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MLB • Monday Service Plays • 4/25/16

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    Good morning Ladies & Gents

    I want to announce the end of this venture.

    Next saturday April 30th will be my ‘Last Day’ running this site, i’ll take a break from sports ’till football season which is almost around the corner,,,,, new project, new site, new everything and more important by myself.

    I want to thank All of you guys for your constant support and wish you All The Best.

    In the mean time let’s have a fantastic week.
    God bless you guys.


    Preview: White Sox at Blue Jays

    GAME: Chicago White Sox (13-6) at Toronto Blue Jays (10-10)
    DATE/TIME: Monday, April 25 – 7:07 PM EST
    WHERE: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario

    The Chicago White Sox have leaned on pitching and defense while climbing into first place in the American League Central and lead the AL in runs allowed. That pitching staff will take on the most powerful offense in the league when the White Sox visit the Toronto Blue Jays in the opener of a three-game series on Monday.

    Chicago’s 47 runs allowed is the best in the AL, and the staff has been even stingier of late with a total of eight runs surrendered in winning five of the last six games. The White Sox yielded four runs in sweeping a three-game set at home against the Texas Rangers over the weekend and closer David Robertson bounced back from a blown save on Saturday by striking out the side in a perfect ninth in Sunday’s 4-1 triumph. The Rangers entered that series as one of the highest scoring teams in the league along with the Blue Jays, who pounded out 15 runs in two games over the weekend to earn a series win over Oakland. Jose Bautista slammed a two-run homer on Sunday after Troy Tulowitzki snapped out of a slump with a pair of blasts in Saturday’s 9-3 triumph.

    TV: 7:07 p.m. ET, CSN Chicago, Sportsnet One (Toronto)

    PITCHING MATCHUP: White Sox RH Miguel Gonzalez (2015: 9-12, 4.91 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RH Marcus Stroman (3-0, 4.13)

    Gonzalez was released by the Baltimore Orioles toward the end of spring training and ended up with Chicago on a minor league deal. The Mexico native is coming up to give the rest of the rotation at least a one-day break after going 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in two starts for Triple-A Charlotte. Gonzalez is 7-3 with a 2.61 ERA in 13 career games – 12 starts – against the Blue Jays, including 1-1 with a 2.38 mark in two turns last season.

    Stroman has turned in three quality starts in four chances and picked up a win at Baltimore on Tuesday while allowing three runs and six hits in seven innings. The Duke product surrendered a pair of home runs in that turn after keeping the ball in the yard in the two previous outings. Stroman is making his third career start against Chicago and looking for his first win after yielding a total of seven runs in 7 1/3 innings in the first two chances.


    1. Blue Jays C Russell Martin (neck) was scratched from Sunday’s lineup and is day-to-day.

    2. White Sox C Alex Avila (hamstring) was placed on the 15-day DL on Sunday and C Kevan Smith was recalled from Charlotte.

    3. Chicago LHP John Danks (0-3, 6.23 ERA in three starts) will not pitch in the series.

    PREDICTION: Blue Jays 5, White Sox 3


    Preview: Orioles at Rays

    GAME: Baltimore Orioles (11-6) at Tampa Bay Rays (8-10)
    DATE/TIME: Monday, April 25 – 7:10 PM EST
    WHERE: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida

    Chris Archer tries to begin turning his season around Monday, when he takes the mound at home for the Tampa Bay Rays against the power-hitting Baltimore Orioles in the opener of their three-game series. The 2015 American League All-Star has dropped all four of his outings this year, including one at Baltimore in which he surrendered four solo homers as the Rays were being swept in a two-game set.

    “I think the root of it is, I have to be in the strike zone more. … So it’s about getting ahead early,” Archer told the Tampa Bay Times. “And whenever I do get ahead, not trying to throw the most nasty pitch in the world because my normal is beyond average.” The Rays come home after a 3-3 road trip that ended with a five-homer performance in Sunday’s 8-1 victory over the New York Yankees to face Kevin Gausman, who is slated to come off the disabled list. The Orioles lost two of three at Kansas City over the weekend while Manny Machado saw his 16-game hitting streak end in Sunday’s 6-1 defeat. Mark Trumbo has hit safely in nine straight contests and leads Baltimore with 16 RBIs.

    TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MASN (Baltimore), FSN Sun (Tampa Bay)

    PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Kevin Gausman (2015: 4-7, 4.25 ERA) vs. Rays RH Chris Archer (0-4, 7.32)

    Gausman (shoulder) makes his season debut after posting a 3.27 ERA and striking out 19 over 11 innings during his minor-league rehabilitation stint. The 25-year-old LSU product is 2-3 with a 6.16 ERA in nine career games – seven starts – versus Tampa Bay. Logan Forsythe (4-for-5, home run), Brandon Guyer (3-for-5, three doubles) and Evan Longoria (6-for-18, homer) all have had success against Gausman.

    Archer’s best two starts have come at home, allowing three runs – two earned – in each, but the North Carolina native has permitted 30 hits in 19 2/3 innings overall. The 27-year-old has registered 29 strikeouts but also has walked 11 and surrendered six home runs. Chris Davis has hit a pair of homers and Machado is 9-for-22 with a blast versus Archer, who is 2-5 with a 5.03 ERA in 10 games – nine starts – against the Orioles.


