With more than half the league off on Monday, all 30 teams are in action tonight in what figures to be an exciting slate on MLB.TV.The Yankees and Red Sox renew their rivalry in the Bronx in MLB Network's Showcase game, featuring a pitching matchup pitting a pair of starters
With more than half the league off on Monday, all 30 teams are in action tonight in what figures to be an exciting slate on MLB.TV.
The Yankees and Red Sox renew their rivalry in the Bronx in MLB Network's Showcase game, featuring a pitching matchup pitting a pair of starters hoping to regain their elite form. In Los Angeles, the Dodgers and Nationals continue their first series against each other since last year's thrilling National League Division Series. In Denver, rookie sensation Antonio Senzatela will look to continue his bid to make the All-Star Game presented by MasterCard. And in Seattle, the Mariners continue their push to .500 against the first-place Twins.
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Here's what to watch for (all times ET):
Battle in the Bronx: BOS@NYY, 7:05 p.m.
It hasn't been the smoothest season so far for either Thomas Pomeranz or Masahiro Tanaka, but they'll get the chance to turn the page from May on center stage in front of an MLB Network audience.
Tanaka shut out the Red Sox the first time he faced them, on April 27, but has struggled since, giving up 13 barrels last month -- tied for second most in May, according to Statcast™. Batters registered a barrel for 12.5 percent of the total batted balls against Tanaka in that stretch, fourth most among pitchers who had allowed at least 50 batted balls in May.
Pomeranz, who seemed to be on a fast track to the bullpen early last month, is coming off two impressive starts in which he generated a combined 34 swinging strikes over 13 innings against the Rangers and White Sox. More importantly, Boston won both games.
NLDS rematch: WSH@LAD, 10:10 p.m.
Dodgers right-hander Brandon McCarthy has been bothered by a blister on his pitching hand, but after throwing a bullpen session on Sunday, he's expected to start on Tuesday. McCarthy, who is 5-2 with a 3.38 ERA in nine starts, entered Monday ranked sixth this year with an 84.5 mph average exit velocity against (minimum 100 batted ball events), per Statcast™.
He'll square off against Max Scherzer, who helped the Nationals complete a sweep of the Giants his last time out. Scherzer has spent most of his starts working ahead -- entering Monday, he ranked first among starters with 34.7 percent of his pitch tally ahead in the count, per Statcast™, which could indicate a strong correlation to his NL-best 100 strikeouts.
Interleague at altitude: CLE@COL, 8:40 p.m.
The Indians and Rockies meet for the first time since 2014 in a two-game series at Coors Field, a short homestand for Colorado after yet another winning road trip.
The Indians have lost each of the last two starts made by Mike Clevinger, though the righty has a 3.10 ERA since making his 2017 debut in early May.
He squares off against Senzatela, who remains one of the biggest surprises in MLB this year. The 22-year-old uses his four-seamer will precision and confidence. Among starters, the rookie right-hander leads the Majors with 76.6 percent four-seam usage (entering Monday, min. 1,000 pitches thrown), and he's not afraid to throw it up in the zone if needed.
Minnesota meets the Mariners: MIN@SEA, 10:10 p.m.
After a sluggish start in April, the Mariners have marched their way toward .500 as their talented rotation has begun to regain full strength -- most notably, James Paxton.
Paxton missed four weeks with a strained left forearm but didn't miss a step in his return on Wednesday, tossing 5 1/3 shutout innings and giving up just six hits to a strong Rockies lineup. The left-hander has given up zero earned runs in four of his six starts.
Starting for the Twins will be Hector Santiago, who has trended in the opposite direction of late. After posting a 2.43 ERA in five starts in April, the lefty had a 6.89 ERA in seven outings, six starts, in May.
Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.