Mets eye 11th straight win; Yanks send Tanaka to hill in Detroit
By Paul Casella
Thursday's staggered slate of games has plenty to offer fans throughout the afternoon and into the evening, from aces and prospects on the mound to one team looking to match a franchise record.
Here are four things to watch for:
• Tanaka, Yankees look to keep rolling: NYY @ DET, 1:08 p.m. ET
Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka will look to build off his stellar start his last time out, as the Yankees hope to notch a series victory over the Tigers following Wednesday's 13-4 victory. Following two subpar outings to begin the season, Tanaka limited the Rays to just two hits, while striking out eight and walking none over seven shutout innings on Saturday. Tigers righty Anibal Sanchez, meanwhile, is trending in the opposite direction, as he enters his fourth start of the year with a 7.71 ERA despite tossing 6 2/3 scoreless innings in his season debut.
• Mets set sights on 11 straight: ATL @ NYM, 1:10 p.m. ET
The Mets will call on veteran righty Bartolo Colon as they look to finish off a three-game sweep of the rival Braves and, in turn, match a franchise record with an 11th consecutive victory. The Mets (12-3) are nine games over .500 for the first time since July 8, 2010, and -- at 3 1/2 ahead of the Braves -- have their largest lead in the National League East since Sept. 10, 2008. Colon will be looking to continue his personal unbeaten streak as well, as he enters the contest 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA. Braves starter Julio Teheran (2-0, 3.71 ERA) is also yet to lose this season.
• Tropeano set to make Halos debut: OAK @ LAA, 7:05 p.m. ET
Angels No. 5 prospect Nick Tropeano will make his team debut in Thursday's series finale against the rival Athletics. Acquired from the Astros in an early November trade, Tropeano went 1-3 with a 4.57 ERA in four big league starts with Houston last year. The A's, meanwhile, will counter with Jesse Chavez, who will be making his first start of 2015 after logging 6 2/3 shutout innings over four relief appearances to begin the season.
• Sale, Ventura bring heat to Windy City: KCR @ CWS, 8:10 p.m. ET
White Sox ace Chris Sale will look to remain unbeaten when he leads the White Sox into a four-game series against the division-leading Royals. Sale has pitched six innings in each of his first two outings, compiling a 2.25 ERA and a pair of wins along the way. He'll be opposed by hard-throwing righty Yordano Ventura, who held the White Sox to one run over six innings in an Opening Day victory. Ventura will be looking to get back on track after being tagged for five runs in just 3 1/3 innings against the A's his last time out.
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.