Mets-Nats, Sale going for 10-0 leads way on MLB.TV
Harvey takes on Strasburg for 2nd time, Blue Jays-Yankees clash in Bronx
By Joe Trezza
It's a week of divisional matchups across Major League Baseball, which means intense encounters, bad blood and high stakes. Today's schedule is littered with potential playoff matchups, as well as the types of matchups that will determine who gets to the postseason in the first place.
Want to watch Matt Harvey try to bounce back? He's going up against the Nationals, no less. Or the Cubs and Cardinals renew their rivalry in St. Louis? It's still early enough for the Cards to catch the Cubbies, especially after their walk-off win Monday. Elsewhere, the American League's best pitcher looks to make history and a superstar continues to slug.
And the best place to catch all the action is on MLB.TV.
MLB.TV Premium returns with the same features as last year, but at $109.99, it is a full 20 bucks cheaper than the 2015 cost. This package has the best value and provides access to more than 400 devices and a free subscription to the MLB.com At Bat Premium app (a $19.99 value). It offers the best picture quality ever -- a new 60 frames per second -- for supported devices. Monthly signups for MLB.TV Premium are now underway as well for $24.99.
The new MLB.TV Single Team package is also now available as an $84.99 yearly subscription. You can watch a single team's live out-of-market games in full HD.
Here is a look at what to watch for Tuesday in the Majors (all times ET):
NYM@ WSH, 7:05 p.m. Harvey vs. Strasburg
How lucky are we? We get a Stephen Strasburg vs. Harvey matchup for the second time in a week. It's only fitting, too, since the last one didn't exactly live up to its ace vs. ace billing. All eyes will be on Harvey after he allowed nine runs in a loss to these Nationals last week at Citi Field. The Mets even considered skipping his turn. But Harvey will be back today, in the spotlight, looking to recapture his old swagger.
Stat that matters: It may not matter what Harvey does, because Strasburg is still one of only three unbeaten pitchers in baseball. The Nationals have won his last 13 starts, a franchise record.
You'll love this matchup if you love polar opposites, because that's what Nathan Eovaldi and R.A. Dickey are. One throws his fastball harder than all but one pitcher in baseball (Noah Syndergaard) and the other throws the slowest average fastball of anyone, according to FanGraphs.
Stat that matters: Of course, Dickey isn't just lobbing them in. He's pushing a seasoned knuckleball that's held the current Yankees roster to a career .233 batting average against over 160 at-bats.
Mashin' in Motown: PHI@DET, 7:10 p.m.
If nothing else, tune in to see Miguel Cabrera, because he's something to witness right now. The reining AL co-Player of the Week homered twice again Monday, giving him seven home runs in his last nine games. He's hitting .515 in that span with 11 RBIs. Good luck to Phillies right-hander Jeremy Hellickson in shutting down the Tigers' lineup, which is clicking on all cylinders right now.
Stat that matters: Miggy is just part of a lineup averaging 6.6 runs per game over its last week, thanks in large part to the return of Cameron Maybin. The speedy center fielder is 12-for-20 (.600) since making his season debut, with four stolen bases and five runs scored.
Back at it again: CHC@STL, 7:10 p.m.
The Cubs suddenly look mortal, losers of six of eight and eight of 12, and the Cardinals are feeling great after walking off against their rival in style Monday night. As usual, the game was tight -- as is everything between these two teams. Last year the Cardinals won the NL Central, finishing two games ahead of the Pirates and three ahead of the Cubs If we include the postseason, St. Louis has 24 wins over Chicago since 2014. The Cubs own 22 wins over the Cardinals in that span.
Stat that matters: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo loves hitting against Michael Wacha, who is set to start for the Cardinals. Rizzo is 10-for-22 career (.455) off Wacha with two home runs and four RBIs. Similarly, St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina hits Cubs starter Jason Hammel at a 7-for-15 (.467) clip.
Sale-ing to 10-0? CLE@CWS, 8:10 p.m.
Chris Sale is clearly one of the best pitchers in the Majors right now: he paces the AL in wins, ERA, WHIP and batting average against. He's slacking in innings pitched -- trailing leader Marcus Stroman by a single frame. He's allowed 23 fewer hits than Stroman. Now the surging second-place Indians are the only thing standing between Sale and a perfect 10-0 start. Cleveland has shrunk Chicago's sizeable lead in the AL Central over the last two weeks. After splitting Monday's doubleheader, the White Sox lead the Indians by just 2 1/2 games. That'll give the game a bit more incentive for starter Josh Tomlin, who is 6-0 in seven starts. The righty hasn't lost since last September, when he dropped a complete game four-hitter.
Stat that matters: How about two? Because that's how good Sale has been. First, Sale is one of three pitchers to start a season 9-0 with an ERA under 1.75, joining Sal Maglie in 1952 and Eddie Cicotte in 1919. He's done it by getting ahead in the count an inordinate amount of the time. In 68 1/3 innings, Sale has fallen behind 3-0 just three times.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers get the Mosaic View -- split screen or quad, available on PC or Mac only. That always comes in handy, especially when scoreboard-watching looms. MLB.TV Premium and MLB.TV Single Team subscribers both enjoy HD and both will get real-time highlights and player stats automatically loaded moments after they occur (only for the game you are watching with MLB.TV Single Team, and for all games with MLB.TV Premium).
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.