Chicago, Washington aces look to become this season's first 10-game winners; Kershaw takes on the Braves
By Chad Thornburg
A pair of aces will try to become the first 10-game winners in baseball this season as Chris Sale and Stephen Strasburg toe the rubber for the White Sox and Nationals today.
Sale and Strasburg's starts -- against Detroit and Cincinnati, respectively -- are just two of the highlights from the day's 15-game MLB.TV slate. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will also take the mound against the Braves in Los Angeles.
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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's what to watch for throughout the day (all times in ET):
Perfect 10: WSH@CIN, 4:10 p.m.
Strasburg will try to extend his unblemished record today when his Nationals take on Dan Straily and the Reds at Great American Ball Park. The Nationals have won each of Strasburg's last 15 starts, dating back to Sept. 15 of last season. The right-hander tossed six solid innings his last time out vs. the Cardinals, allowing just one run.
"He has the stuff to be a big winner," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "Success breeds confidence. I'm sure this guy is at an all-time high in confidence and concentration."
Stat that matters: Strasburg needs nine strikeouts to become the first Nationals pitcher to reach 1,000 for his career. He's fanned at least nine batters in six of his 11 starts this year.
Third time is the charm: CWS@DET, 4:10 p.m.
For the third time this season, Sale will try to push his win totals into double digits. Sale ran into his first rough outing of the year on May 24, when he was tagged for six runs by the Indians. The Chicago ace rebounded in his last start, however, limiting Kansas City to two runs over seven frames. For Detroit, Mike Pelfrey gets the start, still seeking his first win in a Tigers uniform. He nearly had it last week, but the A's scored three unearned runs against him in the sixth, resulting in a 4-2 Tigers loss.
Stat that matters: Pelfrey hasn't faired well against the White Sox in his career. He's 0-4 with a 6.20 ERA in eight career starts vs. Chicago. That ERA is his third-worst mark against any opponent.
Kershaw takes the hill: ATL@LAD, 10:10 p.m.
Kershaw will look to continue his May momentum when the Dodgers host the Braves today. The left-hander went 5-0 with a 0.91 in six starts last month, striking out 65 batters and walking just two in 49 2/3 innings en route to National League Pitcher of the Month honors. He threw three shutouts and totaled 10 or more strikeouts in all but one of those starts. Kershaw's string of five straight wins came to an end with a no decision vs. the Mets his last time out, despite allowing just two runs and striking out 10 batters with no walks over 7 2/3 innings. The Braves will counter with Mike Foltynewicz, who has allowed two earned runs or fewer in four of his five starts this year.
Stat that matters: The Dodgers can pencil in Kershaw for at least seven innings each time he takes the mound. He's pitched seven or more frames in 12 straight games, which is the longest active streak the Majors.
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).
Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.