Astros' top prospect Correa set for big league debut vs. Sale, White Sox
By Cash Kruth
Fresh series begin Monday for several teams, with plenty of must-see action on tap.
The American League West's top team welcomes its top prospect against a perennial Cy Young Award candidate, two pitchers sure to be in the rumor mill over the coming months duel in Cincinnati, and two AL Central teams clash in the Twin Cities.
Here are five games to watch:
• Astros unveil Correa, HOU @ CWS, 8:10 p.m. ET
Carlos Correa, the 20-year-old shortstop who many consider the top prospect in all of baseball, will make his Major League debut on Monday when the first-place Astros, who have lost a season-high four games in a row, open a three-game series against the White Sox.
Correa was called up Sunday, and he'll be plugged into the starting lineup for manager A.J. Hinch after hitting .335 with 21 doubles, 10 home runs, 44 RBIs and 18 stolen bases in 53 games combined for Fresno and Double-A Corpus Christi this season.
The Astros phenom will have tough draw in White Sox left-hander Chris Sale, who has been filthy of late, turning in two consecutive scoreless appearances and posting double-digit strikeout totals in his past three starts.
Philadelphia's Cole Hamels has been the most talked about trade target for what seems like forever. With the Reds' recent struggles and future payroll obligations, pending free agent Mike Leake has also heard his name floated around recently. The two face off Monday in Cincinnati for the second time in less than a week.
Hamels has posted a 1.83 ERA over his past six starts and allowed two runs and struck out eight against the Reds on Wednesday.
Leake righted the ship that night after three poor starts, allowing two runs and striking out nine in eight innings.
• Top AL Central teams clash, KC @ MIN, 8:10 p.m.
AL Central teams have seen their share of losses for more than a week, with the Tigers' eight-game losing streak and the Royals' struggles leading the way. Those losses have opened the door for the Twins to leap to the top of the division, but even their recent play wouldn't be considered hot.
The Royals and Twins open a three-game series at Target Field on Monday, as the division leaders host the reigning league champs. Jason Vargas (4-2, 4.79 ERA) takes the mound for the Royals, while Phil Hughes (4-5, 4.96) goes for the Twins.
• Miller looks to rebound, SD @ ATL, 7:10 p.m.
Right-hander Shelby Miller has been the ace in his first season with Atlanta, but he suffered his first road bump Tuesday - allowing four runs and walking six in 4 1/3 innings against the D-backs.
He looks to rebound Monday in San Diego, where he faces a Padres team he is 1-1 with a 4.79 ERA against in four career appearances (three starts).