Sunrisers vs Super Kings Live Stream

IPL 2018 Qualifier 1: SRH vs CSK – Live Streaming, Likely Playing XI, Head to Head – All you need to know!

It might be the battle between the top two teams of Indian Premier League 2018, but Qualifier 1 from Mumbai has a weird little twist. Both Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings are playing far from how title contenders should.

Sunrisers, who finished at the top of the table, with a slight advantage in Net Run Rate over Chennai Super Kings, have lost three games in a row. The only other time they had such a string of losses in a season was

when they lost four on the trot in 2014. Back then, they finished outside the top four. What’s worse for Kane Williamson’s team is that they’re up against an opponent that has defeated them twice already this IPL.

Things do not look rosy for Chennai Super Kings either. Since April 25, the team in yellow has blown hot and cold, following each win with a defeat. If the trend were to continue, it would mean there is a loss shadowing their win over Kings XI Punjab on Sunday.

However, both teams will know that the playoff game at the Wankhede is a different beast altogether. Having secured their progress a while ago, the teams will now be confronted with a high-pressure situation. Form has deserted SRH, while CSK need to get rid of a strange habit that has been stuck to them for nearly a month. It could just result in both teams going all out and giving the fans a game to die for. It could also mean a game of who blinks first.

When: Qualifier 1 – May 22nd, 7 PM IST

Where: Wankhede, Mumbai

What to expect: Four of the last five games at the Wankhede saw scores on the higher side, and another high scoring game is on the cards. Weather wise, a clear, humid evening expected.

Team News:

Sunrisers Hyderabad: The bowling attack that had constantly been at the top of its game has come undone for Hyderabad recently, but expect them to stick to what’s worked for them in the first half. Carlos Brathwaite didn’t quite impress in the last game for SRH, but with Shreevats Goswami clicking at the top SRH might just be tempted to give the West Indian another go in the side.

Probable XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Shreevats Goswami (wk), Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Carlos Brathwaite/Alex Hales, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma

Chennai Super Kings: CSK will be keen on bringing back Shane Watson in the side, giving the team a more reliable option, than Faf du Plessis, at the top while also getting themselves a bowler who can operate in crunch situations. The batting order, something that was shuffled without warning in the last game with Deepak Chahar and Harbhajan Singh batting ahead of Dhoni, Jadeja and Bravo, should be reset to its original version too.

Probable XI: Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Sam Billings/Faf du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Lungi Ngidi

Head to Head of teams

SRH 2 – 6 CSK

Team Record in Playoffs

SRH 3 W – 2 L

CSK 10 W – 7 L

Interesting face-offs

Rayudu vs SRH: Nine inngs; 385 runs; Avg 55.00; SR 134.58;

Against no other side (minimum one innings), he has a better average or SR. He has been MoM in both games in the league phase against SRH.

Dhoni vs Bhuvneshwar: Dhoni has scored 87 runs off Bhuvneshwar from just 47 balls at a SR of 185.10 – the most scored off the bowler by a player without getting dismissed.

IPL 2018 trends

CSK are the best batting side in the tournament with the highest average of 37.13 per wicket combined with a scoring rate of 9.03.

SRH are the best bowling side of the tournament in terms of ER (8.19) and second best in terms of average runs per wicket (25.50).

CSK have hit the most sixes this IPL (130) while SRH have hit the fewest (68).

Out of the four hundreds scored in this IPL, three have been against SRH.

