New York Yankees (Sabathia 6-8, 3.95) at New York Mets (Verrett 3-6, 4.12) 7:10pm ET on ESPN
It’s the dawn of a new era for the New York Yankees, one in which the Bronx Bombers were sellers instead of buyers at the trade deadline. The Yankees over the past week traded away two-thirds of their vaunted bullpen Cerberus, sending Aroldis Chapman to the NL Central-leading Cubs and Andrew Miller to the AL Central-leading Indians. Having raised the white flag on 2016, the Yankees appear to be on their way to missing the postseason for the fourth time in five years, and could be headed for their first sub-.500 season since the days of Melido Perez, Danny Tartabull, and Mel Hall. Hats off... Read More
St. Louis Cardinals (Martinez 10-6, 2.87) vs. Miami Marlins (Koehler 8-8, 4.18) 1:10pm ET on TBS Despite Adam Wainwright’s claim, based on seniority and body of work, to the mantle of staff ace, Carlos Martinez has emerged as the Cardinals’ best starter. He leads the rotation in ERA, wins, and WHIP, has twice as many WAR (3.6) as any other member of the staff, and he’s on a hot streak, with a 1.76 ERA over his last 10 starts. His most recent start was a bit of dud, as he lasted just 5 innings, and gave up 5 hits and 4 walks, but managed to hold the Mets to a pair runs on the way to a 3-2 win.
Washington Nationals (Ross 7-4, 3.49) vs. San Francisco Giants (Peavy 5-9, 5.42) 4:05pm ET on FS1 Joe Ross went on the DL on July 3 with shoulder inflammation, after suffering through a pair of rough outings that saw his ERA balloon from 3.11 to 3.49, as he gave up 8 runs on 20 hits and a walk over 11 ⅓ innings. In his final start before going on the DL, the velocity on his sinker had fallen from a season high of 93.4 to 91.8, reported MASN. In a single-A rehab stint on the 24th, he pitched 3 scoreless innings, striking out 3. The Yankees were reportedly interested in picking him in a trade for Aroldis Chapman, but that ain’t happening, as... Read More
Thursday in Major League Baseball, John Lackey pitched 6 innings of 1-run ball, and Dexter Fowler doubled and scored twice to lead the Cubs over the White Sox 3-1; the Red Sox’ first baseman Hanley Ramirez’s throwing error in the bottom of the 9th allowed two runners to scamper home with a 2-1 walk-off win for the Angels; Trevor Roark went 7, giving up just 1 run on 4 hits and 3 walks to give the Nationals a 4-2 victory over the Giants; after going nearly a year without blowing a save, Jeurys Familia imploded for the second night in a row, surrendering the winning run on a wild pitch in the 9th as the Rockies beat the Mets 2-1; Hernan Perez’s 2-run... Read More
Yesterday in Major League Baseball, Stephen Strasburg spun a gem, holding the Indians scoreless for 7 innings, en route to a 4-1 Nationals win; a total of 9 Fish scored at least 1 run, including starter Adam Conley, as the Marlins bested the Phillies 11-1; Brett Wallace, homered, scored twice, and drove in a pair to power the Padres’ 8-4 victory over the Blue Jays; Miguel Cabrera’s towering shot in the 9th came down on top of the short right field wall in Fenway and bounced into the bullpen for a tie-breaking homer to give the Tigers a 4-3 win against the Red Sox; Evan Longoria did the heavy lifting in the Rays’ 3-1 defeat of the Dodgers, going 3-for-4 with a... Read More
White Sox (Ranaudo 1-0, 17.18) at Chicago Cubs (Hammel 9-5, 3.35) 8pm ET on ESPN
In his last game, while still with the Rangers, on May 10, Anthony Ranaudo joined an exclusive group of pitchers – including Sandy Koufax, Mark “The Bird” Fidrych, Mitch Williams and Dontrelle Willis – by becoming just the 9th man in MLB history to give up 5 earned runs on 5+ walks and 0 hits. The appearance started well enough, as he came in to face the White Sox with men on second and third, just 1 out and 4 runs already across the dish, as he promptly retired the next two batters to stop the bleeding. In the 4th, however, he went flyout, walk, walk, flyout,... Read More
Detroit Tigers (Verlander 9-6, 3.74) at Boston Red Sox (Pomeranz 8-7, 2.83) 7pm ET on ESPN
At 33, it’s unlikely Justin Verlander will ever contend for a Cy Young Award or win 20 games, again, but he is, once again, one of the better pitchers in the game, engaged to Kate Upton, and making $28 million this season. He’s been brilliant over his last four starts, going 27 2/3 with a 1.63 ERA, but the Tigers could only parlay that into two wins. The Tigers lost a tough one on Sunday, scoring 3 in the top of the 9th to tie it, only to lose on a Melky Cabrera walkoff single in the bottom half of the inning to fall to 51-48,... Read More
Chicago Cubs (Hendricks 9-6, 2.27) at Chicago White Sox (Shields 4-12, 4.99) 7pm ET on ESPN
Kyle Hendricks' Cinderella season just keeps on rolling. In his last four appearances (3 starts and once in relief), Hendricks has allowed just 1 run, and it was unearned despite 13 strikeouts. Hendricks has benefited from a .254 batting average on balls in play this season, part of a larger trend that most Cubs pitchers are enjoying, as the team as a whole is at .259, which would be the lowest such figure in more than 40 years.
