The first Monday in June features an abbreviated slate, highlighted by a rematch of the 2016 National League Division Series in Los Angeles, the defending World Series champion Cubs hosting the Marlins and the red-hot Astros visiting the Royals to open a four-game set, streaming live on MLB.TV.
The Nationals have unfinished business with the Dodgers after taking them to the brink in the NLDS last year, while the Cubs are hoping to get on a roll after beginning the year seemingly having alternated wins and losses to this point. It feels like no one can stop Houston, but Kansas City is going to give it its best shot.
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Here's what to watch for throughout the day (all times in ET):
NLDS rematch: [email protected], 10:10 p.m., ESPN
The Nationals and Dodgers meet in Los Angeles for the first time since last year's NLDS, when the Dodgers bested the Nats in five games to move on to the NL Championship Series before losing to the Cubs.
Giovany Gonzalez faced L.A. in Game 3 of the series, surrendering three earned runs in 4 1/3 innings while striking out four and walking one. The Dodgers won the contest, 8-3.
Hyun-Jin Ryu, who was hurt when these two teams last met, lost his first four outings of the season before turning things around. The left-hander has allowed just three runs in his last 15 1/3 innings.
Finding that championship feel: [email protected], 8:05 p.m.
Joe Maddon's club has not fared quite as well to begin the season as it may have hoped, but the Cubs have done a good job of staying in contention despite not playing their best ball early.
Chicago sends right-hander Eddie Butler to the mound for his fifth start of the season. The 26-year-old is hoping to rebound from his worst outing of the year, in which he gave up six runs in 4 1/3 innings in a loss to the Padres last Tuesday.
Miami counters with righty Dan Straily, who is riding high after wins in three consecutive starts.
Approaching the stratosphere: [email protected], 8:15 p.m.
No team in baseball reached 40 wins faster this season than the Astros, who are off to the best start in team history by a wide margin. Mike Fiers looks to keep Houston in the win column when he takes the hill opposite the Royals' Ian Kennedy.
Fiers threw six innings of two-run ball in his last start, striking out eight Twins in a 7-2 win. Kennedy is still searching for his first win of the season after lasting just three innings while giving up five runs in his previous start.
Shark swimming straight: [email protected], 7:40 p.m.
Though he's lost two consecutive starts, Jeff Samardzija has racked up at least eight strikeouts in five of his last six outings. The right-hander had a tough first month of the season, but turned it around in May, allowing three runs or fewer in all of his starts but one.
The Brewers counter with Junior Guerra, who was excellent in his start last Wednesday against the Mets. The 30-year-old held New York scoreless over six innings with four strikeouts. He now is 1-0 with a 1.84 ERA in three outings this season.
Red rivals: [email protected], 7:10 p.m.
The Cardinals and Reds have met five times already this season, with Cincinnati taking three games and St. Louis winning two. The Cards will look to even the season series Monday evening when they send Carlos Martinez to toe the rubber opposite the Reds' Asher Wojciechowski.
Martinez had a down month in April, but has been his usual dominant self in since, seeing his ERA drop from 4.71 to 3.08 since May 2. He also completed at least six innings in every May start.
Wojciechowski gets the ball in a starting role for the second time this year after allowing four earned runs in four frames in his first start for Cincinnati.