    1. Davis has hit 23 homers in 81 career games against the Rays and went deep as the Orioles scored a total of 11 runs to beat them on April 8 and 10.

    2. Tampa Bay CF Kevin Kiermaier has built a six-game hitting streak, going 8-for-22 with six extra-base hits.

    3. Baltimore CF Adam Jones did not play in the first series against the Rays due to injury but has recorded 134 hits in as many career games against them.

    PREDICTION: Rays 4, Orioles 3


    Preview: Red Sox at Braves

    GAME: Boston Red Sox (9-9) at Atlanta Braves (4-14)
    DATE/TIME: Monday, April 25 – 7:10 PM EST
    WHERE: Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia

    The Atlanta Braves are last in the major leagues with three home runs after 18 games and hope to end the long-ball drought when they open a four-game, home-and-home series against the visiting Boston Red Sox on Monday. Atlanta has gone 13 straight contests without belting a homer and enters the set with a five-game losing streak.

    Nick Markakis has recorded nine (all doubles) of the Braves’ 29 extra-base hits, and Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the New York Mets consisted of 12 hits – all singles. Atlanta has failed to take care of a home-friendly schedule by going just 1-10 while owning the worst overall record (4-14) in the majors. Boston was scuffling with five losses in seven games before Jackie Bradley Jr. delivered a tiebreaking single in the 12th inning en route to a 7-5 victory over Houston on Sunday. Offseason acquisition Craig Kimbrel suffered his first blown save in six opportunities when he gave up a tying two-run homer to Colby Rasmus with two out in the bottom of the ninth.

    TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), FSN Southeast (Atlanta)

    PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Rick Porcello (3-0, 4.66 ERA) vs. Braves RH Julio Teheran (0-2, 5.64)

    Porcello has won each of his first three starts despite serving up five homers. He has a sensational strikeouts-to-walk ratio of 24-to-3 and fanned a season-best nine in seven innings while beating Tampa Bay in his last outing. Porcello is 1-1 with a 4.97 ERA in two career starts against Atlanta and has struggled with Markakis (11-of-27, one homer) and Jeff Francoeur (9-for-23, two blasts).

    Teheran is winless in four starts, allowing two runs in both of his no-decisions and 11 – 10 earned – in his two losses. He wasn’t involved in the decision in his last outing, when he gave up two runs and six hits in 5 1/3 frames against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Teheran was roughed up in his lone career start versus Boston as he allowed six runs and 13 hits in 6 1/3 innings while both Mookie Betts and Brock Holt (homer) went 3-for-4 against him.


    1. Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts (wrist) returned after a one-game absence Sunday and went 1-for-5 with a walk.

    2. Braves SS Daniel Castro recorded three hits on Sunday and is 10-for-28 during his six-game hitting streak.

    3. Kimbrel pitched for the Braves from 2010-14 and went 4-for-4 in save opportunities against Atlanta last season while with San Diego.

    PREDICTION: Red Sox 7, Braves 3


    Preview: Athletics at Tigers

    GAME: Oakland Athletics (10-9) at Detroit Tigers (8-9)
    DATE/TIME: Monday, April 25 – 7:10 PM EST
    WHERE: Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan

    The Detroit Tigers have a lineup capable of inflicting damage on opposing pitching staffs but have had a hard time pushing runs across the plate lately. The Tigers will try to snap a four-game slide and get back to .500 when they host the opener of a four-game series against the Oakland Athletics on Monday.

    Detroit managed a total of five runs in the last four games and sat slumping sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Justin Upton at the start of Sunday’s 6-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians. Both appeared as pinch hitters and both failed to reach base, dropping Cabrera to 0-for-11 in the last four games and a .206 batting average while Upton fell to .214. The Tigers could bust out of their collective slump against the Athletics pitching staff, which surrendered a total of 15 runs in losses to the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday and Sunday. Oakland had allowed a total of 17 runs during a six-game winning streak prior to the two losses and will try to turn things around behind Kendall Graveman on Monday.

    TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, CSN California (Oakland), FSN Detroit

    PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics RH Kendall Graveman (1-1, 2.04 ERA) vs. Tigers RH Jordan Zimmermann (3-0, 0.00)

    Graveman was impressive enough in 21 starts last season to lock up a rotation spot in 2016 and has only improved over the course of three starts. The 25-year-old struck out eight and scattered three hits and three walks over 6 1/3 innings while allowing one run in a win at the New York Yankees on Wednesday. Graveman started at Detroit on June 2 last season and allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings to pick up the win.

    While Upton is having some early trouble living up to the contract he signed with the Tigers in the offseason, Zimmermann is having no such issues. The former Washington National signed a five-year, $110 million deal in the offseason and has yet to allow a run in three starts for his new team. Zimmermann struck out a season-high eight in 6 1/3 innings at Kansas City on Wednesday and won his lone interleague start against Oakland with seven scoreless innings.