James Shields appears to be pulling out of his nosedive. A so-so tenure in San Diego ended with a bang as he... Read More
While the GOP was wrapping up its convention, Justin Turner had a pair of homers and 5 RBI in the Dodgers’ 6-3 win over the Nationals; the Orioles defeated the Yankees 4-1 behind Chris Tillman’s 7 innings of 1-run ball, during which he fanned 7; Ichiro Suzuki is now just four hits shy of 3,000 after hitting a pair of singles in the Marlins’ 9-3 victory over the Phillies; Matt Joyce homered and had 4 RBI to power the Pirates past the Brewers 5-3; Dustin “Laser Show” Pedroia had 5 of Boston’s 17 hits in their 13-2 beatdown of the Twins; the Cardinals scored 4 in the 8th to tie the Padres, and then Aledmys Diaz gave St. Louis a 6-5 walk-off win... Read More
Texas Rangers (Ramos 1-3, 4.88) at St. Louis Cardinals (Martinez 7-5, 3.46) 4:15pm ET on FS1
It should tell you something about the health of the Rangers’ rotation that spot starter Cesar Ramos is already making his fifth start of the season, just two short of his career high. But regardless of the role, Ramos has been bad this year, as his home run rate of 1.7/9IP has been more than double his career norm of .7 coming into the season, his strikeouts have fallen, his walks have spiked… His last start was his worst of 2016, as he lasted just 3 ⅔ innings against the A’s, giving up 8 runs on 8 hits and 5 walks, while fanning just 1.
In baseball last night, Freddie Freeman went 3-for-4 with a homer, 2 runs, and 2 RBI as the Braves beat the Reds 7-2; Dae-Ho Lee had 2 hits, 1 run, and 3 RBI to lead the Mariners past the Rays 6-4; Edwin Encarnacion hit 2 of the Blue Jays’ 5 home runs in a 13-2 route of the Phillies; Tyler Wilson contained the best offense in baseball by pitching 8 innings of 3-hit, 1-run ball, while striking out 6 against the Red Sox in a 5-1 Orioles victory; Bartolo “Big Sexy” Colon pitched 7 ⅔, struck out 8, surrendered just 2 runs, had a hit and a run scored to lead the Mets past the Pirates 6-4; CC Sabathia’s renaissance continued, as the lefty gave up just 1 run in... Read More
Last night, the Marlins trailed the Padres 6-3 with two out in the 9th inning and a man on first, when Ichiro Suzuki stroked a double down the right field line, thereby taking the crown of Hit King, as he passed Pete Rose for the all-time record for hits in professional baseball at 4,257. Martin Prado would follow with a flyout to right to end the game; DJ LeMahieu singled, doubled and tripled, with 2 runs and 2 RBI in the Rockies 6-3 win over the Yankees; Clayton Kershaw K’ed 11 in 7 innings, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits as the Dodgers defeated the Diamondbacks 3-2; Johnny Cueto struck out 9 over 7 innings of 1-run ball as the GIants dismantled the Brewers 10-1; Jayson Werth’s 2-out single in... Read More
Last night Max Scherzer dominated the Cubs for 7 innings, striking out 11 and walking none, while giving up just 1 run on 2 hits, as the Nationals won 4-1; Odubel Herrera homered and drove in 3 runs as the Phillies blanked the Blue Jays 7-0 as revenge for the 1993 World Series; Tyler Holt drew a walk in the 9th inning to force in the deciding run in the Reds’ 9-8 win over the Braves; Adam Eaton went 4-for-5, including a walkoff single in the 12th inning of the White Sox’ 10-9 defeat of the Tigers; Whit Merrifield’s solo shot in the 4th was the difference in the Royals’ 2-1 win over the Indians; the Diamondbacks beat the Dodgers 3-2 behind Zack Greinke’s 7 inning, 2-run performance; Trevor Plouffe’s... Read More
Chicago Cubs (Hendricks 4-5, 2.90) at Washington Nationals (Scherzer 7-4, 3.57) 7pm ET on ESPN
Kyle Hendricks is maybe the Cubs worst starter, with the fewest wins, lowest winning percentage, highest ERA, fewest WAR… But he’d be no worse than the #3 starter on most teams in the Majors, thanks to his 2.90 ERA, 3.80 SO/BB, and his .5 HR/9IP. His last start was Tuesday against the Phillies, as he gave up 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks over 5 innings, while striking out 6 in a 3-2 loss to the Phillies. Following last night’s 13-2 pounding of the Braves, the Cubs still possess the best record in all of baseball at 43-18, and are in first place, 9 games ahead of the Cardinals.
