Major League Baseball doesn't have an official rivalry week, but this one is pretty close.With Yankees-Red Sox rained out at Fenway, one of baseball's most storied rivalries takes center stage tonight, along with another series that could very well serve as a preview for this year's American League Championship Series.We're
Major League Baseball doesn't have an official rivalry week, but this one is pretty close.
With Yankees-Red Sox rained out at Fenway, one of baseball's most storied rivalries takes center stage tonight, along with another series that could very well serve as a preview for this year's American League Championship Series.
We're talking about Dodgers vs. Giants and Indians vs. Astros, tonight, both available on MLB.TV. Time to get your popcorn out. April doesn't get much better than this.
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Here's what to watch for throughout the night (all times ET):
October come early? HOU @ CLE, 6:10 p.m.
These two postseason favorites are exactly where many expected them to be -- at the top of their respective divisions. Cleveland has rebounded from what could have been a very slight World Series hangover, while Houston is thriving despite a sluggish start from shortstop Carlos Correa.
But the Astros have been buoyed by starter Dallas Keuchel, who starts tonight opposite Josh Tomlin. Keuchel looks like he's regained his 2015 AL Cy Young Award form, going 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA early on. Keuchel's command is back, as is his elite ground-ball rate. He'll present a challenge for an Indians lineup once again near the top of the AL in runs scored.
"We like our team,'' Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Nothing's given to you. We've got to go and play, see how good we can get.''
Justice: Astros, Tribe set for AL showdown
April rematch: CHC @ PIT, 7:05 p.m.
Gerrit Cole and Kyle Hendricks lined up against one another 10 days ago at Wrigley Field, where Cole and three relievers pitched the Pirates to a 4-2 win. Now they match up again, this time at PNC Park, with Hendricks and the Cubs looking for a little redemption. Pittsburgh swept a three-game set from the defending World Series champions less than two weeks ago.
Crushers at Coors: WSH @ COL, 8:40 p.m.
In this battle of two first-place teams, we'll see many of baseball's best hitters in Coors Field every day. The Nationals have three of those in the early going -- Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman, a troika that's combined to hit .333 with 12 home runs in 279 at-bats in Colorado.
The latest chapter: LAD @ SF, 10:15 p.m.
Nothing would please the Dodgers more than to bury the Giants early, and San Francisco is reeling after the loss of Madison Bumgarner, who was injured in a dirt-bike accident over the weekend. In that effort, L.A. will send Clayton Kershaw to the hill for the lefty's 36th career start against the Giants. He's 18-8 with a 1.61 ERA in his career against San Francisco.
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.