    1. The Tigers placed RHP Francisco Rodriguez on the family medical emergency list.

    2. Oakland 1B Mark Canha went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts on Sunday and recorded at least one strikeout in each of the eight games he has played.

    3. Detroit INF/OF Mike Aviles is 1-for-12.

    PREDICTION: Tigers 3, Athletics 1


    Preview: Reds at Mets

    GAME: Cincinnati Reds (9-10) at New York Mets (10-7)
    DATE/TIME: Monday, April 25 – 7:10 PM EST
    WHERE: Citi Field, New York City, New York

    After limping out of the gate with five losses in their first seven games, the New York Mets have righted the ship by winning eight of their last 10 contests. The Mets hope their good fortune travels with them back to Queens on Monday when they open a nine-game homestand with the first of three contests versus the Cincinnati Reds.

    New York launched 23 homers through the initial eight outings of its nine-game road trip before manufacturing its offense in Sunday’s 3-2 victory to complete a sweep of Atlanta. Michael Conforto drove in a pair of runs in the finale to cap a strong series (4-for-11) for the Mets, who batted .293 with 25 doubles during their nine-game road trip. While New York is ascending, Cincinnati has cooled off considerably from its hot start by dropping nine of its last 13 – including three of four to the Chicago Cubs. Eugenio Suarez had one of the Reds’ three hits in a 9-0 shellacking on Sunday to improve to 5-for-12 in the last three games, but is just 1-for-6 in his career versus Monday starter Noah Syndergaard.

    TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Ohio (Cincinnati), SNY (New York)

    PITCHING MATCHUP: Reds RH Raisel Iglesias (1-1, 3.09 ERA) vs. Mets RH Noah Syndergaard (2-0, 0.90)

    Iglesias authored arguably his best start in 2016 on Wednesday, when he allowed two runs and recorded season highs in both strikeouts (eight) and innings (6 2/3) before seeing the bullpen fail to close the door in a no-decision versus Colorado. The 26-year-old Cuban has kept the ball in the park in two of his four starts this season. Iglesias, who got the call on opening day, will be make his 21st start overall and first in his career versus New York.

    Syndergaard has bolted out of the blocks to start the season, allowing just two runs on 15 hits while striking out 29 in 20 innings. The 23-year-old dominated Philadelphia last Monday, permitting just one run on five hits in seven frames and earned two extra days’ rest as a reward. Syndergaard has handcuffed Cincinnati in both career outings, striking out 11 over 7 2/3 innings in his last meeting to improve to 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA while limiting the Reds to a .179 batting average.


    1. New York RF Curtis Granderson is 9-for-21 with three homers, seven RBIs and as many runs scored during his five-game hitting streak, but is just 2-for-23 (.087) at home this season.

    2. Cincinnati SS Zack Cozart has hit safely in 12 of his 13 contests this season.

    3. New York SS Asdrubal Cabrera is 6-for-17 with a homer, three RBIs and as many runs scored during his four-game hitting streak.

    PREDICTION: Mets 3, Reds 1


    Preview: Yankees at Rangers

    GAME: New York Yankees (7-10) at Texas Rangers (10-9)
    DATE/TIME: Monday, April 25 – 8:05 PM EST
    WHERE: Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas

    The New York Yankees’ offense showed limited signs of life before flatlining during the finale of their nine-game homestand. The Yankees hope a change of scenery could provide a much-needed jolt on Monday when they begin a nine-game road trip with the first of three contests versus the Texas Rangers.

    New York has mustered just 28 runs during a 3-8 stretch and closed its extended stay in the Bronx with a whimper in an 8-1 setback to Tampa Bay on Sunday. Alex Rodriguez provided his team’s lone offense with an RBI double, but is scheduled for an MRI after he departed with stiffness in his left oblique. The Rangers likely aren’t going to shed a tear for the Yankees’ offensive woes as they mustered just four runs total in a three-game sweep against the Chicago White Sox after averaging six per contest during a four-game winning streak. Nomar Mazara continued his impressive rookie season by belting a solo homer in Sunday’s 4-1 setback, marking his fourth hit in three games.

    TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, ESPN, YES (New York), FSN Southwest (Texas)

    PITCHING MATCHUP: Yankees RH Nathan Eovaldi (0-2, 6.11 ERA) vs. Rangers LH Cesar Ramos (2015: 2-1, 2.75)

    Eovaldi is struggling to get untracked this season, as he has permitted 12 runs on 21 hits – including four homers – in 17 2/3 innings. The 26-year-old Texan kept the ball in the park for the first time in 2016 and struck out seven on Wednesday, but he allowed all three of his runs in the fourth inning en route to a 5-2 setback to Oakland. Eovaldi doesn’t have fond memories of his lone start versus Texas, yielding five runs (four earned) on nine hits in five innings to take the loss.

    Signed to a minor-league deal in the offseason, Ramos is expected to be promoted from Triple-A Round Rock to receive the spot start after left-hander Cole Hamels was scratched due to left groin soreness. The 31-year-old has made the switch from the bullpen to the Express’ starting rotation, posting an 0-1 mark with a 3.18 ERA. Ramos will be making his 11th career major-league start, with seven of those coming with Tampa Bay in 2014 before recording 65 relief appearances with the Los Angeles Angels last season.


