LEADING OFF: Verlander goes for 14, Alcantara vs Mets again
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
GOING FOR 14
Houston ace Justin Verlander, who leads the major leagues in wins, takes a 13-3 record and 1.86 ERA into his start against visiting Seattle. The 39-year-old right-hander, in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, is 5-0 with a 0.79 ERA in his last five outings, striking out 36 and walking six in 34 innings.
Robbie Ray (8-7, 3.90), last year’s AL Cy Young Award winner, pitches for the Mariners after getting hit hard Sunday as the Astros completed a three-game sweep in Seattle.
Pete Alonso and the first-place Mets are in Miami to face Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara (9-4, 1.81 ERA) for the fourth time since June 19. The All-Star righty is 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA over 22 innings in the previous three matchups.
It’s a similar story for New York right-hander Chris Bassitt (7-7, 3.72), who makes his fourth start against Miami in a little more than a month following losses on June 19 and July 8 and a win on June 25.
Alcantara is winless in his last three starts overall despite a 1.71 ERA during that span. He ranks second in the majors in ERA to Tampa Bay lefty Shane McClanahan (1.76).
New outfielder Tyler Naquin could make his Mets debut after being acquired Thursday night from Cincinnati in a trade for two teenage minor leaguers.
Sitting atop the NL Central, the Milwaukee Brewers make their first visit to Fenway Park since 2014.
Rowdy Tellez takes aim at the Green Monster for Milwaukee after hitting a pair of three-run homers Wednesday in a 10-4 victory over Minnesota. Tellez has 20 homers, one shy of his career high in 2019 with Toronto. Four of his nine career multi-homer games have come this season.
Brandon Woodruff (8-3, 3.73 ERA) pitches for the Brewers against rookie Brayan Bello (0-2, 10.50) in the opener of a three-game series. Boston beat Cleveland on Thursday night for only its fifth victory in 20 games. Last in the AL East, the Red Sox are 50-50 but only 3 1/2 games back in the wild-card race.
Arizona left-hander Madison Bumgarner (6-9, 3.71 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series at Atlanta.
Bumgarner has won three of his past four starts. He threw the only unofficial no-hitter under the pandemic doubleheader rules of seven-inning games, against the Braves on April 25, 2021.
Atlanta right-hander Kyle Wright (12-4, 2.95) is 5-0 in his last six starts.
LET’S GET WILD
American League playoff contenders square off when 2020 Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber (4-6) pitches for the visiting Cleveland Guardians against Tampa Bay Rays lefty Jeffrey Springs (3-2) in the opener of a three-game series with significant wild-card implications.
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