Teams:

Chennai Super Kings (From): Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, Sam Billings, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Lungi Ngidi, Faf du Plessis, KM Asif, Kanishk Seth, Dhruv Shorey, Imran Tahir, Murali Vijay, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Karn Sharma, N Jagadeesan, David Willey

Sunrisers Hyderabad (From): Shikhar Dhawan, Shreevats Goswami(w), Kane Williamson(c), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Carlos Brathwaite, Shakib Al Hasan, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma, Alex Hales, Ricky Bhui, Deepak Hooda, T Natarajan, Mohammad Nabi, Basil Thampi, K Khaleel Ahmed, Sachin Baby, Chris Jordan, Tanmay Agarwal, Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan

Giro d Italia Live

Nicolas Roche’s Giro D’Italia diary: ‘It’s the worst I’ve felt at a Grand Tour in a long time’

Nicolas Roche

May 17 2018 1:00 PM

Wednesday May 16, Stage 11:

Assisi to Osimo (156km)

After a really tough six-hour day in the saddle yesterday, I was hoping for a gentle start to this morning’s proceedings.

This morning was the first time on this race that I had tired legs before I even got on the bike.

In the pre-stage briefing, myself, Loic Vliegen and Alessandro De Marchi (Demma) were earmarked to try and get in the break today, so we were all hoping it would go clear without too much struggling.

Unfortunately for us that didn’t happen.

The attacks were relentless over the opening 20km, all of which played out on the climb to the third category Passo Cornello.

On the long drag beforehand, after about 25km, myself Ruben Plaza (Israel Cycling Academy) and a couple of other guys really put the pressure on and went clear but just as we got to the top we were caught by the chasing peloton.

Demma then came flying from behind and got a gap with Spanish powerhouse Luis Leon Sanchez of Astana.

When two riders from lower division Italian teams riding on a wildcard invitation here; Mirco Maestri (Bardiani CSF) and Fausto Masnada (Androni-Giocattoli) went after them to make four up front, there was a lull in the peloton and everyone seemed happy enough to call a truce, especially with another 8km of climbing to go.

With the peloton fanned out across the road # everyone settling into the day, there was a bit of arguing and gesturing going on at the front of the bunch before suddenly one of the Wilier Triestina guys Alex Turrin jumped clear and went after the four leaders.
Pleaded

My Spanish team-mate Fran Ventoso was riding in the second line at the time and told me afterwards that Turrin, probably under orders from his team manager to get up the road today or face the consequences, had pleaded his case with WorldTour compatriot Giovanni Visconti of Bahrain-Merida.

“I never saw it before in my life,” said Fran. “He was ‘Please, please, please, I need to go. I need to go!”

After much hand waving, looking around and gesturing as if to say ‘Okay lads, let him go. But this is the last one,’ Visconti moved over, Turrin was allowed through to the front and set off in chase.

Often at the Giro, the smaller Italian teams have their own battle going on and one can’t be seen to be in the break and getting valuable TV time without the other.

I’ve seen managers make their teams ride on the front for the rest of the day as punishment for missing the break.

Turrin eventually got across to the other four about 10km later but the quintet weren’t given the lead I had been expecting.

With the Lotto-Jumbo and Lotto Fix-All squads both keen on taking stage honours, the break was kept on a tight leash and the chase was on all day, even if it was a bit of a joke how many times the bunch were behind the motorbike today.

We averaged 45kph for four hours so it was pretty full on.

With the break at two minutes, I had a front wheel puncture right in the feed zone and it took me a while to regain contact.

When I did, I had to wait for things to ease up a bit before going back to the team car for my food.

After that effort, I struggled in the last third of the bunch for the rest of the stage, probably still paying for the long day yesterday.

On the last climb, with about 10km to go, I eased up and rolled to the finish with a group of about 25 riders as the peloton tore after Demma, who was left dangling up the road with just Sanchez and Masnada for company by then.

Alongside me, a tired looking Lars Bak of Lotto remarked about how hard the opening week and a half has been here.

“Everyone knows there’s a third week, right?”

Unfortunately for us, Demma was caught with 4.5km to go as the attacks came from the peloton on the steep cobbled climb to the finish.

Rohan Dennis though managed to take a very good ninth on the stage while my group crossed the line nine minutes down on stage winner and race leader Simon Yates of Mitchelton-Scott.

I’m a little bit disappointed today because normally these are the short, punchy, type of stages I like. But I’m kind of struggling here.