    1. Texas LF Ian Desmond has nine hits and nine runs scored in his last eight games.

    2. Yankees INF prospect Sandy Acevedo, 18, was killed in a car accident on Saturday, the team announced on Sunday.

    3. Rangers 1B Mitch Moreland went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position this weekend to drop to 3-for-18 on the season.

    PREDICTION: Rangers 2, Yankees 1


    Preview: Indians at Twins

    GAME: Cleveland Indians (9-7) at Minnesota Twins (5-14)
    DATE/TIME: Monday, April 25 – 8:10 PM EST
    WHERE: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    The Cleveland Indians are making themselves at home on the road while the Minnesota Twins couldn’t be happier that another difficult trek is in their rear-view mirror. The Indians vie for their sixth consecutive win away from home on Monday when they open a three-game series versus the American League Central cellar-dwelling Twins.

    Francisco Lindor collected five hits and scored four runs as Cleveland began the first leg of a nine-game trek by completing its first sweep in Detroit since 2008. The 22-year-old has reached base in eight straight contests to raise his batting average to .323 heading into a series with Minnesota, against which he went 21-for-50 (.420) in 13 games last season. The Twins nearly played two games on Sunday as they dropped a 6-5 marathon to Washington in 16 innings for their fifth loss in six outings to fall to 1-10 on the road. Brian Dozier belted a three-run homer in Sunday’s setback and is 9-for-18 with two blasts in his career versus Monday starter Danny Salazar.

    TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland), FSN North (Minnesota)

    PITCHING MATCHUP: Indians RH Danny Salazar (2-1, 1.47 ERA) vs. Twins LH Tommy Milone (0-1, 5.87)

    Salazar scattered three hits for the second straight outing on Wednesday, but his penchant for walks and a lack of offensive support led to his undoing in a 2-1 setback to Seattle. The 26-year-old Dominican has issued three free passes in each of his three outings to mar an otherwise strong start to the season. The Indians have enjoyed success versus Minnesota when Salazar takes the mound, posting a 5-2 mark.

    Milone walked away with his second straight no-decision on Wednesday despite yielding four runs for the third outing of the season. The 29-year-old kept the ball in the park for the first time in 2016, but an elevated pitch count led to his departure after just 4 2/3 innings versus Milwaukee. Milone, who matched his season total in strikeouts with six against the Brewers, won both outings versus Cleveland last season to improve to 3-1 against the club in his career.


    1. Cleveland LF Michael Brantley could be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Monday as he works his way back from right shoulder surgery.

    2. Minnesota is expected to activate OF Danny Santana (hamstring) from the 15-day disabled list on Monday.

    3. Twins LF Eddie Rosario is 0-for-11 with five strikeouts in his last two contests after collecting eight hits and four RBIs in his previous five games.

    PREDICTION: Indians 5, Twins 2


    Preview: Pirates at Rockies

    GAME: Pittsburgh Pirates (10-9) at Colorado Rockies (9-9)
    DATE/TIME: Monday, April 25 – 8:40 PM EST
    WHERE: Coors Field, Denver, Colorado

    The Pittsburgh Pirates and Colorado Rockies found themselves on opposite ends of identical eye-popping scores on Sunday, with the former scoring four runs in extra innings to pull out a wild victory and the latter being on the wrong end of an explosive ninth-inning rally. With both offenses appearing to be locked in, the Rockies eye only their second win in six tries Monday as they welcome the Pirates to Coors Field for the opener of a four-game series.

    Colorado held a three-run lead going into the top of the ninth Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers but watched closer Jake McGee implode for the first time this season as he surrendered five runs in a 12-10 setback. The defeat was even more heartbreaking considering the Rockies battled back from an early 7-1 deficit with nine unanswered runs to put themselves in position to take a series from their National League West rivals. Pittsburgh saw its four-run lead evaporate after giving up two in both the eighth and ninth frames before countering with two-run outbursts in the 12th and 13th to upend Arizona 12-10. The Pirates figure to have their work cut out from them in the opener, however, as Jeff Locke is coming off a dreadful outing, while Chad Bettis has been the Rockies’ most consistent starter thus far.

    TV: 8:40 p.m. ET, ROOT (Pittsburgh, Colorado)

    PITCHING MATCHUP: Pirates LH Jeff Locke (0-2, 7.24 ERA) vs. Rockies RH Chad Bettis (2-0, 3.33)

    Locke is coming off the worst start of his career, surrendering eight runs on 11 hits and four walks over only three innings at San Diego on Wednesday en route to his second loss in as many tries. The New Hampshire native has an unsightly 2.63 WHIP through three outings, averaging nearly a walk per inning (13 in 13 2/3 frames) while giving up close to two hits per frame (23 total). Locke hasn’t been much better in Coors Field over his career, going 0-1 with a 5.00 ERA in three visits.

