On the Diamond: Sale, Fernandez and two fan bases that could really use a cold one

22 teams are in action tonight. Play ball.

Marlins (49-42, 6 GB in NL East) @ Phillies (43-50, 13 GB in NL East) 

Time: 7:05 EST

Pitching Match-Up: Jose Fernandez (11-4, 2.52) v. Aaron Nola (5-8, 4.69)

Preview: The Phils are fresh off of their one-hit offensive drought against Jacob deGrom yesterday afternoon, and their job does not get any easier. Insert Jose Fernandez. Fernandez is coming off of an impressive performance in the All-Star Game and looks to continue to push the Marlins up the NL East ladder. The Fish will face Aaron Nola, who has 23 earned runs in his last 14.1 innings pitched.

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“Victory Summer Love” by Tim Bounds.

Tonight’s pop for the Marlins and Phils is one of Philly’s own: Summer Love by Victory Brewing Company. This easy IPA is a “Phavorite” in the Philadelphia area and when you have to face two aces in a row, you should drink a few of these.

Time: 7:05 EST

Pitching Match-Up: Steven Matz (7-5, 3.38) v. Jon Lester (9-4, 3.01)

Preview: The Mets have won eight in a row against the first place Cubbies dating back to last year’s NLCS. Oddly enough, the Cubs won nine in a row against the Mets prior to last October. Two southpaws toe the rubber tonight in a game on the North Side of Chicago. The Mets are currently tied with the Marlins for 2nd place in the NL Wildcard hunt and have received a bit of good news on the injury front with slugger Yoenis Cespedes returning to the line-up yesterday against the Phillies. Curtis Granderson has been hitting in the third spot in the line-up of late and should play a big part in tonight’s game as he owns a .333 avg against Lester with three homers.

Orioles (53-37, +2 in AL East) @ Yankees (45-46, 8.5 GB in AL East) 

Time: 7:05 EST

Pitching Match-Up: Kevin Gausman (1-6, 4.15) v. Ivan Nova (6-5, 5.18)

Preview: Ivan Nova has been battered by a number of players that should be in the starting line-up this evening. Mark Trumbo of the Orioles is hitting .526 with 3 HR’s off of Nova in 19 AB’s. Matt Wieters isn’t far behind with a .343 clip in 35 AB’s. The Orioles offense could prove to be too much for the Yankees in this series and ultimately push them towards selling at the deadline. The Orioles are currently 7th in MLB in runs scored.

Braves (32-60, 23.5 GB in NL East) @ Reds (34-58, 21.5 GB in NL Central) 

Time: 7:10 EST

Pitching Match-Up: Matt Wisler (4-8, 4.47) v. Brandon Finnegan (4-7, 4.71)

Preview: Plan on staying a while, a long while if you are headed to this one. Wisler and Finnegan have both struggled of late. Wisler has given up 9 earned runs in his last 11 ip while Finnegan has given up 13 earned runs in his last 7.1. Although neither line-up puts up runs in bunches (both are in the bottom third of MLB), tonight’s pitching match-up lends itself to a night filled with offense.

 

Twins (33-58, 21 GB in AL Central) @ Tigers (48-44, 6.5 GB in AL Central)

Time: 7:10 EST

Pitching Match-Up: Ricky Nolasco (4-7, 5.22) v. Matt Boyd (0-2, 5.77)

Preview: See the above preview, more of the same. Justin Upton returns from the bereavement list tonight and has good numbers against Nolasco. If you have MLB.tv, you may want to watch something else.

Indians (54-37, +6.5 in AL Central) @ Royals (46-45, 8 GB in AL Central)

Time: 8:15 EST

Pitching Match-Up: Corey Kluber (9-8, 3.61) v. Edinson Volquez (8-8, 4.85)

Preview: Kluber and Volquez, one of the few big name match-ups of the night. The Royals sit 8 GB of the Indians and need to turn it around soon if they want to catch the Tribe. Kluber is a tough assignment, but was battered around for eight hits over five innings in his last start against the defending champs. Volquez is 1 and 2 against the Indians this season, but is coming off a quality start in his last outing.

Padres (41-51, 15.5 GB in NL West) @ Cardinals (47-44, 8.0 GB in NL Central)

Time: 8:15 EST

Pitching Match-Up: Christian Friedrich (4-5, 4.50) v. Mike Leake (6-7, 4.14)

Preview: The Padres are in full sell mode after they sent Drew Pomeranz to the Red Sox last week (in what many insiders are calling a coup for the Fathers). The Cardinals will look to capitalize early this week and send Mike Leake to the mound. Friedrich has faltered of late, giving up 6 HR’s in his last five starts and only recording one win.

Rays (35-56, 18.5 GB in AL East) @ Rockies (42-49, 14 GB in NL West) 

Time: 8:40 EST

Pitching Match-Up: Drew Smyly (2-10, 5.47) v. Tyler Anderson (1-3, 3.03)

Preview:

Astros (50-42, 4.5 GB in AL West) @ Athletics (40-52, 14.5 GB in AL West) 

Time: 10:05 EST

Pitching Match-Up: Mike Fiers (6-3, 4.35) v. Kendall Graveman (5-6, 4.37)

Preview: Mike Fiers, the Giancarlo Stanton assassin, will take the mound in the rubble that is known as the Oakland Coliseum, although it looks more like the one in Rome. The Astros are 7 and 3 in their last ten and look to pick up more games on the struggling Rangers.

Rangers (55-38, +4.5 in AL West) @ Angels (40-52, 14.5 GB in AL West)

Time: 10:05 EST

Pitching Match-Up: A.J. Griffin (3-1, 3.81) v. Nick Tropeano (3-2, 3.12)

Preview: The Rangers starting pitching has been dreadful over the last two weeks (unless your name is Cole Hamels) but they get a bit of a reprieve in facing their intradivision foe, the LAAAAAAAA Angels, who won’t pose as much of a challenge as the Cubs did to their staff. Tropeano, who has thrown more innings in the majors this year than either of his first two seasons, could be in the midst of proving that he belongs in the long-range plans of Angels.

White Sox (45-46, 9 GB in AL Central) @ Mariners (46-46, 8.5 GB in AL West) 

Time: 10:10 EST

Pitching Match-Up: Chris Sale (14-3, 3.38) v. Wade LeBlanc (1-0, 3.52)

Preview: Wade LeBlanc is trying to prove to the Marines brass that he belongs in the bigs. LeBlanc spent 2015 in Japan and threw well in his first two starts of 2016 but  was roughed up by the Astros on the 6th of July. Unfortunately for LeBlanc, he will square off with one of the game’s top pitchers, Chris Sale. Sale gets the honor of pitching for a team that has scored exactly ONE run over their last four games.

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“Full Sail Amber” by Hudson Valley Slim

Perhaps his teammates need to relax, and could do so with a selection from Full Sail Brewing Company located in Hood River, Oregon. Full Sail Brewery boasts a 17 different selections, including their Amber, pictured here. Will Full Sail, help the Sox, and Sale, prevail? I’ll stop now.

Enjoy the games!

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