It’s probably the worst I’ve felt in a Grand Tour in a long time. But hopefully the next couple of days won’t be as demanding.

It better not be, we have a big weekend in the mountains looming.

Giro d’Italia

Lightning vs Capitals Live-Stream

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Holtby, Capitals Shut Out Lightning to Force Game

The Washington Capitals live to fight another day.

On the strength of 24 stops from Braden Holtby and goals by T.J. Oshie and Devante Smith-Pelly, the Capitals took a 3-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning to force Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final.

Washington came out fast to open Game 6, hitting anything wearing a blue sweater and peppering Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy with shots. The Russian netminder was up to the task, fighting through screens and traffic, until the Caps finally broke through.
Washington Capitals v Tampa Bay Lightning – Game Two
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After a Disappointing Career Start in Tampa Bay, Brett Connolly Redeems Himself as a Capital

After Tampa Bay defenseman Brayden Coburn was sent to the penalty box for hooking at 13:49, Washington found its groove, ripping off three shots—including John Carlson’s bomb from the point that went off the post, causing the Caps’ goal light to turn on—before Nicklas Backstrom sent a pass from the boards into the slot, where Oshie snapped it past Vasilevskiy for his first goal of the series and a 1-0 lead.

He’s such an easy player to have chemistry with,” Oshie said of Backstrom to NBC Sports’ Pierre McGuire. “He sees the ice so well, he’s always looking to make the pass and he usually can hold on to the puck for long enough for you to get into an open spot.”

Smith-Pelly tacked on a little insurance in the third period, sending Chandler Stephenson’s no-look pass from behind the net through Vasilevskiy’s legs at 10:02, while Oshie capped the scoring with an empty-netter in the game’s final minute, finishing off a game in which the victors had little doubt about the outcome.

“I can’t imagine [that] the other guys were wondering if we gonna pull it off tonight,” Oshie told McGuire. “We were sure, we were sure that if we came and did what we had to do that it was going to be enough to get the job done.”

At the other end of the ice, the Lightning were unable to get much going in the Capitals’ zone, and rarely forced Holtby to make big saves in the early stages of Game 6. He was at his best during the third period, fending off Tampa Bay as it took a 5-0 shot advantage in the opening minutes, en route to his first shutout of the 2018 playoffs. Holtby received plenty of help from the stout defensive unit in front of him, which blocked 20 shots and helped limit Bolts’ big guns Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos to just one shot on goal apiece on the night.

“We were no good,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “We didn’t play with the near-desperation they did. Was it a fairly even game? There’s no question. What were hits, 39-19? Somebody was engaged, and somebody wasn’t. You can spin this any way you want. You can sit here and say, good for Tampa, they were down 0-2 and they pushed this to Game 7, or you can say they blew a big opportunity to close this series out. In the end, there is a Game 7, it’s at home, and if you said to me you just have to go 2-2 at home in this series and you’re gonna win it, we’ll take it. We took two there on the road, now we have to go home and make sure we take care of business there. Shame on us if we don’t.”

With a decisive Game 7 on tap for Wednesday, the series heads back to Tampa, where the Caps won the first two games of the series before falling at Amalie Arena in Game 5. They’re 7-2 on the road in the postseason, while the Lightning are 6-3 on home ice.

1. Braden Holtby, WSH — The Caps’ netminder had given up 10 goals in three straight losses, but played a smart, simple game to rebound and earn his first shutout since April 5, 2017, a span of 84 games.

2. T.J. Oshie, WSH — Oshie is no stranger to being clutch. In a must-win game, he came up with two goals, five SOG, a pair of hits and a block.

3. Andrei Vasilevskiy, TBL — He was under siege for most of the evening, having to deal with wave after wave of Capitals’ shots. Vasilevskiy stopped 31 shots in the loss, but was a big reason things never got out of hand.