    With scheduled starter Jorge De La Rosa getting pushed back due to the stomach flu, Bettis will work on regular rest and attempt to remain undefeated after settling for a no-decision last time out. The Texas Tech product allowed three runs and three hits – including a pair of homers – in six frames Wednesday but was dominant in his lone home outing, holding San Diego to two runs (one earned) over seven innings on April 10. Bettis is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in four appearances (two starts) versus Pittsburgh.


    1. The Pirates have won seven of the last eight meetings between the clubs, including each of the last five at Coors Field.

    2. Pittsburgh CF Andrew McCutchen is 3-for-23 with 11 strikeouts over his last six contests. All four strikeouts Sunday were swinging, marking only the second time that happened in his career.

    3. Sunday’s loss marked the first time since June 20, 2014 that Colorado lost a game in which it scored 10 or more runs.

    PREDICTION: Rockies 8, Pirates 4


    Preview: Cardinals at Diamondbacks

    GAME: St. Louis Cardinals (10-8) at Arizona Diamondbacks (10-10)
    DATE/TIME: Monday, April 25 – 9:40 PM EST
    WHERE: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona

    With second baseman Kolten Wong struggling offensively and shortstop Jhonny Peralta out indefinitely, the middle of the St. Louis Cardinals’ infield should be a weakness but instead has been a strength for most of the first month of the season. Aledmys Diaz and Jedd Gyorko look to continue their unlikely offensive surges Monday as the Cardinals visit Arizona for the first of four games against the Diamondbacks.

    Peralta wasn’t being counted on after he was lost to a torn thumb ligament before the start of the season, but Wong’s woes (.208 average) were not expected after he often hit at the top the order last year. Diaz has produced at a Peralta-like clip and essentially forced his way into the everyday lineup at shortstop by hitting .480 with three homers and 11 RBIs, while Gyorko has played all over the infield and is tied for the team lead with four home runs. Diaz and Gyorko each went deep during three-hit performances in Sunday’s 8-5 victory at San Diego – combining to go 15-for-22 in the three-game set – and hope to lead St. Louis to a ninth straight win over Arizona in the opener. The Diamondbacks have won six of their last eight and look for a long outing from ace Zack Greinke after they used eight pitchers during their 12-10, 13-inning loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday.

    TV: 9:40 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest Plus (St. Louis), FSN Arizona

    PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals LH Jaime Garcia (1-1, 2.70 ERA) vs. Diamondbacks RH Zack Greinke (1-2, 5.25)

    Garcia was unable to provide an encore to his one-hit shutout against Milwaukee on April 14, yielding two runs on four hits and four walks over five innings in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday. The 29-year-old Mexican endured his worst outing of the season in his lone road turn on April 8, giving up four runs in six frames of a no-decision at Atlanta. Garcia has been brilliant in five career starts against Arizona, winning each time while posting a 2.51 ERA (3-0, 1.62 at Chase Field).

    After going 0-2 with a 9.90 ERA in two turns at home to begin his Diamondbacks career, Greinke has seen much better results on the road, getting his first win with Arizona on Wednesday after allowing one run in 6 2/3 frames at San Francisco. The early struggles are relatively rare for the three-time All-Star, who entered this season with a 22-8 record and 2.26 ERA in 43 April outings. Greinke has made 15 appearances – 13 starts – in his career against the Cardinals, going 9-4 with a 3.03 ERA.


    1. Diamondbacks C Welington Castillo is 6-for-14 with four home runs, seven RBIs and five runs scored over his last three games.

    2. St. Louis swept the season series in 2015, allowing three or fewer runs in six of the seven meetings.

    3. Arizona LF Yasmany Tomas is on a 10-game hitting streak and has hit four homers in 17 contests (and 68 at-bats) this season after belting nine in 118 games (and 406 at-bats) in 2015.

    PREDICTION: Cardinals 4, Diamondbacks 3


    Preview: Royals at Angels

    GAME: Kansas City Royals (12-6) at Los Angeles Angels (8-11)
    DATE/TIME: Monday, April 25 – 10:05 PM EST
    WHERE: Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California

    As part of their recent domination of the American League, the Kansas City Royals have enjoyed their meetings with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The visiting Royals hope to continue their run of success against the Angels when the teams begin a three-game series on Monday.

    Including a three-game sweep in the 2014 AL Division Series, Kansas City has won 11 of its last 13 encounters with Los Angeles – claiming five straight on the road during that stretch. The Royals begin the set after taking two of three from Baltimore to finish a 4-2 homestand. Eric Hosmer belted a solo homer to extend his hitting streak to 14 games and stretch his AL-leading on-base run to 26 consecutive contests in Sunday’s 6-1 win. The Angels have produced four runs or fewer in nine of their last 10 games, dropping seven of those affairs after a 9-4 setback against Seattle on Sunday.

    TV: 10:05 p.m. ET, FSN Kansas City, KCOP (Los Angeles)

    PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Ian Kennedy (2-1, 1.35 ERA) vs. Angels RH Garrett Richards (0-3, 3.00)

    After a hamstring issue pushed back his first start of the season, Kennedy has hit the ground running with three straight solid outings – striking out seven in each. He limited Detroit to two runs over 6 1/3 innings in a tough loss on Wednesday. Opponents are hitting .188 against the 31-year-old, who is 0-2 with a 5.73 ERA in three career games (two starts) versus the Angels – including a complete-game loss opposite Richards at Angel Stadium in 2012.

