MLB Morning Lineup: July 21st, 2013

by Thom Cunningham | Posted on Sunday, July 21st, 2013
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C.C Sabathia

This is a quick preview of scheduled MLB games for Sunday July 21st, 2013.

Games – 15

AL Games – 7

NL Games – 7

IL Games – 1

American League Games (7):

Tampa Bay Rays (57-41) @ Toronto Blue Jays (45-51) – 1:07 pm

The impressive Chris Archer (4-3, 2.2.96) will take the mound for Tampa Bay in an attempt to sweep R.A. Dickey (8-10, 4.69) and the Blue Jays. This has the potential to be a very solid pitching matchup between two starters that have a great breaking ball.

This should be a close game as the Blue Jays are desperately searching for a win. Toronto left the bases loaded in the eighth inning during game two, losing only by one run. If the Blue Jays can manufacture runs with guys on base, they could win many of these close games they fall victim too. The bullpen needs to play better also.

Series score: TMB 2-0

Cleveland Indians (51-46) @ Minnesota Twins (41-53) – 2:10 pm

Minnesota has played well in a series that Cleveland should have won. Game three will feature Indians’ starter Justin Masterson (10-7, 3.72) against Twins’ starter Scott Diamond (5-8, 5.32).

Cleveland is lucky that Detroit has not pulled away after loosing two straight to Minnesota. It doesn’t matter how well Masterson pitches if the Indians can not score runs. This is a pitcher Cleveland can unleash their bats onto and possibly avoid being swept with another quality starter taking the mound for them.

Series score: MIN 2-0

Detroit Tigers (52-44) @ Kansas City Royals (45-49) – 2:10 pm

Detroit lost their second straight game against division foe Kansas City. The Royals have both pitched and hit well in this series and now have the potential to sweep the AL Central leading Tigers. Detroit will start Doug Fister (7-5, 4.02) who hopes to have a better outing than Verlander did last night.

Kansas City will start James Shields (4-6, 3.21) who was believed to pitch yesterday, but today instead. Kansas City is set up nicely here to sweep the Tigers and increase their standings in a slumping AL Central. The Royals are a sleeper team in the back-half part of the schedule and have shown they can compete both on the mound and with their bats.

Series score: KNC 2-0

Seattle Mariners (45-52) @ Houston Astros (33-63) – 2:10 pm

Despite a pretty solid pitching performance, the Astros couldn’t muster up enough runs to over take the Mariners. The Mariners have been crushing it this season, but it was their pitching that propelled them to a game two victory.

Seattle ace Felix Hernandez (10-4, 2.53) will take the mound and try to sweep the Astros. This would be a huge sweep for Seattle, who is quietly making a run in the AL West. In an attempt to stop the M’s and their winning ways is the young, promising pitcher Jordan Lyles (4-3, 4.02). Houston will have to rattle King Felix if they have any chance of winning this game with the Seattle bats as favorites over Lyles.

Series score: SEA 2-0

Oakland Athletics (56-41) @ Los Angeles Angels (46-49) – 3:35 pm

Bartolo Colon (12-3, 2.70) and the Athletics will look to avoid being swept as they prepare to face the Angels and Jerome Williams (5-5, 4.60). The Angels have pitched well against the Oakland bats, but Williams’ performances are very unpredictable.

The Athletics have the advantage in the pitching matchup for this game, which wasn’t the case for games one and two. If Los Angeles can defeat Colon and sweep Oakland, it could do wonders for their momentum starting the second half of the season. It will take an impressive performance on Williams’ part though.

Series score: LAA 2-0

Baltimore Orioles (55-43) @ Texas Rangers (54-43) – 7:05 pm

Chris Tillman (11-3, 3.95) will look to lead Baltimore to a sweep against Martin Perez (3-2, 3.00) and the Texas Rangers. Texas tried to pull a comeback in game two, but seven runs was too much to overcome.

Texas will really need Perez to have a good game in order for the Rangers to win. The Texas bats are good enough to hit Tillman, but the game will be determined by Perez’s play. Baltimore continues to win with both Boston and Tampa Bay playing great baseball, so winning this game would be a huge lift in their pennant chase.

Series score: BAL 2-0

New York Yankees (52-45) @ Boston Red Sox (59-40) – 8:05 pm

The Yankees were able to defeat Boston in a close game two, tying the series at one game each. For game three, the Yankees will start their left-handed ace C.C. Sabathia (9-8, 4.07) opposite of Boston’s starter Ryan Dempster (5-8, 4.24).

This could be a very good game as both teams are evenly matched for this one. If the Boston bats destroy C.C., which could happen early in the game, then the Red Sox should have this series in the bag. If the Yankee bats can keep pace with Sabathia’s performance, this Sunday night game could be an exciting one. With Tampa Bay and Baltimore on hot streaks, Boston can’t afford to slip in many series.

Series score: 1-1

National League Games (7):

Philadelphia Phillies (49-49) @ New York Mets (42-51) – 1:10 pm

The Mets played well against a very good pitcher in Cole Hamels yesterday afternoon. In what’s been a pretty fun series to watch, it ends with both team’s aces taking the mound with lefty Cliff Lee (10-3, 2.86) facing All-Star starter Matt Harvey (7-2, 2.35).

