Yankees host Twins in possible WC preview; Brewers look to stay hot
By Austin Laymance
The first-place Cubs are on the road to face the contending Rays tonight at Tropicana Field in a matchup that also marks a homecoming for Chicago manager Joe Maddon. This Interleague game is part of a full slate of Major League action streaming live on MLB.TV.
The Cubs hold a 3 1/2-game lead over the Brewers in the National League Central, while the Rays are five games back of the Twins for the second American League Wild Card spot.
Mike Montgomery will take the mound for the Cubs, who have won six games in a row. The Rays will turn to ace Chris Archer as the club looks to turn things around after losing seven of its last 10 games. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Maddon managed the Rays for nine seasons (2006-14) and led the franchise to an AL pennant in '08. He still lives in the Tampa area.
"I'm really looking forward to it," Maddon said. "I haven't been there in the summer for a bit. I think it's good to go back to the Trop."
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Here's what to watch tonight (all times ET):
Potential AL Wild Card preview: MIN@NYY, 7:05 p.m., MLB.TV
In what could be a preview of the AL Wild Card Game in two weeks, the Yankees host the Twins in the second of three games at Yankee Stadium. New York is five games ahead of the Twins for the first AL Wild Card spot.
CC Sabathia takes the mound for the Yankees, who have won eight of their last 10 games. It's the first start for the veteran left-hander since Sept. 11. The Twins will counter with Jose Berrios, who is second on the team with 12 wins.
Keep an eye on Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, who leads the AL with 44 home runs. Judge went deep on Monday to give him seven homers and 14 RBIs over his last 14 games.
Darvish goes for Dodgers: LAD@PHI, 7:05 p.m., MLB.TV Yu Darvish draws the start for the first-place Dodgers, who head into the night looking to reduce their magic number of three to clinch the NL West. Aaron Nola starts for the Phillies, who beat Clayton Kershaw in the series opener Monday night.
The Dodgers are also playing for home-field advantage in the postseason, and their magic number to clinch the NL's best record is eight over the Nationals.
Darvish is 3-3 with a 4.34 ERA in seven starts with the Dodgers since being acquired at the non-waiver Trade Deadline. Nola has won his last two starts at home, pitching seven innings of one-run ball in each of those outings.
AL East rivals meet: BOS@BAL, 7:05 p.m., MLB.TV
The first-place Red Sox continue their playoff push tonight when they face the AL Wild Card hopeful Orioles in the second of a three-game series in Baltimore. Boston is three games ahead of the Yankees in the AL East. The O's are 5 1/2 games back of the Twins for the second AL Wild Card.
Kevin Gausman will start for the Orioles. Left-hander Drew Pomeranz gets the ball for the Red Sox. Pomeranz has been a pleasant surprise for Boston and he's tied for second in the AL with 16 wins.
"He's been maybe our most consistent starter in our rotation for the better part of these three or four months," said Red Sox manager John Farrell.
Brewers look to stay hot: MIL@PIT, 7:05 p.m., MLB.TV
The Brewers are playing some of their best baseball of the season heading into tonight's game against the Pirates at PNC Park.
Milwaukee has won two in a row and eight of its last 10 games to move two games behind the Rockies for the second NL Wild Card and 3 1/2 games behind the Cubs in the NL Central. The Brewers have scored 60 runs over their last 10 games.
Chase Anderson starts for the Brewers opposite Trevor Williams for the Pirates. Anderson has won his last two starts and three of his last four decisions. The Pirates will look to generate offense after being limited to 22 runs over their last 12 games.
Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.