The White Sox defeated the Yankees 14-7 yesterday for their fourth win in a row, with the only negative of the day being Kevin Youkilis leaving the game early due to illness. Chicago has a 3.5 game lead over Cleveland in the AL Central going into today’s games.
The Royals have also won four straight; however they have a tough assignment today against Scott Diamond. He’s been a real bright spot for the Twins in a trying first half of the season.
In the ‘just gone nine’ games, it’s always difficult to look past a start by Stephen Strasburg and it becomes even more of a ‘must watch’ contest against the Braves. Mike Minor has struggled this season and his place in Atlanta’s rotation must be hanging by a thread. Pitching his team past Strasburg and the Nationals would be a great way to earn a stay of execution, but it will be far from easy to achieve.
The Cubs’ Matt Garza keeps being mentioned as a possible trade target and he’ll look to increase his attractiveness to potential new teams with a strong outing at Wrigley against the Astros. Mat Latos was one of the major pitching names to be traded over the offseason and the Reds really saw the Latos they were hoping they had acquired last time out when he struck out a career high 13 batters against the Brewers.
Last up, the Hamels-Buerhle pitching match-up should be well worth watching. The Marlins won the series opener last night 6-2 as Cliff Lee gave up six runs on ten hits and was knocked out after only 4.2 innings. Considering the struggles that Charlie Manuel has had with his bullpen this season, the Phillies will likely need Hamels to go deep into today’s game to give them a chance of levelling the series.
All times are in BST.
18.05. Chicago White Sox at NY Yankees (Peavy – Kuroda)
18.07. LA Angels at Toronto (Richards – Alvarez) *MLB.com Free Game of the Day
18.10. Kansas City at Minnesota (Sanchez – Diamond)
19.15. Pittsburgh at St. Louis (Karstens – Lynn)
21.05. Cleveland at Baltimore (Tomlin – Eveland)
21.05. Washington at Atlanta (Strasburg – Minor)
21.05. Houston at Chicago Cubs (Happ – Garza)
21.05. Cincinnati at San Francisco (Latos – Zito)
21.10. Philadelphia at Miami (Hamels – Buehrle).
All of these games are available to watch live via the MLB.TV subscription at MLB.com. There is no baseball on ESPN America tonight as they concentrate on the X Games instead. The full schedule for today’s games can be found on MLB.com.