Lefties duel in San Francisco, Syndergaard faces Taillon in Pittsburgh
By Manny Randhawa
It's set to be a day of dueling aces and new faces in action around the Majors today, highlighted by an Interleague showdown of star southpaws by the Bay and a long-anticipated big league arrival in Pittsburgh.
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's what to watch for today in the Majors (all times ET):
Southpaw showdown a San Francisco treat: BOS@SF, 10:15 p.m.
Two of the game's best southpaws, David Price and Madison Bumgarner, square off at AT&T Park tonight. The two big left-handers -- each listed at 6-foot-5 -- faced each other once before, on Sept. 6, 2014. Bumgarner got the best of Price, allowing three runs on 10 hits over six innings to win his 17th game of the season. Price, then with the Tigers, surrendered five runs over 8 2/3 innings, but struck out 11 Giants at Comerica Park.
Price got off to a rocky start with his new club in Boston, posting a 6.75 ERA through his first seven starts. But in five outings since, the former American League Cy Young Award winner has gone 3-1 with a 2.62 ERA.
Meanwhile, Bumgarner has been nearly unhittable on the mound, while helping his own cause at the plate. Over his last seven starts, he's gone 5-0 with a 0.89 ERA while striking out 56 and walking 14 in 50 1/3 innings. Bumgarner also hit his 13th career home run -- and his second on the season -- in his last start at Atlanta on Thursday.
With this series, the Red Sox and Giants are meeting for the first time since 2013, when Boston took two out of three at AT&T Park.
Stat that matters: In the last eight starts by Price and Bumgarner, the Red Sox and Giants are a combined 14-2.
Welcome to the Show, now face Thor: NYM@PIT, 7:05 p.m.
The long-awaited Major League debut of Pirates right-hander Jameson Taillon is set for tonight at PNC Park against the Mets. And who's slated to be his counterpart on the mound? None other than Noah Syndergaard.
Pittsburgh called Taillon up from Triple-A Indianapolis to start because the Bucs needed an extra starter this week after Monday's series opener was postponed due to rain. Manager Clint Hurdle did not say whether Taillon would stay in the rotation or return to the Minors after tonight's outing.
Taillon makes his big league debut after Tommy John surgery and a hernia resulted in detours on his road to the Majors over the past two years. The 24-year-old right-hander, ranked the Pirates' No. 4 prospect per MLBPipeline.com, is 4-2 with a 2.04 ERA in Triple-A this season. In 61 2/3 innings, he's struck out 61 and walked just six while posting a 0.81 WHIP.
Earning a win in his first Major League start will be a tall order for Taillon as he draws Syndergaard, who had tossed 22 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings before allowing a run in his last start. On Friday at Miami, the hard-throwing right-hander gave up two runs over seven innings, walking one and striking out nine. Syndergaard hasn't lost since May 6.
Stat that matters: Syndergaard is receiving just 2.93 runs of support per start from the Mets' offense this season, eighth-lowest in the Majors.
Game 1 on the South Side for 'Big Game James': WSH@CWS, 8:10 p.m.
James Shields is slated to make his White Sox debut after being traded to Chicago by the Padres. He'll take the mound opposite Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer.
Shields is coming off his worst start in nearly three years, giving up 10 runs in 2 2/3 innings at Seattle before being dealt. He's hoping for a fresh start with the White Sox, who could use a fresh start of their own after losing 11 of their last 13 games following a hot start to the season.
Meanwhile, after a hiccup on May 27 in which he gave up five runs in a loss to the Cardinals, Scherzer returned to form in his last outing with an eight-inning, two-run performance with 11 strikeouts at Philadelphia on June 1.
In 23 career starts against the White Sox, Scherzer is 12-6 with a 2.54 ERA. In 156 innings vs. Chicago, he's racked up 165 strikeouts to just 36 walks.
Stat that matters: Scherzer has surrendered an MLB-high 16 homers this season. Shields led the Majors last season by giving up 33 homers (he's given up nine this year).
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).
Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.