Warriors vs Rockets Live Stream NBA Basketball

Warriors blow out Rockets in Game 3, set NBA record with 16 playoff home wins in a row

Warriors 126, Rockets 85 (final)

Steph Curry scored 18 of his 35 points in the third quarter as the Golden State Warriors pulled away from the Houston Rockets in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday night before a raucous Oracle Arena in Oakland, and set an NBA record in the process.Golden State leads the best-of-seven series two games to one.

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Stephen Curry is back and the Warriors are at full strength. Take cover.

Curry struggled to find his shooting stroke in Houston, and after the first half on Sunday was just 3-for-20 from three-point range in the series. Then he went off, hitting all seven field goal attempts in the third quarter, a mix of outside as well as drives to the basket, like this:

Curry made 11 of 13 shots from the field in the second half, including four out of five from distance.Golden State used runs of 10-0 and 13-0 in the third quarter to pad a halftime lead from 11 points to 21 by the end of the quarter.

The Warriors got 25 from Kevin Durant and 17 rebounds from Draymond Green in the win, their 16th consecutive home win in the postseason. That’s an NBA record, one better than Michael Jordan’s Bulls in 1990 and 1991.

Houston struggled to keep up, shooting just 40% and committing 19 turnovers, their most in a game since February 26. James Harden led the Rockets with 20 points and nine assists in defeat.

Warriors 86, Rockets 64 (0:57.3, 3Q)

Golden State found the gear that seemingly only they have, and it corresponded in the third quarter with Steph Curry catching absolute fire. Just 3-for-11 in the first hald, Curry poured in 18 points in the third quarter alone, and didn’t miss a shot. I mean, look at this range.

Warriors 54, Rockets 43 (halftime)

Neither team could seem to hit anything from three-point range, with Golden State 4-for-19 (21.1%) and Houston 4-for-15 (26.7%) in the first half. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 15 in the first half, even if TNT didn’t capture it all:

Warriors 31, Rockets 22 (end 1Q)

Steph Curry despite that early three is just 1-for-6 form distance, but so far no worries from the Warriors, who used an 11-0 run to close out the quarter and build their largest lead of the game. Houston shot just 39% in the opening quarter and turned the ball over six times.
Warriors 20, Rockets 19 (4:57, 1Q)

Houston had early success by attacking Steph Curry, but Golden State struck back with a patented 9-0 run in under 90 seconds, including this three by Curry:

The Golden State Warriors captured one of the first two games of the Western Conference Finals on the road, and now return home to host the Houston Rockets in Game 3 on Sunday night in Oakland (8 p.m. TNT).

The Warriors have been near unbeatable at home in the postseason, 6-0 this year with an average margin of victory of 13 points. Golden State is 15-0 in the playoffs in the last two seasons combined, tied with the 1990-91 Chicago Bulls for the most consecutive home postseason wins in NBA history.

Houston was 31-10 on the road during the regular season, the sixth-most road wins in NBA history, including a win in their only trip to Golden State this season, a 122-121 victory on opening night in October.

Kevin Durant led all scorers with 38 points in Game 2 on Thursday after a 37-point performance in Game 1. He is averaging 29.6 points per game this year in the playoffs. In four games against the Rockets this season, including this series, Durant is 12-for-24 on three-pointers.

But despite Durant’s brilliance in Game 2, the Rockets won going away, a 22-point win to even the series.

“I think we’re at our best when we feel threatened,” Golden State forward Dryamond Green told the Associated Press on Saturday. “Game 1 we felt threatened, we came out with a sense of urgency. Game 2 we maybe didn’t feel as threatened and the sense of urgency wasn’t there. I think you’re allowed one of those a series. We’ve had our one, now it’s time to lock in for the remainder of the series.”

Golden State, who was 16-1 in the playoffs last year en route to their second NBA championship in three seasons, has lost three times during this postseason, once in each round. They responded to defeats in the first two rounds with wins in the next game, by a total of 34 points.

