Will Giancarlo Stanton homer tonight?That's seemingly been the question of every night this month, and the answer has more than often been, "yes."The Marlins slugger has been so hot during the second half, all of his at-bats are now appointment viewing. The reigning National League Player of the Week already
Will Giancarlo Stanton homer tonight?
That's seemingly been the question of every night this month, and the answer has more than often been, "yes."
The Marlins slugger has been so hot during the second half, all of his at-bats are now appointment viewing. The reigning National League Player of the Week already has 50. Whether he's shooting for 73 home runs or 61 home runs, it really doesn't matter. He's is in the midst of an incredible power surge, the likes of which we haven't seen since the turn of this century.
It would be something if Stanton was just popping home runs in meaningless games. But he's been so white-hot, he's nearly single-handedly pulled Miami back into the National League Wild Card picture. That gives the Marlins' tilt against the Nationals in Washington on Tuesday even more importance. Edwin Jackson (4-3, 3.38 ERA) gets the ball for the Nats. Stanton has never taken him deep.
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Here's what else to watch for throughout the day Tuesday (all times ET):
October billing in the Bronx: CLE@NYY, 7:05 p.m.
This big series between two likely playoff teams continues in the Bronx, with Trevor Bauer (13-8, 4.59 ERA) opposing Jaime Garcia (5-8, 4.52 ERA). These two teams pulled off a blockbuster trade last season, swapping Andrew Miller for a prospect package highlighted by Clint Frazier. However, neither Miller nor Frazier is expected to appear in this series due to injury.
Who wants it more?: SEA@BAL, 7:05 p.m.
That's the question swirling around the American League Wild Card race, where it seems like every team is still in the hunt. That's true of both Seattle and Baltimore, two teams who haven't been able to separate themselves but also haven't fallen out of it despite some struggles. The AL Wild Card race is a seven-car pileup right now. Series like this, which pin two contenders against each other, can go a long way toward clearing the postseason picture, or muddling it up even more.
Erasmo Ramirez (5-4) starts for Seattle against Dylan Bundy (12-8).
More AL Wild Card craziness: TB@KC, 8:15 p.m.
Another series pitting two AL Wild Card contenders against one another. A few wins in one direction, and the other club could find itself in a place it doesn't want to be -- behind a slew of other teams. A few wins in the other direction, and the race could look completely different in a couple of days. That all makes these swing games massively important. Alex Cobb (9-8, 3.69 ERA) starts for the Rays against the Royals Jake Junis (5-2, 4.68 ERA).
Hill's encore: LAD@ARI 9:40 p.m.
Dodgers lefty Rich Hill (9-5, 3.32 ERA) suffered one of the most excruciating losses in baseball history last time out -- an extra-inning, 1-0 defeat to the Pirates in a game in which he threw nine no-hit innings. Hill carried a perfect game into the ninth inning and a no-hitter into the 10th, only to allow his first hit, a home run to Josh Harrison, that scored the decisive run.
It was an otherworldly performance for a pitcher who has flirted with perfection before, only to be removed early due to injury concerns in those games. Last time out he got the chance to complete a historic feat, but his team never scored for him, and Hill ended up one of the hardest-luck losers in baseball history.
What does he have left in the tank for his first start since? Zack Godley (5-7, 3.15 ERA) starts for Arizona.
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com.