There are seven early MLB games to enjoy on Saturday during the British evening. All times are in BST.
18.10. Toronto at Miami (Cecil – Johnson) *ESPN America
The Blue Jays have suffered miserable luck in losing pitchers to injuries recently, so Brett Cecil’s return last Sunday against the Phillies was a welcome change. He makes his second start of the season today against the Marlins.
19.10. St. Louis at Kansas City (Wainwright – Mendoza)
On the subject of pitchers and injuries, Adam Wainwright knows that getting back on a Big League mound after Tommy John surgery is not the end of your rehabilitation from that procedure. It can take a while (over a year in some cases) to really get back to some consistent form. Wainwright gave up seven runs to the Mets four starts ago, but he’s gone seven strong innings in his last two times out and will hope to continue that form against the Royals today.
20.05. Colorado at Texas (Outman – Lewis)
Josh Outman pitched on Tuesday and returns to the mound after three rest days on manager Jim Tracy’s new pitching regime. Colby Lewis is on his normal rest and has been pitching very well recently. Coors Field is often seen as a barrier to recruiting good pitchers, but Rangers Ballpark isn’t exactly a pitcher’s paradise and Texas aren’t struggling for useful hurlers. Money plays a part of course; however when it comes down to it if you have talented players they will perform well regardless of the conditions.
The Rockies simply haven’t done a good job of putting together a talented staff, doing things like trading away Jason Hammel (outstanding again last night against the Nationals) and finding a spot at the start of the season for Jamie Moyer.
21.05. Cleveland at Houston (Gomez – Keuchel)
Former Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez picked up a pitching win yesterday in the Indians’ 2-0 victory over the Astros, although Lucas Harrell actually pitched a slightly better game and was lumbered with a loss due to the Astros’ offence failing to turn up. Maybe they will come through today as Dallas Keuchel makes his second Big League start.
21.05. Tampa Bay at Philadelphia (Shields – Kendrick)
The Rays and Phillies were rained out yesterday, so today’s game is the series opener. James Shields would have pitched last night and the Rays are keeping their pitchers in order by sending him to the mound today, while Kyle Kendrick will take the place of Friday’s scheduled starter Cliff Lee, who should appear in one of the two games on Sunday instead.
21.05. Detroit at Pittsburgh (Scherzer – Lincoln)
The last time Max Scherzer faced the Pirates (20 May) he struck out fifteen batters. Scherzer is a bit of a baseball equivalent of the old Jimmy Anderson who was landed with the Daisy nickname (some ‘days he’ bowls well, so ‘days he’ doesn’t) and the Tigers are never sure if he will be dominant or give up free passes and quickly rack up a high pitch count. He’s struck out 20 batters combined in his last two starts, both against NL competition (Cubs and Rockies), so can he keep the run going today of will his lack of consistency plague him again?
21.10. Minnesota at Cincinnati (Duensing – Cueto) *ESPN America
Brian Duensing has been moved out of the bullpen and into the rotation by the Twins and this is his first start of the season, so he’ll be on a reduced pitch limit today against the Reds. Minnesota took the series opener last night by a score of 5-4.
All of these games are available to watch live via the MLB.TV subscription at MLB.com. ESPN America has a baseball triple-header tonight with the above two referenced games being followed by Nationals v Orioles from midnight (or after the Twins-Reds game finishes). The full schedule for today’s games can be found on MLB.com.