The last Thursday before the All-Star break brings us an abbreviated schedule, but we’ve still go 10 games and there are some pretty cool matchups along the way. Let’s get to it. 

Thursday’s scores

Showdown in Cleveland

The Indians are hosting the Yankees and there are all kinds of cool aspects to this one. First off, it’s a rematch from the ALDS last year that saw the Yankees storm back from a 2-0 deficit to stun the 102-win Indians. Secondly, this is between two teams in pretty firm playoff position this time around with the Indians having an 8 1/2 game lead in the AL Central and the Yankees in the first AL Wild Card spot and having tons of cushion (nine games from the first team out). As such, we could call it a possible playoff preview. 

Most juicy, though, is the pitching matchup. 

  • Luis Severino: 14-2, 2.12 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 143 K, 31 BB, 123 1/3 IP
  • Corey Kluber: 12-4, 2.49 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 123 K, 15 BB, 126 1/3 IP

Both are All-Stars. Both are options to start the All-Star Game, though the hunch is Severino gets the nod. Kluber won last season’s Cy Young (his second) and Severino is the frontrunner for this season’s Cy Young. Kluber is 32 and an established true ace while Severino is 24 and in his second season of acedom. 

This is must-watch stuff, people. 

Red Sox going for 10

The longest winning streak in baseball still belongs to the Boston Red Sox. They’ve ripped off nine straight and are playing .691 ball. That’s winning at a pace of 112-50. In the history of the Red Sox franchise, they have only won 100 games three times.

  • 105 wins in 1912
  • 104 wins in 1946
  • 101 wins in 1915

Yes, this team has the chance to be the best Red Sox team ever. 

Thursday, they’ll send the embattled David Price (9-6, 4.44) to the bump against Blue Jays All-Star starter (remember, every team has to have one) J.A. Happ (10-5, 4.44). 

Can Scherzer get Nats on track?

The Nationals were supposedly back on track last Saturday, when they crushed the Marlins 18-4 for their third-straight win. Since then, though, they’ve lost three of four, all to sub-par teams. They’ve fallen back to .500 again and are 5 1/2 games out in the NL East. 

Thursday is a game they should take, though that hasn’t meant much to this point. It’s Max Scherzer (11-5, 2.33) against the 37-53 Mets. Lefty Steven Matz (4-6, 3.31) gets the ball as Scherzer’s counterpart. 

Paxton takes ball for Mariners

The Mariners continue to be a great story, holding a solid grip on the second AL Wild Card with a 58-35 record and six-game lead over the A’s. Thursday, they visit the Angels and send their ace, should-be All-Star James Paxton (8-3, 3.49), to the hill. The Angels are 11 behind the Mariners and if they hope to have any chance whatsoever at a now-unlikely playoff run, a win here would be a start. 

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