Thor, Mets face Royals in World Series rematch on MLB.TV
Arrieta, Hamels among aces also in action
By Austin Laymance
An exciting day of baseball is on tap today with a full schedule of Major League games, including seven matinees and a trio of aces on the mound.
The Mets' Noah Syndergaard is set to start against the Royals in a World Series rematch this afternoon, while Jake Arrieta will get the ball for the Cubs against the division rival Cardinals. Later this evening, Cole Hamels toes the rubber for the first-place Rangers.
And the best place to catch all the action is on MLB.TV.
MLB.TV Premium has returned with the same features as last year, and is only $99.99 for the rest of the season. 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 $79.99 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):
World Series rematch: KC@NYM, 1:10 p.m.
The Royals and Mets meet for the final time in the regular season this afternoon in a rematch of last year's World Series, which the Royals won in five games. New York is 2-1 against Kansas City this year, including a 2-1 win Tuesday. Syndergaard gets the start for the Mets, who pushed him back a day for extra rest and to line him up to start against the Nationals next week. Syndergaard threw a season-high 115 pitches his last time out, working into the ninth inning.
"I thought we'd give him a little extra time," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We looked at it, we said if we bring [Bartolo Colon] back, we can move Noah back a day, give him an extra day with all the pitches he threw, and that will allow him to pitch in Washington also."
Syndergaard, 23, has been by far New York's best pitcher, going 7-2 with a 1.91 ERA over 13 starts and one relief appearance. The Royals, winners of eight of their past 10 games, will counter with left-hander Danny Duffy.
Stat that matters: Duffy leads the Majors with a 0.44 ERA in nine day games (three starts) this season.
Cubs turn to Arrieta: STL@CHC, 2:20 p.m.
Arrieta starts for the first-place Cubs in the series finale against the Cardinals this afternoon at Wrigley Field, looking to build off his latest strong outing. The reigning National League Cy Young winner, Arrieta tossed six scoreless innings Friday to beat the Pirates. Arrieta enters this start with a 1.74 ERA, second only to Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (1.57). Arrieta hasn't been as sharp in his past couple of starts against the Cardinals, though, as he was charged with a season-high four runs in five innings against St. Louis on May 25 at Busch Stadium. He allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Cards in Game 3 of the 2015 NL Division Series.
"Whenever we're looking at any particular pitcher, I think we're always good at giving credit where credit is due, but also not giving too much credit," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "We've been able to face up against the best of the best, and it doesn't really matter. If we're doing what we need to do, it doesn't matter who's pitching against us. We're just going to figure out how to get it done."
Michael Wacha starts for the Cardinals, looking to end a career-high string of seven losses, which is the longest active losing streak in the Majors. Wacha yielded one run in 7 2/3 innings his last time out, but he's struggled in his career against the Cubs. Wacha is 3-4 with a 5.90 ERA in nine career starts against Chicago, including 0-2 with a 5.50 ERA in four appearances at Wrigley Field (three starts).
Stat that matters: The road team has won six of the eight meetings between these two teams in 2016, with the season-series split 4-4.
Shark starts for Giants: SF@PIT, 7:05 p.m. Jeff Samardzija gets the ball for the first-place Giants in the third game of a four-game set against the Pirates, who will counter with lefty Francisco Liriano. Samardzija is coming off a complete-game win over the Rays. He owns a 1.26 ERA at PNC Park since 2008, going 4-2 and holding opponents to a .167 average in that time. Liriano has lost four straight starts and six of his past seven. The Pirates have been unable to score a run with Liriano on the mound in either of his past two starts. Still, Liriano has enjoyed success in his career against the Giants, going 4-1 with a 3.07 ERA in five starts (all with the Pirates).
Stat that matters: The Giants are 28-9 over their past 37 games since May 11, which is the best record in baseball in that time.
Hamels goes for Rangers: CIN@TEX, 8:05 p.m.
The Rangers had a seven-game win streak snapped Tuesday, so they'll look to get back in the win column tonight behind Hamels. Texas owns the best record in the American League at 46-26, which is also the best 72-game start in franchise history. Hamels has pitched well in June, going 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA over four starts, completing at least seven innings in each outing. Dan Straily starts for the Reds. He's second on the team with seven quality starts, though he was unable to get out of the fifth inning in his last appearance.
Stat that matters: Hamels is 9-1 with a 1.96 ERA lifetime against the Reds in 14 starts, with his lone loss coming on June 8, 2015, as a member of the Phillies.
Top prospect seeks first win: WSH@LAD, 10:10 p.m. Julio Urias takes the mound for the Dodgers in the finale of their three-game series with the first-place Nationals. Urias, 19, is winless in five starts since making his big league debut May 27. The No. 2 overall prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, Urias tossed five scoreless innings against the Brewers his last time out and settled for a no-decision. The Nationals will counter with Joe Ross, who has won his past three decisions. The Nats are 9-4 when Ross starts, winning his past five outings.
Stat that matters: The Nationals lead the NL with 98 homers this year.
Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.