St. Louis Cardinals (Leake 4-4, 4.22) at Pittsburgh Pirates (NIese 6-2, 3.93) 5pm ET on ESPN
After a rocky beginning to his Cardinals career during which his ERA ballooned to 6.03 over six starts, Mike Leake has seen that figure trend steadily downward over his last five starts. Part of the newfound success is a drop in his BABIP, but he’s also seen his SO/BB ratio spike from 2.4 over the first six games to 4 over the next five games. He most recently held the Brewers to 2 runs over 6 innings, during which he K’ed 4 and walked just 1.
Not unlike Lamb, Niese’s first six starts with his new team were well short of awesome, but over his last five starts... Read More
Los Angeles Dodgers (Kazmir 5-3, 4.46) at San Francisco Giants (Samardzija 7-4, 3.33) or St. Louis Cardinals (Martinez 6-5, 3.76) at Pittsburgh Pirates (Liriano 4-5, 5.25) or Detroit Tigers (Verlander 5-5, 3.97) at New York Yankees (Tanaka 3-1, 2.76) 7:15pm ET on FOX
Cleveland Indians (Bauer 4-2, 3.88) at Los Angeles Angels (Shoemaker 3-7, 5.40) 10:05pm ET on FS1
After being a serviceable #5 starter for the Indians last year – despite leading the AL in walks – Trevor Bauer got bumped from the rotation in spring training, the odd man out following the promotions of Josh Tomlin and Cody Anderson. While Tomlin’s been great, Anderson has not, and so, after a few weeks in the pen, Bauer moved back to the rotation,... Read More
In the world of baseball last night, we saw Prince Fielder and Rougned Odor hit solo homers to help power the Rangers past the Astros 5-3; the DJ LeMahieu doubled and homered, and drove in 3 runs as the Rockies beat the Pirates 11-5; Brett Gardner went 3-for-4 with 2 runs scored as the Yankees swept the Angels with a 6-3 win; the Orioles’ Chris Davis homered in the 7th to tie the game and then hit a sac fly in the 9th to drive in the winning run of a 6-5 victory over the Blue Jays; Bengie Molina’s bases-loaded single in the 8th was the difference in the Cardinals’ 3-2 win over the Reds; Melky Cabrera’s 2-run double in the first gave the White Sox a lead they would... Read More
The world of baseball gifted us with John Lackey dominating the Phillies for 7 shutout innings, giving up just 3 hits, and striking out 8, while walking none in an 8-1 Cubs win; Josh Donaldson went 3-for-4, and his 3-run homer was the big blow in the Blue Jays 7-2 win over the Tigers; Julio Teheran served up a pair of solo homers to San Diego’s Wil Myers, but that was about it, as he K’ed over 8 innings, in a 4-2 Braves victory; Corey Dickerson hit a pair of solo shots to power the Rays to a 6-3 win over the Diamondbacks; the Angels out-homered the Yankees 4 to 3, but the Yankees outscored the Angels 12-6; Chris Tillman scattered 8 hits over 7 ⅓ shutout innings, and fanned... Read More
Part of the reason for the Yankees lack of movement before the deadline was their unwillingness to part with phenom Luis Severino, who is expected to make his major league debut Wednesday in the Bronx against the Red Sox. The Yankees are betting that he’s as much an answer to their starting pitching woes as Cole Hamels, David Price or... Read More
This team has been hit hard by injuries to ace Adam Wainwright and sluggers Matt Adams and Matt Holliday, among many others, and yet here they are nearing the All-Star break with the best record in baseball, 53-28, which is also good for the best record after 81 games since 1944.
The Cardinals play three times this week on Sling TV, twice against the division rival Chicago Cubs. Entering Monday’s games, St. Louis has an 8.5-game lead over Chicago in the N.L. Central.