Rockies vs Dodgers Live

MLB Thursday scores, highlights, live team updates, news: Price goes distance in win

Price dominates O’s

The last time David Price threw a complete game prior to Thursday? That was in August 2016. It’s been a while, in other words. Yet Price notched his 17th career complete game on Thursday against the Orioles, holding them to five hits and two runs while fanning eight batters in Boston’s 6-2 win

Price almost had his fourth career shutout, and his first since 2015, but ran into some trouble in the ninth inning. He allowed a leadoff double to Andrew Susac, then, after retiring Trey Mancini and Adam Jones, had Manny Machado launch a two-strike dinger. Price coerced Jonathan Schoop into a harmless fly out two pitches later, and that was that.

Price has had some rough times as of late both on and off the field, where he’s battled numbness in his hand. Nonetheless, he’s now sporting a 4.38 ERA and 4.04 FIP on the year.
Shields goes retro

Price wasn’t the only former Rays pitcher turning back the clock on Thursday. James Shields put forth a vintage effort, too.

Shields tossed 7 1/3 innings against the Rangers, permitting three hits and one run while fanning eight. He did issue three walks as part of a 98-pitch night. The White Sox being the White Sox, the team couldn’t reward Shields’s gem by providing him a win.

Shields has now lowered his ERA to 4.88 on the season. Alas, even with his eight-K night, his strikeout rate remains below six per nine.
Dodgers snap embarrassing losing streak

It’s no secret that the Dodgers entered Thursday as the single most disappointing team in baseball. They were 10 games under .500, sporting the same record as the Marlins, and sitting in last place in the NL West. They came in on a six-game losing streak (also having lost nine of 10) and to make matters worse, those six losses were against the Reds and Marlins.

On Thursday, they looked like the team that many believed they’d be this season and it was thanks in large part to fresh-off-the-DL Justin Turner. In his third game back, Turner went 3 for 4 with two doubles and five RBI in a 7-0 win. Yasiel Puig also added his third homer in the last four games (he had zero before that).

On the mound, Kenta Maeda was brilliant. He worked eight innings, allowing only two hits and struck out eight without walking anyone. It was the second-longest outing of his career, as he went 8 1/3 innings on May 10 last season.

Given that the rest of the division has mostly been scuffling, the thing didn’t get nearly as out of hand as it could have for the Dodgers. As noted, before Thursday they had lost nine of their last 10. During that stretch, they only lost 2 1/2 games worth of ground in the NL West.

Royals vs Cardinals Live

Central Notes: Abreu, Twins, Cardinals, Tigers, Royals

Even though the White Sox own the majors’ worst record (9-26), first baseman Jose Abreu tells Scott Merkin of MLB.com that he supports Chicago’s rebuilding effort and would like to remain with the team for the rest of his career. “Of course, there is not any doubt about it,” the 31-year-old said through an interpreter. “My mom and dad, they taught me to always be

grateful, and I’m really grateful for this organization because of all the things they have done for me and the opportunities they gave me.” The White Sox are the only major league franchise Abreu has known since emigrating from Cuba in 2013 for a six-year, $68MM guarantee. Since then, not only has Abreu delivered positive on-field results for the Sox, but he has emerged as a key

leader for the young team, according to vice president Ken Williams. “He’s like having an extra coach on hand,” said Williams. “I cannot overstate the quality person that he is. I hope he really hears and

understands how we feel about him.” If the White Sox continue to elect against trading Abreu, they’ll soon have a decision to make on whether to extend him. Although Abreu only has one more year of arbitration eligibility left after the current season, Merkin suggests there haven’t been contract talks between him and the club.

More from the game’s Central divisions…

Twins right-hander Ervin Santana seems to be progressing toward his 2018 debut. Santana, out since undergoing finger surgery in February, is slated to make his first rehab start May 26, Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press tweets. It’ll be a four-inning, 60-pitch appearance for Santana. Before that, he’ll throw

live batting practice Monday and then make an extended spring training start May 21. Meanwhile, catcher Jason Castro will head to Colorado for a second opinion on his injured right knee, Berardino adds. Castro went on the disabled list last weekend with a torn meniscus.