    Los Angeles has scored a total of six runs in Richards’ four starts, the last three of which have been of the quality variety for the former first-round selection. He allowed one earned run in 6 1/3 innings while striking out six and walking a season-high four in a loss at the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday. Richards owns a 4.26 ERA in nine career encounters (three starts) with the Royals and will be wary of Lorenzo Cain, who is 5-for-11 with a home run and three doubles against him.


    1. Los Angeles CF Mike Trout is batting .362 in 26 career games against Kansas City.

    2. Hosmer is a .189 hitter in 18 contests at Angel Stadium.

    3. Angels 3B Yunel Escobar has four errors in 19 games after committing seven in 134 contests with Washington last year.

    PREDICTION: Royals 4, Angels 3


    Preview: Marlins at Dodgers

    GAME: Miami Marlins (6-11) at Los Angeles Dodgers (12-7)
    DATE/TIME: Monday, April 25 – 10:10 PM EST
    WHERE: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California

    Don Mattingly returns to his old stomping grounds as he leads the Miami Marlins into Los Angeles to face the Dodgers on Monday in the opener of a four-game series. Mattingly guided the Dodgers to a 446-363 record over five seasons and was the only manager in franchise history to take the club to the postseason in three consecutive years before parting ways in October and seizing the job with the Marlins.

    Miami, which is in the midst of a 10-game road trip, is coming off a 5-4 triumph in San Francisco on Sunday in which J.T. Realmuto went 4-for-4 with a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning that salvaged the finale of the three-game set. Los Angeles posted its fourth win in five games Sunday, rallying for five runs in the ninth inning to register a 12-10 victory in the rubber match of its three-game series at Colorado. Corey Seager looks to continue swinging a hot bat as the 21-year-old went 5-for-12 with a homer and five RBIs at Coors Field. The Dodgers are kicking off a seven-game homestand after playing 13 of their first 19 contests on the road.

    TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Miami), SportsNet LA (Los Angeles)

    PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins LH Wei-Yin Chen (0-1, 4.91 ERA) vs. Dodgers RH Ross Stripling (0-0, 2.65)

    Chen remains in search of his first win in the National League after spending the first four years of his career with Baltimore. The 30-year-old native of Taiwan produced his second straight quality start Wednesday against Washington despite taking the loss, allowing three runs and striking out seven over seven innings. Chen was victorious in his lone career outing versus Los Angeles on April 20, 2013 as he gave up just one run on three hits and four walks over six frames.

    Stripling also is seeking his first NL win as he makes the fourth start of his major-league career. The 26-year-old Pennsylvanian has yet to allow more than two earned runs in an outing, although he lasted only 3 2/3 innings in a no-decision at Atlanta on Wednesday. Stripling worked six frames in his first turn at Dodger Stadium on April 14, limiting Arizona to two runs and five hits while recording a career-high five strikeouts.


    1. Marlins RF Giancarlo Stanton broke out of his slump in a big way Sunday, going 3-for-4 with a homer after recording only three hits in 22 at-bats over his previous six games.

    2. Los Angeles OF Carl Crawford (back) may be activated from the disabled list Monday while RHP Louis Coleman could return from the bereavement list.

    3. Miami LF Christian Yelich has gone 8-for-18 during his five-game hitting streak.

    PREDICTION: Dodgers 4, Marlins 1


    Preview: Astros at Mariners

    GAME: Houston Astros (6-13) at Seattle Mariners (9-9)
    DATE/TIME: Monday, April 25 – 10:10 PM EST
    WHERE: Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington

    Doug Fister seeks to continue his success against his former team when the Houston Astros visit the Seattle Mariners in the opener of their three-game series on Monday. Fister, who pitched for the Mariners for parts of three seasons from 2009-11, is 2-0 with a 2.49 ERA in three career starts versus Seattle.

    Fister was traded to Detroit during the 2011 season and later spent two campaigns with Washington before joining the Astros this year, and returning to the American League West means more opportunities to pitch at Safeco Field. “It’s always almost like a welcoming home for me, just growing up there,” Fister told reporters. “I really enjoy that park. It’s a good park to pitch in. It always seems to be one of those that you try to get a lot of ground balls. I’m looking forward to being there.” The Mariners are opening a six-game homestand against Houston and Kansas City, and hope to fare better than they did in their first one, when they went 1-5 while scoring a total of 11 runs. “I’m looking forward to getting our fan base fired up and get them on board,” Seattle manager Scott Servais told reporters after Sunday’s 9-4 road victory over the Los Angeles Angels. “It’ll be a good series at home, obviously tough teams coming in, but that’s what I’m anxious for. We’ve played well everywhere on the road. We just need to do the same thing at Safeco.”

    TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, ROOT (Houston, Seattle)

    PITCHING MATCHUP: Astros RH Doug Fister (1-2, 5.94 ERA) vs. Mariners RH Taijuan Walker (1-0, 1.50)

    Fister has lost consecutive starts as he was torched for six runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings by the Royals in the first of the defeats. Despite his fondness for pitching at Safeco Park, his record is just 10-16 in 37 appearances (36 starts), but he does have a tidy 3.30 ERA. Fister has struggled against Nelson Cruz (8-for-23, one homer) while enjoying success versus Adam Lind (2-for-12).

    Walker recorded his first victory of the season in his last turn as he allowed one unearned run and three hits in six innings against Cleveland. He has made eight of his 40 career starts against Houston and has recorded a 4-1 record despite a 4.40 ERA. Colby Rasmus (5-for-10) and Jose Altuve (6-for-19, one homer) have handled Walker, while Jason Castro is 1-for-13 with nine strikeouts.


    1. The Astros, who are just 2-7 on the road this year, have gone 17-11 in Seattle over the past three seasons.

    2. Mariners 3B Kyle Seager and RF Seth Smith each hit his 99th career home run on Sunday.

    3. Rasmus has recorded four homers and 10 RBIs over his last four games, including a two-run tying blast with two out in the ninth inning against Boston on Sunday – a game Houston eventually lost 7-5 in 12 frames.

    PREDICTION: Mariners 5, Astros 3


    Preview: Padres at Giants

    GAME: San Diego Padres (7-12) at San Francisco Giants (9-11)
    DATE/TIME: Monday, April 25 – 10:15 PM EST
    WHERE: AT&T Park, San Francisco, California

    The best the San Francisco Giants can do is break even on their 10-game homestand, which concludes with a three-game series against the San Diego Padres that begins on Monday. San Francisco began the lengthy stretch at AT&T Park by losing all four meetings with Arizona but outscored Miami 15-3 in back-to-back victories before dropping a 5-4 decision on Sunday.

    Hunter Pence hopes to remain hot as he registered five hits – including a home run – over 12 at-bats in the three-game set against the Marlins. San Diego is kicking off a six-game road trip after suffering an 8-5 loss to St. Louis on Sunday that concluded a 4-5 homestand. Wil Myers enters the series with a nine-game hitting streak that has featured four multi-hit performances, including a 2-for-3 effort in Sunday’s setback. Matt Kemp has recorded four hits in his last two contests, with three of them being doubles – his first three of the season.

    TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, FSN San Diego, CSN Bay Area (San Francisco)

    PITCHING MATCHUP: Padres LH Drew Pomeranz (2-1, 2.04 ERA) vs. Giants LH Madison Bumgarner (1-2, 3.91)

    Pomeranz is coming off a superb outing against Pittsburgh on Wednesday in which he allowed just an unearned run and four hits over 6 2/3 innings while recording a career-high 10 strikeouts en route to victory. The 27-year-old native of Tennessee has yielded two runs or fewer in each of his first three turns while holding opponents to a .180 batting average. Pomeranz has not fared well against San Francisco in his career, going 1-2 with a 6.04 ERA in six games – four starts.

    Bumgarner deserved a better fate last time out as he suffered the loss against Arizona on Wednesday despite allowing just two runs and five hits in seven innings. The 26-year-old North Carolina native has maintained his control since issuing five walks in his season debut, handing out only one free pass in each of his last three outings. Bumgarner is 8-5 with one shutout and a 3.29 ERA in 23 career meetings – 22 starts – versus San Diego.


    1. Giants RHP George Kontos (elbow) played catch on Sunday but will not be activated from the disabled list until May 4 at the earliest.

    2. Kemp struggled at AT&T Park last season, going just 4-for-36 (.111) with 11 strikeouts.

    3. San Francisco did well against Miami with runners in scoring position, going 13-for-39 in the three-game series.

    PREDICTION: Giants 6, Padres 2


    National League games

    Reds @ Mets
    Iglesias is 1-1, 3.09 in four starts this month (over 2-2).

    Syndergaard is 2-0, 0.90 in three starts this month (under 2-1).

    Mets won six of last seven games; seven of their last nine went over. Cincinnati lost five of six road games (over 5-1).

    Pirates @ Rockies
    Locke is 0-2, 7.90 in three starts this month (over 2-1).

    De la Rosa is 1-2, 10.39 in four starts this month (over 3-1).

    Pirates are 5-3 in their last eight games; seven of their last eight road games went over. Colorado lost four of its last five games; four of its last five home tilts went over. .

    Cardinals @ Diamondbacks
    Garcia is 1-1, 2.25 in three starts this month (under 2-1).

    Greinke is 1-0, 1.93 in his last two starts (last three stayed under).

    Cardinals won five of their last six road games (over 5-1). Arizona won five of its last seven games but is just 3-7 at home- three of their last four games went over.

    Marlins @ Dodgers
    Chen is 0-1, 4.91 in three starts this month (over 2-1).

    Stripling is 0-0, 3.18 in three starts this month (under 2-0-1).

    Dodgers won eight of their last 11 games; under is 4-1-1 in their home games. Miami lost eight of its last 11 games- their last three games all went over

    Padres @ Giants
    Pomeranz is 2-1, 2.50 in three starts this month (over 2-1).

    Bumgarner is 1-2, 5.09 in four starts this month (over 2-2).

