Cleveland goes for record-setting 21st consecutive win
By Austin Laymance
The Indians can make modern baseball history this afternoon at Progressive Field as they go for their 21st consecutive victory, and fans can watch all the drama streaming live on MLB.TV and on MLB Network.
The Tribe will try to rewrite baseball's record book in the finale of a three-game series against the Tigers, with first pitch set for 12:10 p.m. ET. It's arguably the most anticipated game of the season so far, and it's the first matchup on today's full slate of Major League action.
The 1935 Cubs hold the mark for most wins in consecutive games with 21 -- a record the Indians will aim for this afternoon, with starter Mike Clevinger on the mound. Buck Farmer will start for the Tigers as they try and spoil the party.
With 20 wins in a row, the Indians tied the 2002 A's of "Moneyball" fame for the longest streak in the Expansion Era (since 1961). The Elias Sports Bureau credits the 1916 New York Giants with an MLB-record 26-game winning streak, though that impressive run included a tie within a 27-game stretch.
The Indians began their streak with a 13-6 victory over the Red Sox on Aug. 24, and they have since swept the Royals, Yankees, Tigers, White Sox and Orioles. A win today would give the Tribe a sixth consecutive series sweep.
History is not the only thing at stake for the Indians this afternoon. There are postseason implications, too, as they look to maintain a slim lead over the Astros for the best record in the American League, which provides home-field advantage in the postseason.
Watch every out-of-market regular season game live on MLB.TV Premium. With nearly two dozen features for subscribers to access and interact, including the best picture quality at 60 frames per second, choice of him or away broadcasts, live game DVR, and multi-game viewing, MLB.TV is supported by more than 400 devices. Month and Single Team subscriptions are also available.
Here's what to watch for throughout the day (all times ET):
Rays ready to head home: NYY@TB, 1:10 p.m., MLB.TV
The Rays meet the Yankees in the finale of a three-game series at Citi Field before heading home to Florida to await a decision on where they will play their weekend series against the Red Sox. The Rays have played just three games at Tropicana Field since Aug. 24, and this series against the Yankees was relocated from St. Petersburg because of Hurricane Irma.
"I know the guys want to get home, and I'm right there with them," manager Kevin Cash said.
But first, the Rays will look to keep pace in the AL Wild Card race. Tampa Bay is four games behind Minnesota for the second Wild Card spot. The Yankees are three games up on the Twins for the first Wild Card.
Chris Archer starts for the Rays opposite Yanks left-hander Jaime Garcia. Archer is 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA in three starts this season against the Bronx Bombers. Garcia is 0-2 with a 5.11 ERA in five starts with New York since being acquired from the Twins on the eve of the non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Royals continue Wild Card push: CWS@KC, 2:15 p.m., MLB.TV
Rookie left-hander Eric Skoglund takes the mound for the Royals as they close out a seven-game homestand. Kansas City is three games back of the Twins for the second AL Wild Card.
Lucas Giolito gets the ball for the White Sox in the rubber game. Giolito, the No. 56 prospect in baseball according to MLBPipeline.com, is 2-2 with a 2.84 ERA in four starts with the South Siders. He was part of the package the White Sox received from the Nationals in the Adam Eaton trade this past offseason.
Skoglund fired 6 1/3 shutout innings to beat the Tigers in his MLB debut on May 30, but he has struggled since, allowing 16 earned runs over his last 7 2/3 innings.
Lester starts for first-place Cubs: NYM@CHC, 8:05 p.m., MLB.TV
The Cubs give the ball to left-hander Jon Lester as they look to solidify their standing in the National League Central. The first-place Cubs lead the Cardinals by two games and are 2 1/2 games up on the Brewers in the division race.
"I like that it's difficult now and we should learn something about ourselves moving forward," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "If we take care of business, we'll be fine."
Matt Harvey toes the rubber for the Mets in his third start back from the disabled list after missing nearly three months of the season due to weakness in his throwing shoulder.
Brewers look to keep pace in playoff hunt: PIT@MIL, 8:10 p.m., MLB.TV
The Brewers turn to right-hander Chase Anderson as they face the Pirates in the rubber match of their series at Miller Park. Milwaukee is chasing the Cubs in the NL Central and the Rockies for the second National League Wild Card berth.
Anderson is looking to reach 10 wins for the first time in his big league career. He beat the Pirates in his only other start against them this year, allowing two run on two hits in six innings on June 22 at Miller Park.
Rookie right-hander Tyler Glasnow starts for the Bucs. Glasnow, who lost his last three starts, faced the Brewers on May 7 at PNC Park, and he was charged with four runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings in a loss.
Contending Cardinals eye fifth straight win: CIN@STL, 8:15 p.m., MLB.TV
The Cardinals go for a fifth consecutive victory as they look to gain ground on the Cubs in the NL Central and the Rockies in the hunt for the second NL Wild Card. The Cards have won 10 of their last 12 games.
A pair of rookie right-handers compromise the starting pitching matchup, with Tyler Mahle going for the Reds in his fourth start and Jack Flaherty making his third start with the Cards. Meanwhile, Reds slugger Joey Votto will look to reach base for the 16th consecutive game.
Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.