MLB Morning Lineup: July 20th, 2013

by Thom Cunningham | Posted on Saturday, July 20th, 2013
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Mat Latos

This is a quick preview of MLB scheduled games for Saturday July 20th, 2013.

Games – 15

AL Games – 7

NL Games – 7

IL Games – 1

American League Games (7):

Tampa Bay Rays (56-41) @ Toronto Blue Jays (45-50) – 1:07 pm

Game two of this divisional series will feature Jeremy Hellickson (8-3, 4.67) of the Rays versus Mark Buehrle (5-6, 4.89) of the Blue Jays. Tampa Bay continues to win games after defeating the Blue Jays last night 8-5.

It’s been a few series since the Rays have been able to tally eight runs in a game. The left-handed veteran Buehrle will try to shut down this Rays’ lineup after Tampa Bay recorded 14 hits and four solo home runs yesterday. The Blue Jays played well however as it was eventually their All-Star relief pitcher Brett Cecil that gave up the win. Expect another competitive ball game for game two.

Series score: TMB 1-0

New York Yankees (51-45) @ Boston Red Sox (59-39) – 4:05 pm

Despite a rough first couple of innings, the Yankees were able to hang around with the division leading Red Sox; however, could not quite get the job done. Game one went Boston’s way, 4-2, as the rivalry continues Saturday afternoon.

Hiroki Kuroda (8-6, 2.65) will take the mound for New York in face of Boston’s starter John Lackey (7-8, 2.78). This is a game the Yankees can take from Boston if Kuroda can pitch a quality start. Lackey has been unpredictable this season, but has the bats on his side to get out of many jams. This should be an interesting game two since the Yankees’ best shot at winning a game in this series would be against Lackey with Kuroda on the mound.

Series score: BOS 1-0

Cleveland Indians (51-45) @ Minnesota Twins (40-53) – 7:10 pm

The rising Corey Kluber (7-5, 3.88) of Cleveland will take the mound in the second game of this division series. Minnesota, winning game one, will start Kevin Correia (6-6, 4.23) to face the Indians in game two.

This would be a big series upset if MInnesota can win one more game. With the Tigers falling to Kansas City yesterday, every game is important for Cleveland if they want to keep pace with Detroit. The good news is that Cleveland has Kluber pitching game two. Kluber has been pretty impressive this season, recording 18 strikeouts in his last two starts. The Indians will need a quality start out of him if they want to avoid a series loss to Minnesota.

Series score: MIN 1-0

Detroit Tigers (52-43) @ Kansas City Royals (44-49) – 7:10 pm

The Tigers try to get back on track after a close 1-0 loss to Kansas City yesterday. Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander (10-6, 3.50) will start game two against James Shields (8-7, 4.25) in what should be a great pitching match up.

It has a very good chance to mirror yesterday’s game, but don’t count on the Tigers to get shutout again. Detroit is able to shake off yesterday’s loss due to Cleveland falling in Minnesota; but if they’re not careful, they could lose the series and possibly their first place position.

Series score: KNC 1-0

Seattle Mariners (44-52) @ Houston Astros (33-62) – 7:10 pm

Hisashi Iwakuma (8-4, 3.02) has had an impressive season for the Mariners so far. He will start Saturday’s game opposite of Astros’ starter Erik Bedard (3-6, 4.61). Last night’s impressive victory for Seattle was over looked as Houston outfielder Brandon Barnes went 5-5 and hitting for the cycle.

Houston actually recorded more hits than Seattle did in game one, despite surrendering 10 runs to the M’s. If Seattle’s bats can attack Bedard the way they did Norris yesterday, expect another high run tally and Seattle win. Houston’s pitching will need to show up if they expect to take game two. It’s tough to see Bedard beat Iwaukuma, but that’s why they don’t play the game on paper.

Series score: SEA 1-0

Baltimore Orioles (54-43) @ Texas Rangers (54-42) – 8:15 pm

Baltimore took a close and exciting game one from Texas, winning 3-1. For game two, the pitching match up features Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez (7-3, 3.48) against Rangers’ starter Ross Wolf (1-2, 2.14). Both pitchers had solid games yesterday, but it may be a different story for game two.

With Tampa and Boston winning, it’s imperative that Baltimore try to sweep the Rangers. Texas is trying to keep pace themselves. The Rangers loss last night isn’t that effective with Oakland losing to the Angels, but they need to start winning more if they want to catch the A’s. This is a game both teams’ hitting needs to take advantage of in a tight pennant race.

Series score: BAL 1-0

Oakland Athletics (56-40) @ Los Angeles Angels (45-49) – 9:05 pm

It was a big win for Los Angeles last night, defeating the first place Athletics 4-1. Rookie Dan Straily (6-2, 4.28) will take the mound for Oakland and face C.J. Wilson (9-6, 3.37) who has had a decent year.

The Angels aren’t quite out of the pennant race. A sweep against Oakland and some more games dropped by Texas could catapult Los Angeles in the division. Easier said than done however as the Oakland A’s are for real this season. Oakland is at the top of the league in both runs produced and ERA. Game one was exciting to watch and game two should be no different.

Series score: LAA 1-0

National League Games (7):

Philadelphia Phillies (49-48) @ New York Mets (41-51) – 1:10 pm

Left-handed Philly pitcher Cole Hamels (4-11, 4.05) will face the young Zack Wheeler (3-1, 3.54) in what should be a great game two pitching match up. The Philadelphia bats destroyed Jeremy Hefner last night, recording 10 hits off of him with eight runs.

