Giants plan to eschew DH in Oakland, let Bumgarner hit for himself
By Austin Laymance
What figures to be an exciting and potentially historic day in baseball gets underway this afternoon, with three matinees among a slate of 11 Major League games.
The first-place Rangers will look to win a series against the Yankees in the first game of the day, while the Cubs and Mets will meet for the first time since last year's National League Championship Series. The fun doesn't end there, as the Orioles have a chance to make home run history in Seattle tonight, and one of baseball's best pitchers will take his cuts -- in an American League park.
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):
Homer history: BAL@SEA, 10:10 p.m.
The first-place Orioles need one home run to set the MLB record for homers in the month of June. The O's are sitting on 55 homers, tied with the 1996 Athletics. It's the final day of the month, thus the last chance for the Orioles to make history.
Mariners starter Taijuan Walker has allowed six homers in 49 1/3 innings over eight starts at Safeco Field this year. Orioles starter Chris Tillman, a second-round pick by the Mariners in the 2006 Draft, is seeking his 11th win in his 17th start of the year. Tillman won 11 games last year in 31 starts.
Stat that matters: The record for homers by a team in one calendar month is 58, shared by the Orioles in May '87 and the Mariners in May '99.
Bumgarner bats in the Bay Bridge Series: SF@OAK, 10:05 p.m. Madison Bumgarner gets the ball -- and his bat -- for the first-place Giants in the final game of the Bay Bridge Series against the A's. Manager Bruce Bochy is expected to forgo the DH when he fills out his lineup card and let his ace -- who leads all active pitchers with 13 career home runs -- hit for himself. Bumgarner has lost his last two starts after winning seven straight decisions from April 25-June 14. Left-hander Dillon Overton toes the rubber for the A's in his second big league start. He beat the Angels in his debut on Saturday.
Stat that matters: In three career starts in Oakland, Bumgarner is 1-2 with a 6.41 ERA over 19 2/3 innings.
Maeda goes for Dodgers: LAD@MIL, 2:10 p.m. Kenta Maeda is one of the few remaining healthy starters for the Dodgers, and he will get the ball in the rubber game against the Brewers, who will counter with Zach Davies. Maeda has been great on the road in his rookie season, going 4-1 with a 2.79 ERA over 38 2/3 innings. He faces the Brewers for the second time this month, having pitched 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball at Dodger Stadium on June 19. Davies is 5-0 with a 2.64 ERA over his last 10 starts. He allowed one run over seven innings against the Dodgers on June 17.
Stat that matters: Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is batting .415 (17-for-41) with eight extra-base hits and eight runs scored during his current 10-game hitting streak.
NLCS rematch: CHC@NYM, 7:10 p.m.
The first-place Cubs visit Citi Field to open a four-game series with the Mets in a rematch of last October's NLCS, which the Mets swept. Cubs manager Joe Maddon wants his club focused on the task at hand.
"What does it mean? It just means we're playing the Mets four games in New York," Maddon said. "Last year is last year, man. They beat us, they pitched really well. We had a great season, all of the above. Right now, I know they're struggling a bit, they've had some injuries on their pitching staff, too. I don't even think about connecting those dots from last year."
Tonight's series opener is both an MLB Network Showcase Game and an MLB Plus game. All eyes will be on Mets starter Steven Matz, who is dealing with bone spurs in his pitching elbow. Matz pitched 4 1/3 innings and allowed six earned runs in his last start against Atlanta. John Lackey starts for the Cubs.
Stat that matters: Lackey has a 6.61 ERA with eight walks in 16 1/3 innings over his last three outings, after posting a 2.63 ERA through his first 12 starts of the year.
Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.