Bad news for the Los Angeles Dodgers as excellent but injury-prone veteran pitcher Rich Hill is hurt again – he’s dealing with a forearm issue that will sideline him until at least August and which could potentially lead to Tommy John surgery and end his career. L.A. will still win the NL West but that could hurt the team’s pennant chances. Here’s a look at two interesting matchups early this week. Check back for Mybookie Sportsbook Odds.
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Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins
- When: Tuesday, 7:10 PM ET (MLB Extra Innings)
The Nats haven’t been at .500 since they were 11-11. They got within a game of that mark with Friday’s win over Atlanta but then lost the final two games to drop to 37-40 entering this series. Juan Soto went 1-for-5 with a solo home run in Sunday’s 10-inning loss to the Braves. Soto is now slashing .305/.399/.534 with 12 home runs, 48 RBI and five steals in 67 games. He has been on an extra-base tear of late, picking up two doubles, two triples and a home run in his last four games. Fellow young outfielder Victor Robles didn’t start Sunday due to an illness but should be fine by Tuesday.
It’s ace and three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer (6-5, 2.62) on the mound for Washington. Scherzer punched out 10 batters while firing off seven shutout frames to earn a 2-0 win over the Phillies last Wednesday. He was pitching with a broken nose and a black eye that he suffered in a bunting mishap on Tuesday, but it didn’t seem to bother him. Scherzer surrendered only four base hits and issued two walks in the tremendous outing. He threw 117 pitches, 76 of them for strikes. He ranks second in the majors with 146 strikeouts, behind Gerrit Cole’s 148. In his last six starts, Scherzer has lowered his ERA to 2.62 from 3.72, which was third in the NL.
The Marlins aren’t very good but are on a four-game winning streak, shockingly sweeping the Phillies in Philadelphia over the weekend. Miami is without three injured starting pitchers as well as catcher Jorge Alfaro and second baseman Neil Walker – all are on the injured list. Walker is close to returning, although it won’t likely be for this game. Alfaro remains on the seven-day concussion list.
Miami’s Trevor Richards recorded eight strikeouts and gave up one run on four hits and three walks through 5.2 innings in a no-decision against the Cardinals on Wednesday. Richards didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning and seemed to be dominating until he unraveled in the sixth by allowing three hits and his only run. This was a nice rebound performance after allowing five runs in his last start. The 26-year old has a 3-7 record with a 3.54 ERA through 15 starts this season. Richards faced the Nationals on April 21 at Marlins Park, suffering a loss while allowing three earned runs in 6 1/3 innings.
Tampa Bay Rays at Minnesota Twins
- When: Wednesday, 8:10 PM ET (MLB Extra Innings)
Odd schedule on Wednesday as there are no West Coast late games, so this 8:10 start time ties for the latest of the night along with Pirates-Astros. It’s Game 2 of a three-game set between the clubs, who could meet in the playoffs this fall. The Twins should win the AL Central with a huge lead there, while Tampa Bay leads the AL Wild-Card chase. We will have an individual preview of Tuesday’s opener between these two here at Mybookie Sportsbook on Tuesday.
This also features the best pitching matchup of Wednesday and two Cy Young contenders. A couple of years ago, the Rays traded Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, and Odorizzi is having by far his best season and is in contention to start for the American League in the All-Star Game.
Odorizzi (10-3, 2.58) surrendered four runs and eight hits in four innings Thursday in a loss to the Royals and saw his 10-game winning streak come to an end. He lost for the first time since April 10 against the Mets. Odorizzi has been fortunate in the hit department this year — the league was hitting just .196 off him coming into this one — but he couldn’t keep the Royals off base. He took just his third loss of the season and first in 13 starts against an AL team. He has a 7.20 ERA in two starts versus the Royals this year and a 1.92 mark against everyone else.
It’s Charlie Morton (8-1, 2.31) for Tampa Bay. Morton didn’t factor into the decision in Thursday’s loss to the Athletics and allowed an earned run on four hits and two walks across 6.1 innings. He struck out six. Morton turned in another trademark effort, but he received little run support from the Tampa offense while he was in the game. The veteran right-hander continued to flash his ability to consistently miss bats, notching 14 swinging strikes overall over his 105 pitches. Morton has now gone two straight outings without a victory following a four-appearance winning streak.
Morton, the American League ERA leader at 2.31, is throwing his curve more than any other pitch and holding opponents to a .118 batting average with it