Pomeranz has been dealt to Boston. Cashner was hit hard in his last start before the break, allowing eight earned runs and four homers to the Dodgers in 2 2/3 innings.
Stat that matters: The Giants are 9-0 against the Padres this season and have won six consecutive series against NL West clubs.
Rivalry renewed: BOS@NYY, 7:05 p.m.
The Yankees open an important 10-game homestand with three games against the division rival Red Sox, who currently sit atop the AL Wild Card standings. The Yankees are 5 1/2 games back of Boston.
The Red Sox will start knuckleballer Steven Wright (10-5, 2.68), who was an All-Star for the first time in his career. The Yankees will counter with Michael Pineda (3-8, 5.38). In nine starts against the Red Sox in his career, Pineda is 4-4 with a 4.50 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 48 innings. Carlos Beltrán is expected to return to the Yankees outfield after serving as the designated hitter in four straight games because of a right hamstring issue.
Stat that matters: Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts is 5-for-17 (.294) lifetime against Pineda with two doubles, two homers and four RBIs.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers get the Mosaic View -- split screen or quad, available on PC or Mac only. That always comes in handy, especially when scoreboard-watching looms. MLB.TV Premium and MLB.TV Single Team subscribers both enjoy HD and both will get real-time highlights and player stats automatically loaded moments after they occur (only for the game you are watching with MLB.TV Single Team, and for all games with MLB.TV Premium).
**Austin Laymance** is a reporter for MLB.com.