The Cardinals have activated left-handed reliever Brett Cecil from the disabled list and placed fellow southpaw Tyler Lyons on the DL with a mild back strain, per Joe Trezza of MLB.com. Cecil only made one appearance this year, on Opening Day (March 29), before landing on the shelf with shoulder

soreness. Cecil, who’s in the second season of the four-year, $30.5MM deal he signed with the Cards in November 2016, logged a 3.88 ERA with 8.82 K/9 against 2.14 BB/9 across 67 1/3 innings in 2017. Lyons was also an effective piece of the Redbirds’ bullpen last year, though he began this season with an ugly ERA (6.17) in 11 2/3 frames prior to his DL placement.

Veteran reliever Louis Coleman is back in the majors after the Tigers selected his contract Saturday, though he may not be in this position if not for his college coach, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com relays. A “frustrated” Coleman was unable to find a job in the offseason until he spoke with Paul Mainieri,

whom he played under at LSU, a couple weeks before spring training began. Mainieri then called his friend, Tigers general manager Al Avila, who signed Coleman to a minors pact Feb. 23. “I guess they had an opening (in spring training), I don’t know. But if it wasn’t for coach and Al, I don’t know if we’d be standing here,” said the 32-year-old Coleman, who recorded a 2.40 ERA in 15 Triple-A innings before his promotion.

Royals minor league outfielder Bubba Starling could miss upward of a month with an oblique strain, Rustin Dodd of The Athletic tweets. As Dodd notes, oblique strains have been a consistent problem for Starling, a former top prospect who still hasn’t gotten to the majors since the Royals chose him fifth overall in the 2011 draft. The 25-year-old struggled to produce at Triple-A this season before his injury, evidenced by a .257/.350/.314 line and no home runs in 41 plate appearances, though he did draw five walks against just six strikeouts.

Orioles vs White Sox Live

Light travel, crab cakes, and the designated hitter? Sounds like the Phillies are in Baltimore for a two-game series against the worst team in baseball. Unlike Philadelphia, Baltimore has held off on beginning a rebuild that would trade stars such as Manny Machado and Adam Jones.

With 13 wins the Orioles have the second-fewest wins in baseball, three games ahead of the White Sox. Philadelphia, meanwhile, is on the cusp of leading the National League East just a game-and-a-half behind Atlanta and half a game ahead of Washington.

Here’s all the information needed for Tuesday’s game between Philadelphia and Baltimore.

Date: May 15, 2018
First Pitch: 7:05 PM ET
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Stadium: Orioles Park at Camden Yards
Pitchers: Andrew Cashner (1-4, 4.84 ERA) vs Nick Pivetta (2-2, 4.15 ERA)
Radio Station: 94 WIP, WSAN AM 1470 WTTM 1680; 105.7 The Fan
TV Channel: NBCSP; MASN 2

Here are the lineups for tonight’s game in Baltimore:

Philadelphia

Cesar Hernandez, 2B
Rhys Hoskins, DH
Odubel Herrera, CF
Carlos Santana, 1B
Nick Williams, RF
Maikel Franco, 3B
Pedro Florimon, SS
Jesmuel Valentin, LF
Andrew Knapp, C

Phillies hitters have had mixed success against Cashner, but the bats to watch tonight are Franco and Herrera, who have a batting average of .442 against the veteran righty. Herrera has two home runs against Cashner in 14 plate appearances, the last coming in 2016 against Miami.

Trey Mancini, LF
Adam Jones, CF
Manny Machado, SS
Jonathan Schoop, 2B
Mark Trumbo, RF
Chris Davis, 1B
Chance Sisco, C
Pedro Alvarez, DH
Jace Peterson, 3B

Only one of the Orioles hitters, Jace Peterson, has ever face Pivetta in his short major league career. That one at-bat as a member of the Atlanta Braves resulted in a base hit for Peterson.

