Top prospects start for Nats, Bucs; Ryu returns for LA
By Chad Thornburg
Two of the top prospects in baseball will be on display today as Washington's Lucas Giolito (No. 1 overall) and Pittsburgh's Tyler Glasnow (No. 8) toe the rubber in division matchups for their respective clubs.
Glasnow will get his first taste of the big leagues, making his debut for the Pirates against the Cardinals, while Giolito is set for his second career start, against the Mets in New York. Glasnow's highly anticipated debut and Giolito's encore performance, as well as Hyun-Jin Ryu's return to action for the Dodgers, headline the day's 11-game MLB.TV slate.
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Here's what to watch for throughout the day (all times in ET):
Giolito, Nats look to extend East lead over Mets: WSH@NYM, 7:10 p.m.
Giolito, Major League Baseball's top prospect, impressed in his debut last month, also against the Mets, tossing four scoreless frames and allowing just one hit and two walks before his outing was cut short by a rain delay. Giolito was called up to fill the injured Stephen Strasburg's spot in the rotation, but the Nationals plan to evaluate Giolito with each start for a potentially longer big league stint. He'll try to build upon his strong first outing as the first-place Nationals try to stretch their four-game lead over the Mets in the National League East.
"It's critical, because they're chasing us, and we're trying to put some distance on them," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said.
Veteran Bartolo Colon will start for New York. Colon hasn't allowed more than two earned runs since May 18, a span of seven starts -- excluding June 21, when he exited with a bruised thumb after just four pitches.
Stat that matters: The Nats' Daniel Murphy has haunted his former club this season, batting .429 (15-for-35) in nine games. His four homers and 11 RBIs against the Mets are his most against any opponent.
Welcome to the big leagues: PIT@STL, 1:45 p.m.
Pirates fans will get their first look at top prospect Glasnow at the Major League level today as he toes the rubber against the division-rival Cardinals in St. Louis. With Triple-A Indianapolis, Glasnow was 7-2 with a 1.78 ERA and 113 strikeouts and 52 walks in 96 innings. The Cardinals will counter with right-hander Adam Wainwright, who's excelled at Busch Stadium of late. Since yielding seven runs in his home debut on April 16, Wainwright has a 2.15 ERA at the St. Louis ballpark. If Wainwright can beat the Bucs, he'll pass Harry Brecheen (128) for seventh-most wins in Cardinals history.
Stat that matters: Leadoff batters have given Wainwright trouble this year, hitting .373/.396/.588 against him. Wainwright's .432 BABIP against the first batter in an inning ranks last among all qualified starting pitchers.
Ryu returns: SD@LAD, 10:10 p.m.
For the first time since Game 3 of the 2014 NL Division Series, Ryu will take the mound for the Dodgers. After nearly a season-and-a-half away dealing with shoulder issues, Ryu is set to start against the Padres today. The Korean southpaw made five rehab appearances with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga and Triple-A Oklahoma City, working up to 84 pitches and six innings in his last outing.
"I think I'm pretty much ready to go," he said Monday through a translator.
For San Diego, Drew Pomeranz makes his final start of a stellar first half. He enters the day with a 2.65 ERA and is averaging 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings.
Stat that matters:Corey Seager enters this contest with a 19-game hitting streak, the longest in the NL this season and the third longest in the Majors. A hit today would tie Tommy Davis' Dodgers rookie record.
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.