With doubleheaders in Atlanta and Tampa Bay and every club in action, there are a whopping 17 games today on MLB.TV.The red-hot Rockies are looking to extend their season-best win streak to seven games at Wrigley Field, where they could win their fourth straight series against the Cubs, dating back
With doubleheaders in Atlanta and Tampa Bay and every club in action, there are a whopping 17 games today on MLB.TV.
The red-hot Rockies are looking to extend their season-best win streak to seven games at Wrigley Field, where they could win their fourth straight series against the Cubs, dating back to 2016. In Detroit, familiar foes Justin Verlander and Chris Sale square off for the second time this season. In New York, the Orioles will look to work their way up the American League East standings. And in Seattle, two preseason favorites who were off to slow starts hope to continue their upward trend.
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Here is what to watch for today (all times ET):
Remember me? COL@CHC, 2:20 p.m.
Cubs righty Eddie Butler will see familiar faces when squaring off against Jeff Hoffman and the Rockies for his sixth start of the year. Butler was selected by the Rockies with the 46th overall pick in the 2012 Draft, and he pitched parts of three seasons for Colorado, going 6-16 with a 6.50 ERA before eventually being designated in January to make room for free-agent acquisition Greg Holland.
Butler was among a throng of young arms the Rockies drafted, signed or acquired in recent years -- also among them was Hoffman, the centerpiece of the Troy Tulowitzki trade in 2015. In mostly spot-start capacity this year, Hoffman has shown more poise and confidence in his ever-developing offspeed. He is 3-0 with a 2.33 ERA in three starts.
"It's just trusting that my stuff is good enough to play inside the zone, so I've been pitching to the big part of the plate and letting the great defense behind me do the work," Hoffman said last month. "That's what's going to make me successful."
Hello again: DET@BOS, 7:15 p.m.
Verlander relishes pitching at Fenway Park, but his status was in question after his most recent start was cut short due to right groin tightness. But after throwing a bullpen session on Thursday, he has no limitations. Verlander, who finished runner-up for the 2016 American League Cy Young Award, has struggled to a 4.63 ERA this year, and he has been getting hit hard on his four-seamer. Batters have an average exit velocity of 92.6 mph against the pitch, fourth-highest in MLB (min. 50 batted balls against).
Sale has the second-lowest expected batting average, .194 as tracked by Statcast™���������, behind only Max Scherzer.
Battle in the Bronx: BAL@NYY, 7:15 p.m.
The first-place Yankees will turn to their best starter thus far in the young season, as Luis Severino takes a 2.90 ERA with him to the mound, and an average of 10 strikeouts per nine innings. The Yankees are 6-5 in Severino starts this year.
"He's nasty. Right out of the gate, his fastball was electric today," said Josh Donaldson after Severino's most recent outing on Sunday.
The Orioles will turn to Chris Tillman, who turned in his second quality start his last time out but took his third loss of the year.
Trending up: TOR@SEA, 10:10 p.m.
The Blue Jays and Mariners entered this year among a short list of AL postseason favorites, but each struggled through the first six weeks of the season, largely due to injuries. Both clubs have clawed their way back toward .500, though, and entered this weekend on upward trends.
Marcus Stroman remains Toronto's most consistent starter, and he has not lost a decision since April 18. He's not giving up free passes -- only twice in 12 starts has he issued more than two walks -- and he's keeping the ball on the ground, with a 0.5-degree average launch angle against, ninth-best in MLB as of Friday.
He'll face Seattle's most consistent starter, Ariel Miranda, who is coming off his first complete game.
Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.