The Mets were able to fight back, but it wasn’t enough as 13 runs was too much to overcome. This game should be much different with Wheeler and Hamels on the mound. This would be a good game to win for Philadelphia as Washington dropped a game to the Dodgers last night.

Series score: PHI 1-0

Pittsburgh Pirates (56-38) @ Cincinnati Reds (54-42) – 4:05 pm

A.J. Burnett (4-6, 3.06) and the Pirates look to win game two against Mat Latos (8-3, 3.53) and the Reds. Cincinnati was able to take game one from Pittsburgh and take one step closer to the NL Central pennant. This series is so important as both teams are literally games out of being in first place.

This is another good pitching match up featured in Saturday’s lineup of games. Although Pittsburgh recorded 10 hits yesterday, they were only able to tally three runs. Pittsburgh can’t afford to leave runners on base with a power hitting lineup that Cincinnati features. With Pittsburgh having the best ERA in baseball, they will have to win the pitching matchup if they want to avoid loosing this series. It will more than likely come down to Pittsburgh’s great bullpen versus Cincinnati’s clutch batters.

Series score: CIN 1-0

Los Angeles Dodgers (48-47) @ Washington Nationals (48-48) – 7:05 pm

The Dodgers took a close game one in an important series for both ball clubs to win. Both teams are looking up in their division, and need to make runs soon. An important game two will show Zack Greinke (8-2, 3.49) for Los Angeles taking on the lefty Gio Gonzalez (7-3, 3.03).

This game looks like it could mirror game one, a close and low scoring game. These two teams are very evenly matched and this game could very well be lost by the bullpen. Dodger outfielder Andre Ethier may finally be back on track after pretty much winning the game last night with his sixth home run of the season.

Series score: LAD 1-0

Miami Marlins (35-59) @ Milwaukee Brewers (39-56) – 7:10 pm

Nathan Eovaldi (2-0, 2.93) looks to continue a successful season he is having for the Marlins when he faces Brewer veteran Yovani Gallardo (7-8, 4.83). This is not  an important series as neither ball club has a realistic shot of winning the pennant.

However, both teams have been playing competitive baseball this season and could feature many exciting plays. The Marlins went 0-5 with runners in scoring position yesterday as Milwaukee’s starter Kyle Lohse had an excellent outing. This pitching matchup is actually closer than what most people expect. If Miami can hit with runners in scoring position then they have a shot at winning game two. Facing Gallardo however doesn’t make things easier for the Marlins’ hitters.

Series score: MIL 1-0

San Diego Padres (42-55) @ St. Louis Cardinals (58-36) – 7:15 pm

The Cardinals found themselves in a closer battle than they would’ve liked last night. Despite tallying nine runs, the Padres’ bats surprised many with six runs off of 13 hits. The Padres hope Edinson Volquez (6-8, 5.74) can give his team’s bats a chance to win game two after last night’s performance from the San Diego lineup.

St. Louis will start Lance Lynn (11-4, 4.00) who has had an impressive 2013 campaign. With Pittsburgh and Cincinnati beating up on each other, this is exactly where the Cardinals want to be. They are at home facing a team that has been on a major slump. The Padres looked resurged last night and if St. Louis is not careful, they could drop a game.

Series score: STL 1-0

Chicago Cubs (43-51) @ Colorado Rockies (46-51) – 8:10 pm

The Cubs continue to win as they defeated the Rockies in game one’s contest. Game two features Carlos Villanueva (2-5, 3.59) of the Cubs facing off against Juan Nicasio (5-4, 4.89) of the Rockies.

Both pitchers did very well in last night’s game, however it was the Cubs’ bats that were able to take advantage of the Rockies’ bullpen. This particular matchup favors the Cubs, but the Rockies’ bats can go on a tear at almost any moment at home. Nicasio will need to have a solid outing if the Rockies want to keep pace in the NL West and avoid a series loss to the Cubs.

Series score: CHC 1-0

Arizona Diamondbacks (50-46) @ San Francisco Giants (44-51) –  9:05 pm

In what should be an excellent game two, Wade Miley (6-7, 4.01) for Arizona takes on Giants’ ace Matt Cain (5-6, 5.06) who has been struggling lately. The Giants won a close game 2-0 last night and look to continue their comeback with their ace on the mound.

The Giants have been playing well since the embarrassing series loss to New York. It’s still a long season and anything is possible. If the Giants can take two or three from the first place Diamondbacks, it’s not crazy to think this team has a shot at the pennant. The Dodgers have been playing well though, so San Francisco really has no room for error.

Series score: SFO 1-0

Interleague Games (1):

Atlanta Braves (55-41) @ Chicago White Sox (37-56) – 4:05 pm

Atlanta continued their winning ways, defeating Chicago 6-4 in this weekend’s interleague game. Game two will feature Braves’ starter Paul Maholm (9-8, 3.98) against the return of injured White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy (6-4, 4.30).

This will be an interesting game to watch as Peavy was activated from the DL recently. This game could go either way as it’s unpredictable as to how Peavy will perform after his injury. The Braves aren’t in any danger of losing their first place standing right now. Washington continues to lose games although the Phillies shouldn’t be slept on. Atlanta should win the series but this game is more about the return of Peavy.

Series score: ATL 1-0


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Thom Cunningham
About the Author

Thom Cunningham has been writing about sports for close to eight years and is also a reporting statistician for Stats, LLC. He was a former Sports editor and radio broadcaster for Georgia Southern University football and baseball games; including work published on sites such as Bleacher Report, Football Nation and CBS Sports. Follow Thom on Twitter @HelloIAMThom

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