What to watch for in today's games
Sonny Gray, the American League's ERA leader (1.95), will take the mound for the A's on Thursday looking for his ninth win in one of the day's several compelling matchups. Here are a few of the games worth watching.
Latest test for Gray: OAK @ TEX, 2:05 p.m. ET
Gray, who allowed a season-high five earned runs his last time out, hasn't seen his ERA rise above 2.11 after any start this season. The former Vanderbilt University star has completed at least seven innings in eight of his first 15 starts, but the A's are only 8-7 when he pitches. Gray has walked more batters than he's struck out in just one outing this year.
Colby Lewis, meanwhile, had more losses (14) than any other AL pitcher last year. Lewis beat the A's in his season debut and threw six scoreless innings in a no-decision against Oakland in May.
Learning curve: NYM @ MIL, 2:10 p.m. ET
On Thursday, Brewers rookie Taylor Jungmann will get a close look at the reigning National League Rookie of the Year, Mets righty Jacob deGrom. Jungmann, the 12th overall pick in the 2011 Draft, has won two of his first three starts in the Majors after beginning his season with a 2-3 record and a 6.37 ERA for Triple-A Colorado Springs.
The 27-year-old deGrom has posted a 3.76 ERA in six starts away from Citi Field, compared to a 1.33 mark in eight home starts. He has walked just 18 batters in his first 14 starts and has struck out 93 in that span.
The Battle of De La Rosa: ARI @ COL, 3:10 p.m. ET
There have been seven players in Major League history with the De La Rosa surname, and two of them will be matched against each other at Coors Field on Thursday. Rubby De La Rosa will get the ball for Arizona, and Colorado will counter with veteran southpaw Jorge De La Rosa.
Rubby, a native of the Dominican Republic, has gone 14-18 with a 4.55 ERA in 58 appearances over the last two-plus seasons. The native is 6-3 with a 4.96 mark in his 14 starts this season, and he's allowed 14 home runs in 89 innings. Jorge De La Rosa, who hails from Monterrey, Mexico, has won 14 games or more in each of the last two seasons.
Pacific Coast clash: SD @ SF, 3:45 p.m. ET
The Giants are trying to catch the National League West-leading Dodgers, while the Padres are trying to play themselves back to contention. Thursday's Padres starter, James Shields, is 2-0 with an 0.56 ERA in two career starts against the Giants. Shields won each of his first seven decisions this year before taking a loss his last time out.
The Giants' Chris Heston, who authored one of the young season's highlights with a no-hitter on June 9, is 7-5 with a 3.83 ERA, having struck out 73 in 84 2/3 innings.