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What to watch for in today's games

Wright expected to return for Mets; O's, Royals stage ALCS rematch

Storylines abound in Monday's series opener between the Orioles and Royals in Kansas City. Not only will it mark the first time the clubs have squared-off since last year's American League Championship Series, which the Royals won 4-0, it will also be the first start Kris Medlen makes since his second Tommy John surgery.

The right-hander was signed in the offseason with the hopes that he could move into the starting rotation for the second half of the season. In seven appearances this season, Medlen has a 2.51 ERA. He threw three shutout inning on Thursday against the Red Sox and will be on a 75-pitch maximum.

"We want to find out what we have with Kris Medlen," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We know what we have with Chris Young and we know what we have with Jeremy Guthrie. While there's time left, we want to find out what we have with Medlen."

Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez gets the nod for the O's. Jimenez struggled with his command Wednesday against the Mets, lasting five innings and allowing three runs on five hits for the no-decision. He had six strikeouts and four walks. In 11 starts against the Royals, Jimenez is 4-4 with a 4.21 ERA.

Here's a look at a few more intriguing games Monday.

Wright's return: NYM @ PHI, 7:05 p.m. 
Mets third baseman David Wright is expected to return to the team's lineup for the first time since mid-April for the series opener against the Phillies at Citizen's Bank Park.

Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom will also look to continue his dominance. He hasn't lost since July 2 and has gone 4-0 with a 1.29 ERA over his last seven starts. In deGrom's previous start Tuesday against the Orioles, he picked up his 12th win of the season, allowing one run on five hits in 7 2/3 innings.

Phillies left-hander Adam Morgan has the tough task of going against deGrom. Morgan is coming off one of the best starts of his young career. He allowed two runs on five hits in seven innings Wednesday against the Blue Jays for his fourth win of the season.

Showdown between aces: CLE @ CHC, 2:05 p.m. ET 
While Indians right-hander Corey Kluber and Cubs left-hander Jon Lester didn't look like aces in their last starts, both pitchers will try to rebound in a matinee at Wrigley Field.

The Red Sox lit up Kluber, who was charged with six runs on six hits in six innings Wednesday for the loss. Kluber also gave up a career-high four home runs after logging back-to-back complete games.

Lester dealt with roaring winds at Wrigley in Wednesday's loss to the Tigers, during which he was tagged for seven runs on seven hits in a season-worst 2 2/3 innings, surrendering three home runs. The left-hander has had plenty of success against Cleveland in his career, going 7-1 with a 3.23 ERA in 14 games.

Eovaldi faces hometown team: HOU @ NYY, 7:05 p.m. 
A native of Houston, Yankees right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will take on his hometown team at Yankee Stadium and face right-hander Scott Feldman. Eovaldi has faced Houston twice in his career, going 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA.

The Yankees fireballer recorded his 13th win of the season Wednesday against the Twins, allowing three runs on four hits in seven innings, marking his eighth straight winning decision. His last loss came on June 16 against the Marlins.

Meanwhile, Feldman took a no-decision in his last start Tuesday against the Rays. He worked around nine hits to allow just two runs in seven innings. He's been one of Houston's most reliable starters as of late, allowing two earned runs or fewer in four of his last five starts.

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for