Both team’s bats have been hot as of lately, but with Lee and Harvey on the mound it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a low scoring game three. The Braves continue to hold a comfy lead over Philadelphia and Washington, so if the Phillies want to make a move they need to avoid a series loss here. The Philadelphia bats will need to bail Lee out at some point in order to win this game, unless the Mets strike first.

This is the most intriguing pitching match up on paper for the day.

Series score: 1-1

Pittsburgh Pirates (56-39) @ Cincinnati Reds (55-42) – 1:10 pm

In a very important game three, All-Star Jeff Locke (8-2, 2.15) returns for the Pirates to face Homer Bailey (5-8, 3.82). It is a very tight race in the NL Central, and the Pirates are hoping not to finish the second half of the season the way they have the past two years. A sweep here wouldn’t call to push a panic button in Pittsburgh, but it might warrant the thought.

Cincinnati has a better lineup but it’s been Pittsburgh’s pitching that has gotten them to where they are this season. The past two games have favored the Reds’ bats, getting onto Burnett and Liriano early. Locke will need to perform the way he is capable of if Pittsburgh wants to avoid a sweep and their lost lead over the Reds.

Series score: CIN 2-0

Los Angeles Dodgers (49-47) @ Washington Nationals (48-49) – 1:35 pm

Here come the Dodgers. After winning two straight, Los Angeles only sits half a game out of first place in the NL West. Game three will feature ace Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 1.98) up against Washington’s Jordan Zimmermann (12-4, 2.58).

The Nationals are looking to win at least one at home after the Phillies and Braves have both won at least one of their games. The past two games have been very close, and with the pitchers on the mound for Sunday, game three shouldn’t be different. This should be a great game to watch to conclude an important and fun series. Not much to say here except enjoy it.

Series score: LAD 2-0

Miami Marlins (35-60) @ Milwaukee Brewers (40-56) – 2:10 pm

Milwaukee looks for the sweep in game three against the Marlins as they will start the lately impressive Wily Peralta (7-9, 4.61). Opposite of Peralta, Miami will start Henderson Alvarez (0-1, 4.58) who is looking for his first win. The Marlins have been shutout in back-to-back games.

Miami has been getting on base however, but for two straight games they have left many runners stranded. Milwaukee has had quality starts from both starting pitchers. With how the first two game shaped out, it’s hard to assume anything but another dominant performance from Peralta and the Brewers pitching staff. Miami will need to produce with runners on base to avoid a sweep.

Series score: MIL 2-0

San Diego Padres (43-55) @ St. Louis Cardinals (58-37) – 2:15 pm

The Padres were finally able to perform well on both sides of the diamond and come out victorious. The Padres have been playing well against a tough Cardinals team, especially on the road. The Padres look to upset St. Louis with Eric Stults (8-7, 3.40) on the mound.

The Cardinals will start their ace Adam Wainwright (12-5, 2.45) in hopes of avoiding a series loss to the visiting Padres. This match up favors the Cardinals for many reasons, but if San Diego continues to hit the ball well, all they will need is a solid Stults’ performance to pull off the upset. Easier said than done though with Wainwright on the mound.

Series score: 1-1

Arizona Diamondbacks (50-47) @ San Francisco Giants (45-51) – 4:05 pm

The Dodgers aren’t the only hot team in the NL West as San Francisco has won two straight against the leading Diamondbacks. In what has turned into a very important series, Arizona will start the young Randall Delgado (1-3, 3.92) against Giants’ lefty Madison Bumgarner (10-5, 3.02).

Both games have been played very close, but the Giants are positioned nicely to get a series sweep. Bumgarner will have to pitch deep into the game though, but the performance of Delgado will ultimately dictate this game. Arizona’s struggles have now dropped their lead in the NL West to half a game, and with the Giants getting on a roll themselves, the Diamondbacks can’t afford a sweep now.

Series score: SFO 2-0

Chicago Cubs (43-52) @ Colorado Rockies (47-51) – 4:10 pm

In an under rated and fun series to watch, it will conclude with Cubs’ pitcher Edwin Jackson (6-10, 5.11) facing off against Colorado’s Tyler Chatwood (5-3, 2.56). Both team’s bats were dominant last night, but it was the Rockies that were only able to capitalize with nine runs.

Chicago will have to do a better job of getting runners across home plate in game three, as well as play overall better defense. Outfielder Alfonso Soriano has really played well for Chicago lately, and it’s interesting to see if his current audition will land him on a new team soon.

Series score: 1-1

Interleague Games (1):

Atlanta Braves (55-42) @ Chicago White Sox (38-56) – 2:10 pm

The White Sox were able to bail Peavy out of early trouble yesterday afternoon, jumping onto Maholm and the Braves for 10 total runs. In what should be a fun game three to watch, Atlanta will send out lefty Mike Minor (9-4, 3.02) to face the impressive Jose Quintana (4-2, 3.71).

Atlanta has been playing well with the minor injuries they’ve recently faced. Chicago has been batting well during this series, along with Atlanta, but game three could prove different based on the starting pitchers featured. This game could go either way in terms of run production, but it would be a surprise to see either pitcher struggle greatly.

Series score: 1-1




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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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