The Weekend Ahead in the MLB: 8 Quibbls about upcoming games

What will go down this weekend in the MLB?

By Columnist Matt Lieberman

We’re a few weeks into the post-All-Star break stretch of this season of Major League Baseball.  Some big matchups will be played on Saturday and Sunday, including Nationals-Cubs, Indians-Yankees, and Mariners-Royals.  Which teams will take the W during these games, and which players will stand out?  We’ll talk about all that and more as we preview this weekend in the MLB, giving you the opportunity to vote on what you think might happen.

Who will win Saturday’s matchup between the Nationals and Cubs at Wrigley Field?

On Saturday, the Nationals will take on the home team Cubs in Wrigleyville.  The Cubs currently stand in first place in the National League Central division, as the Nationals are first in the National League East.  The Cubs’ pitcher for this game, John Lackey, finished the month of July 3-0.

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How many innings will John Lackey last on Saturday against the Nationals?

In his last four starts, Lackey pitched 5.0 innings twice and 6.0 innings twice.  He has pitched 114.2 innings this season thus far.  When will he be taken out against the National League East first-place Nationals?

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Who will win Saturday’s American League game between the Indians and the Yankees?

On Saturday night, the New York Yankees will head to Progressive Field in Cleveland to take on the Indians, who sit atop the American League Central division.  The Yankees, just a few games from their Boston rivals in the American League East, will hope to pick up a road win to rise closer to the top of their division.  NYY will have rookie Jordan Montgomery on the mound, who struggled last start, lasting less than three innings against the average Rays.

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How many hits will the slumping Aaron Judge get during Saturday’s Indians-Yankees game?

Judge, who has 30+ home runs and 110+ hits on the season, has not been in his usual form recently.  On Wednesday, he went 1-4, striking out in the third inning with runners on first-and third, and striking out again in the eighth inning with a runner in scoring position.  How many hits will Judge pick up this game?

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Who will win Sunday’s game between the Mariners and the Royals?

On Sunday, the Seattle Mariners will head to Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium to take on the Royals, who sit just a few games back behind the Indians in the American League Central division.  Fans can expect both teams to put up some runs, as two pitchers who have had average seasons thus far will be on their respective mounds.  For the Mariners, it’s Erasmo Ramirez, who went 3 ⅓ innings in his first start for Seattle.  On the mound for Kansas City is Ian Kennedy, the righty who will be looking to snatch up his first home win this season.

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How many runs will be scored on Sunday’s Mariners-Royals matchup?

With two struggling pitchers on the mound, Kansas City’s and Seattle’s bats could be busy on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium.  Both pitchers- Seattle’s Ramirez and Kansas City’s Kennedy- have ERAs above 4.5, and Kennedy has a dismal 4-7 record.  How many Seattle and Kansas City baserunners will touch home in this matchup?

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Who will win Sunday’s matchup between the Dodgers and the Mets?  

The red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers will head to Citi Field to take on the New York Mets, who currently sit at less than .500, placed third in their division.  On the mound for L.A. is Hyun-Jin Ryu, the lefty who has allowed just six runs in his last four starts.  He will go up against lefty Steven Matz, who has a 5.50 ERA this season.  

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How many hits will L.A.’s Cody Bellinger pick up on Sunday’s matchup against the Mets?

The rookie Bellinger, who has a .272 average and 30 homers on the year, will hope to get his bat going at Citi Field on Sunday against Steven Matz.  He has faced the lefty in two at-bats, getting a hit on one of them.  How many will he get this game?

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Who will win Sunday’s National League East game between the Marlins and the Braves?

The Marlins and the Braves, who sit at second and fourth respectively in the National League East, will face each other at SunTrust Park in Miami.  The hard-throwing Jose Urena will get the start for Miami, as he sports a 9-5 record going into Sunday’s matchup.  He will face the less-experienced Lucas Sims of the Braves, who will start his second Major League game after pitching six innings against the Dodgers last Tuesday.

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How many strikeouts will Jose Urena throw during Sunday’s Marlins-Braves game?

Urena, who has a 3.82 ERA, will pitch at home against the Braves.  He has averaged 4.2 strikeouts in his last 5 outings.  Urena has struck 76 batters out on the year.  How many Atlanta batters will he strike out on Sunday?

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