MLB on Sling TV: Giants at Cubs on TBS, Nationals at Mets on ESPN, Sunday’s Action on FOX Sports Regional Networks

Sep 04, 2016 by Scott Ross

(All times Eastern, starters subject to change)

San Francisco Giants (Cueto 14-5, 2.98) at Chicago Cubs (TBD)
2:20pm ET on TBS

The long, slow descent of Johnny Cueto and the San Francisco Giants continues, as Cueto has dropped 4 of his last 5 decisions, while posting a 4.25 ERA over 9 starts, and the Giants find themselves looking up at the Dodgers, 2 games back in the NL West at 72-61. Cueto, similarly, finds himself looking up at several other Cy Young contenders, and he is now 8th in WAR among NL pitchers, trailing Max Scherzer by 1.4. Luckily for the Giants, they’re leading the Wild Race, 1 ½ up on the Cards, and 3 ½ up on the Mets.

What does it matter who’s starting for the Cubs? They’re leading the NL Central by 15 ½, their magic number is down to 15, they have the best pitching staff in the NL, and the best lineup, as well as the likely MVP (Kris Bryant), and according to WAR, their worst starter, John Lackey, is the 35th best pitcher in the NL. Wake them up in October.

Washington Nationals (Scherzer 15-7, 2.89) at New York Mets (Lugo 2-2, 2.60)
8pm ET on ESPN

With Clayton Kershaw sitting on the DL for more than two months, Max Scherzer has quietly emerged as the leading candidate for the NL Cy Young Award. Scherzer’s 2016 campaign got off to a rocky start, as he found himself on May 6 lugging around a 4.60 ERA. But his next time on the hill, he made history, becoming just the fourth man ever to strike out 20 in a 9-inning game. Over his last 21 starts, including the 20 K game, he’s pitched 147 innings (that’s 7 per start), with 192 strikeouts, and a 2.39 ERA. He now leads the NL in WAR, starts, innings and strikeouts, is second in wins, and is 8th in ERA.

Seth Lugo was called up in July and spent six weeks in the pen, pitching 17 innings with 16 strikeouts and a 2.65 ERA. And since moving to the rotation August 19 he’s been even better, with a 2.55 ERA in 17 ⅔ innings, and has done it against St. Louis, San Francisco and Miami. Not bad for a guy who was taken in the 34 round of the 2011 draft, but given that he had a 5.83 ERA over the last two season in Triple-A ball it’s probably just a matter of time before his coach turns back into a pumpkin.

The Nats came into this weekend series at 78-55, 9 ½ games ahead of the 69-65 Metropolitan, who sit 2 games back of the Cardinals in the hunt for the second Wild Card spot.

Watch the San Francisco Giants vs. the Chicago Cubs at 2:20pm ET on TBS by subscribing to Sling Orange or Sling Blue, and then catch the Washington Nationals vs. the New York Mets at 8pm ET Sunday on ESPN by subscribing to the Sling Orange.

Here’s the action from the FOX Sports regional networks across the land:

St. Louis Cardinals (Martinez 12-7, 3.07) at Cincinnati Reds (Adleman 2-2, 3.82)
1:10pm ET on FOX Sports Cincinnati & FOX Sports Midwest

Toronto Blue Jays (Dickey 9-13, 4.43) at Tampa Bay Rays (Archer 8-17, 4.10)
1:10pm ET on Fox Sports Sun

Atlanta Braves (Teheran 4-9, 3.12) at Philadelphia Phillies (Thompson 1-4, 7.86)
1:35pm ET on FOX Sports South

Milwaukee Brewers (Anderson 7-11, 4.92) at Pittsburgh Pirates (Brault 0-1, 3.86)
1:35pm ET on FOX Sports Wisconsin

New York Yankees (Pineda 6-11, 5.12) at Baltimore Orioles (Miley 8-11, 5.43)
1:35pm ET on YES

Chicago White Sox (Ranaudo 1-1, 8.76) at Minnesota Twins (Albers 0-0, 6.97)
2:10pm ET on FOX Sports North

Detroit Tigers (Norris 2-2, 3.86) at Kansas City Royals (Gee 6-7, 4.37)
2:20pm ET on FOX Sports Kansas City

Houston Astros (Musgrove 2-2, 4.36) at Texas Rangers (Darvish 5-3, 3.01)
3:05pm ET on FOX Sports Southwest

Arizona Diamondbacks (Bradley 5-8, 4.95) at Colorado Rockies (Bettis 11-7, 5.17)
4:10pm ET on FOX Sports Arizona

San Diego Padres (Friedrich 4-10, 4.84) at Los Angeles Dodgers (Norris 6-10, 4.64)
4:10pm ET on FOX Sports Arizona

Los Angeles Angels (Shoemaker 9-13, 3.91) at Seattle Mariners (Iwakuma 14-10, 4.01)
4:10pm ET on FOX Sports West

Miami Marlins (Koehler 9-10, 4.02) at Cleveland Indians (Salazar 11-6, 3.88)
4:10pm ET on FOX Sports Florida & SportsTime Ohio

Watch baseball on FOX and FOX Sports Regional Networks by subscribing to the Sling Blue.

All stats courtesy of ESPN and Baseball Reference

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