The Cardinals lost Wainwright after just four starts but the pitching staff is talented... Read More
Fans of the Giants, Nationals, Mets and Cubs rejoice: you can watch your team twice this week on Sling TV. And with seven games on ESPN, here’s your guide for what to look for.
Best Pitching Matchup
On Friday, Mets rookie Noah Syndergaard faces the Dodgers’ two-time Cy Young-winner Clayton Kershaw.
Kershaw has established himself as the one of the best pitchers of his generation—and some would argue the 27-year-old lefty is already an all-time great.
Syndergaard, 22, came over to the Mets from Toronto in the deal for R.A. Dickey. He has earned the nickname “Thor” in part because he’s 6-foot-6, 242 pounds. But also because of his 97-mph fastball that tops out in triple digits,... Read More
The A.L. East has worn the de facto label of the toughest division in baseball for many years and, from the top to the bottom, it is tough once again this year.
But is it the best? Some would eagerly say no but ask anyone in Boston or the Bronx and you could get a different answer.
For example, Wednesday’s game on ESPN between the Red Sox and Orioles. As of this writing, both teams are under .500, and in the cellar of the division. Yet they are still very much in the race, just 5.5 games off the lead.
This week’s other game on ESPN is Sunday’s contest... Read More
Some thought the slugger would never be the same after undergoing neck surgery last season. Those doubts, however, should have subsided during spring training when he used teammate Rougned Odor to do squats.
“I can feel both my arms. It feels good,” Fielder said. “That helps. That definitely helps when you’re hitting.”
Yes, feeling your arms indeed helps, and his numbers back up that crazy theory. Fielder is hitting .344, good for fourth in the American League, and also has five home runs and 23 RBI through the Texas Rangers first 38 games of the season.
There are several amazing pitchers taking the mound this week on Sling TV, but seeing the Metropolitans’ Matt Harvey smoke an inside fastball past hitters might not surprise you quite as much as a pitch the Tigers’ Alfredo Simon has hidden up his sleeve.
The Eephus pitch might sound like baseball’s equivalent of the Yeti or Big Foot because not many fans have ever actually seen it live in a game. But every few years a video will surface of the pitch freezing a batter for a strikeout on a toss that usually doesn’t register more than 60 m.p.h. or so.
Every game on Sling TV this week features preseason favorites for the World Series title.
The Washington Nationals and Boston Red spent a lot of money in the offseason to fortify their chances while St. Louis made some deft trades and the Yankees… well, the Yankees must think quite a bit of the team they already had because they didn’t go after any big names.
In fact, some pundits don’t consider the Yankees contenders at all. The A.L. East is loaded with talent, as always, and New York is relying on many aging stars and also have some serious question marks in the rotation.
Meanwhile, the Nats assembled one of the best pitching staffs in modern memory with the addition of Max Scherzer. But somehow they’ve gotten... Read More
It’s tempting to say that there are four teams playing this week on Sling TV who could win the World Series but there might really only be three.
There are certainly four cities that have that expectation but —- sorry, New York —- things don’t look so good in the Bronx despite what seems to be a renaissance for Alex Rodriguez.
The Yankees travel to Detroit on Monday to face a Tigers team that is managing to find its way in what is increasingly seeming like the post-Justin Verlander era–and Detroit is doing it in part thanks to an off-season trade with New York. The Yankees sent starting pitcher Shane Greene to them as part of a three-team trade that landed Didi Gregorious in pinstripes.
The first week of the season is a tempting mirage. It’s easy to believe that whatever happened the first week is what will happen the rest of the season, good or bad.
Adrian Gonzalez might really hit 135 homers this year! And he’ll need to because Clayton Kershaw stinks!
Maybe there really is a fantasy league where someone dropped Kerhsaw, who had two rocky starts for the Dodgers while his teammate mashed homer after homer, but most sane people know that there is a lot of baseball to be played and that Kershaw is a special arm. An arm you only see every few generations.
This week, there are three other special arms to watch: the Yankees’ Michael Pineda, the Mariners’ Taijuan Walker, and the Cardinals’ Adam... Read More
The Cardinals have had so much success in recent years that the phrase “The Cardinal Way” is now a thing. It’s a thing most people had never heard of until a book by that name was published.
But there is no disputing the truth: the Cardinals really do have a “way.”
This provides important context for Sunday’s MLB season-opener, context that was not lost on whoever makes the schedule.
The Cubs have never had a “way,” unless you count disappointing fans decade after decade—until now. Sure, that may sound premature. The Cubs still haven’t won a World Series since 1908 and last made the playoffs in 2008.
But GM Theo Epstein has given Chicago fans more hope than they have ever had thanks to a heap... Read More