    San Diego lost three of its last four games; over is 7-1 in their last eight. Giants lost nine of their last twelve games (over 8-3-1).

    American League games

    White Sox @ Blue Jays
    Gonzalez is making first ’16 start; he was 39-33, 3.82 in 95 career starts for Orioles, 9-12, 4.91 LY. He is 1-0, 2.45 in two AAA starts this month. .

    Stroman is 2-0, 3.00 in his last two starts (under 2-2).

    Chicago won five of its last six games; under is 7-1 in its last eight road games. Blue Jays won four of last five home games; eight of their last 11 games overall stayed under the total.

    A’s @ Tigers
    Graveman is 1-1, 2.04 in three starts this month (under 2-1).

    Zimmerman is 3-0, 0.00 (19.1 IP) in three starts this month (under 2-1).

    Oakland won six of last eight games but lost last two; they’re 7-2 on road- under is 11-6 in their last 17 games. Detroit lost five of its last six home games (over 5-1).

    Orioles @ Rays
    Gausman is making first ’16 start; he is 14-19, 4.21 in 42 MLB starts (4-7, 4.25 LY), 0-3, 3.27 in three AAA starts this month.

    Archer is 0-4, 8.24 in four starts this month (over 2-2)- Rays scored total of seven runs in the four games.

    Baltimore lost three of its last four road games; five of its last six games stayed under the total. Tampa Bay is 5-3 in its last eight games; under is 7-1 in its last eight home games. .

    Bronx @ Rangers
    Eovaldi is 0-2, 6.11 in three starts this month (under 2-1).

    Ramos is 0-1, 3.18 in three AAA games, going total of 11.1 IP; only ten of his 251 big league appearances have been starts. .

    Bronx is 3-8 in its last 11 games; three of its last four games went over. Rangers lost their last three games, but won five of last six at home; over is 7-1 in their last eight home games. .

    Indians @ Twins
    Salazar is 2-1, 1.47 in three starts this month (under 3-0).

    Milone is 0-1, 7.05 in three starts (over 2-1).

    Cleveland won its last five road games; three of its last four road games went over the total. Minnesota lost five of its last six games; over is 7-2-1 in their last ten. .

    Royals @ Angels
    Kennedy is 2-1, 1.35 in three starts this month (under 2-0-1).

    Richards is 0-3, 4.13 in four starts this month (last three under); Angels scored total of six runs in the four games.

    Kansas City won 11 of its last 16 games; four of its last five games stayed under the total. Angels lost seven of their last ten games; four of their last five home games went under the total.

    Astros @ Mariners
    Fister is 0-2, 6.17 in his last two starts (over 1-1-1 this month)

    Walker is 1-0, 2.00 in three starts this month (under 3-0).

    Houston lost five of its last six games; over is 7-2 in their road games. Seattle won four of its last five games but is 1-5 at home; under is 6-2 in their last eight games. .


    Red Sox @ Braves
    Porcello is 3-0, 4.66 in three starts this month (over 2-1); Red Sox scored 20 runs in the three games.

    Teheran is 0-2, 7.16 in his last three starts (over 3-0-1).

    Red Sox won five of their last six road games; under is 7-4 in their last 11 games. Atlanta is 1-10 at home; over is 7-1-1 in their last nine home games.

    Teams won-lost records when this pitcher starts:
    Cin-NY Iglesias 3-1; Syndegaard 2-1
    Pitt-Colo– Locke 0-3; De la Rosa 2-2
    StL-Az– Garcia 2-1; Greinke 2-2
    Mia-LA– Chen 0-3; Stripling 2-1
    SD-SF– Pomeranz 2-1; Bumgarner 1-3

    Chi-Tor– Gonzalez 0-0; Stroman 3-1
    A’s-Det– Graveman 1-2; Zimmerman 3-0
    Balt-TB– Gausman 0-0; Archer 1-2
    NY-Tex– Eovaldi 1-2; Ramos 0-0
    Cle-Minn– Salazar 2-1; Milone 1-2
    KC-LA– Kennedy 2-1; Richards 0-4
    Hst-Sea– Fister 1-2; Walker 2-1

    Bos-Atl– Porcello 3-0; Teheran 0-4

    Starting pitchers allowing 1+ runs in first inning:
    Cin-NY– Iglesias 0-4; Syndegaard 0-3
    Pitt-Colo– Locke 0-3; De la Rosa 0-4
    StL-Az– Garcia 0-3; Greinke 1-4
    Mia-LA– Chen 2-3; Stripling 0-3
    SD-SF– Pomeranz 0-3; Bumgarner 2-4

    Chi-Tor– Gonzalez 0-0; Stroman 0-4
    A’s-Det– Graveman 0-3; Zimmerman 0-3
    Balt-TB– Gausman 0-0; Archer 0-3
    NY-Tex– Eovaldi 0-3; Ramos 0-0
    Cle-Minn– Salazar 0-3; Milone 0-3
    KC-LA– Kennedy 0-3; Richards 3-4
    Hst-Sea– Fister 1-3; Walker 0-3

    Bos-Atl– Porcello 1-3; Teheran 1-4

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