Tigers vs Twins Live

Tigers vs. Mariners Preview: Welcome to the pain of West Coast baseball

Well, here we go. The Tigers will kick off their first West Coast trip of the year on Thursday, a short four-day jaunt to Seattle before returning back to the Midwest for their first season matchup against the division rival Twins. The Left Coast has been a problem area for the Tigers over the years, even dating back to the 1984 season when the eventual champions were swept in Seattle after a 35-5 start.

Those Tigers ended up just fine, but recent iterations of the team haven’t rebounded so well. The 2017 Tigers split a series in Los Angeles, but went 5-11 in games played in the Pacific Time Zone. The 2016 Tigers went 4-8 out west. Even the 2013 juggernaut was below .500 (4-5) on the road against West Coast teams.

Safeco Field hasn’t been the most intimidating environment for opposing teams in recent years — even the Tigers have fared better there than in Los Angeles, for instance — but the Mariners have swept Detroit in their past two trips to Seattle. You have to go all the way back to July 8, 2015, to find the last Tigers victory at Safeco, a 5-4 decision won by Anibal Sanchez.

Luckily, that streak should end this year. It’s difficult for any MLB team to sweep a four-game series, and the M’s will run out three left-handed starters over the weekend. Detroit has fairly pronounced platoon splits as a team, but should be able to eke out at least one win in this series against one of Seattle’s southpaws.
Detroit Tigers (19-23) at Seattle Mariners (24-18)

Time/Place: 10:10 p.m., Safeco Field
SB Nation site: Lookout Landing
Media: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network
Pitching Matchup: LHP Matthew Boyd (2-3, 3.21 ERA) vs. LHP Marco Gonzales (3-3, 5.31 ERA)
Game 43 Pitching Matchup
Pitcher IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Boyd 42.0 18.8 7.1 3.62 0.9
Gonzales 40.2 23.3 4.6 3.39 0.8

Just about everything we said in our last preview of Marco Gonzales came true. The M’s lefty didn’t throw a ton of cutters, as he had been, but mixed his four pitches very well. He pounded the strike zone, only walking two of the 27 batters he faced. Unfortunately for him, the Tigers pounded many of those strikes. They racked up 10 hit and scored four runs off Gonzales in six innings, and ultimately won a close 4-3 decision.

Part of Gonzales’ problem was that he didn’t miss many bats, something we touched on last week.

Normally, this would be reason to completely ignore Gonzales’ 5.19 ERA. His advanced metrics are far better than his actual results so far, and predict great things to come for the 26-year-old southpaw. However, those figures also assume that his peripherals will stay consistent. For all the strikeouts Gonzales has racked up so far, he only has an 8.9 percent swinging strike rate. None of his pitches have a whiff rate higher than 14 percent, and opponents are making hard contact 42.3 percent of the time (per Baseball Savant). We can’t even blame one bad outing for Gonzales’ struggles — he has given up at least three runs in five of his seven starts.

In his start on May 12, Gonzales generated just seven swinging strikes on 99 pitches, a 7.1 percent rate. He only struck out three hitters, an unsustainable rate against a Detroit side with a 113 wRC+ against left-handed pitching this year.
Key matchup: Mariners offense vs. Safeco Field

Many an offense has struggled to score runs at the cavernous Safeco Field over the years, but the M’s have had a bit more trouble than usual this year. They are hitting .246/.305/.403 as a team at home, which translates to a 99 wRC+ when adjusted for ballpark factors. This isn’t bad — the Tigers have a 100 wRC+ as a team at home — but Seattle’s production pales in comparison to what they have done on the road. Away from Safeco Field, the M’s have a robust 115 wRC+, the third-best road mark in baseball. With Robinson Cano now out for the next three months, Seattle will need to find a way to plate more runs at home in order to stay in the playoff hunt.
Prediction

