MLB on Sling TV: Royals vs. Tigers, or Cardinals vs. Cubs on FOX; Saturday’s Action on FOX Sports Regional Networks
(All times Eastern, starters subject to change)
Kansas City Royals (Ventura 11-11, 4.35) at Detroit Tigers (Norris 3-2, 3.63)
1pm ET on FOX
The Royals headed into this weekend series at 77-76, 5 ½ games out of the Wild Card, after having suffered a complete system failure during the middle of the season that made it virtually impossible for them to get back in the race. On June 19 they beat the Tigers 2-1 to bring their record to 38-31, just a half game off pace in the AL Central, but the next day started a skid that all but killed their title defense dreams, as they went 13-27, falling as many as 12 games back. The bats had gone dead, as they scored just 3.3 runs per game with a .658 OPS, and the pitching was every bit as bad, as the staff posted a 5.01 ERA, and even the defense – which isn’t supposed to slump – saw in uptick in runners reaching on an error. July, when they went 7-19, was especially bad, as Yordano Ventura, Dillon Gee and Ian Kennedy went a combined 0-10 with a 5.11 ERA. On the other side of the ball only Cheslor Cuthbert had an OPS over .700 for the month.
The Tigers are still in this thing, however, heading into the weekend having leapfrogged the Orioles in the hunt for the second spot in the Wild Card spot, moving ahead by a half-game at 82-70. Detroit has won Daniel Norris’ last 5 starts, as the young lefty has posted a 3.45 ERA over 28 ⅔ innings with 33 K’s and just 7 walks.
St. Louis Cardinals (Reyes 3-1, 1.03) at Chicago Cubs (Hammell 15-9, 3.59)
1pm ET on FOX
The Cards headed into this series 80-72, the odd man out in a three fight for the Wild Card, trailing the Mets and Giants by a half-game, while the Cubs seemingly clinched everything two months ago.
Alex Reyes was called up in August and relegated to the pen, whereupon he pitched 9 ⅓ innings over 5 appearances without giving up a run, thereby earning a shot as a spot starter – he has not disappointed. In 3 starts, he’s gone 1-0 with a 1.53 ERA, and 17 strikeouts in 17 ⅔ innings. Jason Hammel has had a brutal month, going 2-4 in his last 6 starts, pitching 30 innings with a 7.20 ERA (and 5 unearned runs), as he’s been bitten by a .355 BABIP and 8 home runs.
Watch the Kansas City Royals vs. Detroit Tigers, or the St. Louis Cardinals vs. the Chicago Cubs at 1pm ET Saturday on FOX by subscribing to Sling Blue.
Check out the baseball available Saturday on FOX Sports Regional Networks across the land for Sling Blue subscribers:
Texas Rangers (Darvish 5-5, 3.81) at Oakland Athletics (Alcantara 1-1, 5.65)
4:05pm ET on FOX Sports Southwest
Boston Red Sox (Porcello 21-4, 3.08) at Tampa Bay Rays (Andriese 8-7, 4.41)
6:10pm ET on Fox Sports Sun
Arizona Diamondbacks (Ray 8-13, 4.66) at Baltimore Orioles (Miley 8-13, 5.65)
7:05pm ET on FOX Sports Arizona
Atlanta Braves (Blair 1-6, 7.71) at Miami Marlins (Chen 5-4, 5.04)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports Florida & FOX Sports South
Chicago White Sox (Quintana 12-11, 3.26) at Cleveland Indians (Anderson 2-4, 6.24)
7:10pm ET on SportsTime Ohio
Cincinnati Reds (Straily 13-8, 3.83) at Milwaukee Brewers (Jungmann 0-4, 8.34)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports Cincinnati & FOX Sports Wisconsin
Kansas City Royals (Ventura 11-11, 4.35) at Detroit Tigers (Norris 6-10, 5.10)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports Detroit & FOX Sports Kansas City
Los Angeles Angels (Chacin 5-8, 5.29) at Houston Astros (Peacock 0-0, 2.86)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports West
Seattle Mariners (Miranda 5-1, 3.88) at Minnesota Twins (Duffey 8-11, 6.39)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports North
San Francisco Giants (Bumgarner 14-9, 2.57) at San Diego Padres (Cosart 0-4, 5.62)
8:40pm ET on FOX Sports San Diego
FOX is available live to Sling Blue subscribers in select markets; FOX Sports Regional Networks are available to Sling Blue subscribers in those regions. All stats courtesy ESPN and Baseball Reference.