Several marquee pitching matchups are on tap around MLB on Saturday, featuring the reigning American League Rookie of the Year and a pair of one-time Cy Young Award winners.There's also a big series with National League postseason implications underway in Colorado, one of several great games streaming live on MLB.TV
Several marquee pitching matchups are on tap around MLB on Saturday, featuring the reigning American League Rookie of the Year and a pair of one-time Cy Young Award winners.
There's also a big series with National League postseason implications underway in Colorado, one of several great games streaming live on MLB.TV as playoff races around baseball heat up.
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Here's what to watch for throughout the day (all times ET):
Fenway fireworks in the forecast: NYY@BOS, 7:10 p.m.
The stage is set for a pitching showcase at Fenway Park on Saturday night. Chris Sale, one of the most dominant hurlers in the game, and Carsten Sabathia, the 2007 Cy Young Award Winner who has been masterful against the Red Sox in 2017, take the hill in Boston.
Sale leads MLB with 241 strikeouts, and has only issued 31 walks in 168 1/3 innings. He also boasts an AL-best 2.51 ERA. In three starts against the Yankees this season, he has posted a 1.19 ERA (three earned runs in 22 2/3 innings), with 35 strikeouts to four walks. After being hit hard by the Indians for seven runs in five innings on Aug. 1, Sale has yielded just one run over his last two starts (15 innings).
Sabathia has given up four runs in each of his last three starts, but has been at his best against the Red Sox this season: In two starts against Boston, he has tossed 14 scoreless innings, including six scoreless frames at Fenway Park on July 16.
The hitter to watch in this game, and one of the hottest young hitters in baseball, is Red Sox rookie third baseman Rafael Devers. Devers connected for his seventh home run of the season against New York on Friday, in his 19th career game. He's slashing .356/.420/.699.
Red-hot Dodgers look to keep engine humming in Motor City: LAD@DET, 4:05 p.m.
Since coming off the disabled list last month, Hyun-Jin Ryu has posted a 1.88 ERA (five earned runs in 24 innings over four starts) with 25 strikeouts to six walks, helping Los Angeles continue its incredible run toward the postseason. He'll take the mound on Saturday in Detroit, looking to put the Dodgers in position to win their 52nd game in their last 61.
Ryu's counterpart has already begun building a strong resume of his own after winning the 2016 AL Rookie of the Year Award. Michael Fulmer missed two weeks due to an elbow injury, and in his first start off the disabled list last Monday, the 24-year-old right-hander surrendered five runs on seven hits over five innings. He'll be making his first career start against the Dodgers, who are averaging 6.2 runs per game during a five-game win streak.
Resurgent veteran vs. potential star: ARI@MIN, 7:10 p.m.
Zack Greinke, the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner, continues his resurgent season for the D-backs, with the veteran right-hander coming off 6 2/3 scoreless innings in a 2-0 Arizona win over the Astros last Monday. He has had some struggles on the road, however, with a 3.98 ERA away from Chase Field. In his last road start, against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, Greinke gave up six runs in six innings.
The Twins will send 23-year-old right-hander Jose Berrios to the mound. Berrios has shown electric velocity with his fastball, and devastating movement on his curveball. Berrios took a no-hitter into the sixth inning against the Padres on Aug. 1, a start in which he gave up a run on two hits over seven innings. But in two starts since, he's struggled, surrendering 11 runs in 8 1/3 innings (11.88 ERA).
Outside of the pitching matchup, two Twins to watch in this contest will be speedster Byron Buxton, who broke his own record for fastest inside-the-park home run since Statcast™ was introduced (13.85 seconds from home to home), and Miguel Sano, who hit two massive homers on Friday night.
High stakes at high altitude: MIL@COL, 8:10 p.m.
Right-hander Chad Bettis makes his second start after overcoming testicular cancer, as the Rockies host the Brewers at Coors Field. Bettis tossed seven scoreless innings in his 2017 debut, on Monday against the Braves in Denver.
With the Brewers trailing the Cubs by two games in the National League Central, and the D-backs by 4 1/2 games for the second NL Wild Card spot after Friday's loss to Colorado, Milwaukee looks to bounce back after seeing its four-game win streak snapped.
Rookie left-hander Brandon Woodruff is slated to make his third career start for the Brewers. The 24-year-old made his Major League debut on Aug. 4 against the Rays in Tampa, tossing 6 1/3 scoreless innings. He gave up two runs over 5 2/3 innings on Aug. 9 against the Twins.
Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.