Chicago goes for 12th straight win; Hamels, Bumgarner take the mound
By Austin Laymance
The Cubs are the hottest team in baseball as they enter today's game against the rival Cardinals riding an 11-game win streak. The Cubs have not lost a game this month and the last time they won 12 games in a row was in 2001.
Today's full schedule of Major League games also features starts from Rangers ace Cole Hamels and Giants workhorse Madison Bumgarner, plus four matinees across three different time zones.
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 $20.16 for the rest of the 2016 stretch run. 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.
Here's what to watch for today in the Majors (all times ET):
Cubs go for 12th straight win: STL@CHC, 2:20 p.m.
The Cubs will look to stay hot behind right-hander Kyle Hendricks, who has been dominant at Wrigley Field this year with an 8-1 record and 1.19 ERA in 12 games (11 starts). That's the lowest home ERA in the Majors and Hendicks' 2.17 ERA overall is also second lowest among MLB starting pitchers.
The Cardinals hope to play spoiler against their rivals and will turn to former first-round Draft pick Luke Weaver, who makes his MLB debut on the mound in place of an injured Michael Wacha. Weaver, the No. 27 overall pick in the 2014 Draft, owns a 1.30 ERA in 13 Minor League starts this year.
"I think this is just a huge accomplishment for me," said Weaver, the Cardinals' No. 2 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com. "Obviously, this is what we dream for as a kid, and it coming true is just crazy. I'm trying to wrap my head around it and stay even-keeled and trying to go with the flow."
Stat that matters: Hendricks is 7-1 with a 1.06 ERA since June 19.
Hamels goes for Rangers: DET@TEX, 2:20 p.m.
Hamels takes the mound for the first-place Rangers in the second of a three-game series against the Tigers, who remain in the hunt for the second AL Wild Card.
Hamels has been solid in the second half, going 3-1 with a 1.83 ERA in five starts. Four of those outings were quality starts, and he allowed one unearned run in 5 1/3 innings in the other start.
The Tigers will counter with Matt Boyd, who is winless in three career starts against the Rangers. Boyd earned the win in his last start, allowing three runs over five innings against the Mets.
Stat that matters: The Rangers are 17-6 when Hamels starts this year, including a 10-2 record in his last 12 outings.
O's face Bumgarner: BAL@SF, 9:05 p.m.
Bumgarner is seeking his first win in over a month as he takes the mound tonight against the Orioles in an Interleague matchup featuring two clubs battling for first place in their respective divisions.
The Giants have lost Bumgarner's last five starts, scoring two runs or less in four of those outings. The left-hander tossed eight innings of one-run ball his last time out, but was still saddled with the loss. Bumgarner has not won since a shutout against the D-backs on July 10 at AT&T Park.
The homer-happy Orioles will counter with Kevin Gausman, who is making his first start in a National League park since 2014. Gausman allowed two runs over six innings and took the loss in his last start against the A's.
Stat that matters: The last time the Giants lost six straight starts by Bumgarner was Aug. 7-Sept. 3, 2013.
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).
Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.