Something weird happens, the Tigers lose, and you go to work really, really tired tomorrow.
Gameday reading

Recap: Trevor Bauer rolls, Tigers lose big
Will the Tigers sign Cuban prospect Victor Victor?
Links: Verlander hits 2,500 strikeouts
Beau Burrows dominates in SeaWolves win
MLB draft profile: OF Parker Meadows
Podcast: It’s easier without expectations

More From Bless You Boys

Mariners 3, Tigers 2: Bullpen wastes a brilliant outing from Liriano
Game 46: Detroit Tigers vs. Seattle Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
2018 MLB draft profile: OF Griffin Conine could be a draft day steal
Tigers prospect Alex Faedo takes down the Tarpons
Mariners 7, Tigers 2: Detroit bats asleep in Seattle
Game 45: Detroit Tigers vs. Seattle Mariners, 9:10 p.m.

Yankees vs Rangers Live

Yankees vs. Rangers Preview: The schedule is about to get a lot harder

Heading into the 2018 season, expectations were as low as can be for the Detroit Tigers. Many expected them to lose upwards of 100 games, with even the most optimistic fans still preparing for 90 losses or more. They didn’t exactly shoot out of the gate — they’re still on that 90-loss

pace — but have otherwise surprised so far. Between a few early breakout performances and some late-inning comebacks, these Tigers have been entertaining. And thanks to slow starts from the Indians and Twins, they’re even in second place, just 2 1⁄2 games out of the division lead.

Unfortunately, that probably won’t last much longer. As our friend Kurt pointed out at The Athletic — go subscribe! — the Tigers have (sorta) feasted upon weak opponents so far this season.

The Tigers have played against teams with a sub-.500 winning percentage in 21 of their 32 games this year, amassing a 13-8 record. Not only that, but they’ve played some pretty awful teams in the process…And what has happened to the Tigers in those 11 games against winning teams? They’ve won just once , being outscored 32-18. Against the Pirates they’re 1-5. Against the Indians, 0-4. And against the Yankees, 0-1.

The Texas Rangers are another team below .500, and could help further pad the Tigers’ early season stats. They aren’t your typical bottom feeder, however, with more talent than their .361 win percentage would suggest. They have been battered by injuries so far (more on that below) and still have enough power bats to give Tigers pitching fits in this series, especially if Detroit’s offense bogs down yet again.
Detroit Tigers (14-19) at Texas Rangers (13-23)

Time/Place: 8:05 p.m., Globe Life Park
SB Nation site: Lone Star Ball
Media: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network
Pitching Matchup: RHP Michael Fulmer (1-2, 2.80 ERA) vs. LHP Matt Moore (1-4, 7.67 ERA)
Game 34 Pitching Matchup
Pitcher IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Fulmer 35.1 18.2 6.1 3.75 0.6
Moore 29.1 12.6 9.1 5.34 0.0

Man, what happened to Matt Moore? The 28-year-old lefthander was the next big thing a few years ago. He went 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA in 2013, made his first of what looked like many All-Star appearances to come, and finished in top 10 of a loaded AL Cy Young ballot. He missed most of the next season after having Tommy John surgery, but there was little reason to believe he would fall far off the pace he had set in the previous season. If anything, a pedestrian strikeout-to-walk ratio and league-leading 17 wild pitches were bigger warning signs than a now-routine surgery and rehab.

We can’t say for sure that the surgery is what screwed Moore up. His fastball velocity is about the same as it was pre-surgery, and his walk rate has actually improved. His strikeout rate has dropped off, though, which means more balls in play. Moore’s numbers on that front haven’t been horrible — his average exit velocity since 2015 is 88.4 miles per hour, which is okay — but he has been victimized by the recent upswing in home run rates throughout the game. He has given up 1.26 dingers per nine innings since returning from Tommy John, a big reason why he has a 5.03 ERA in the same stretch. He gave up more runs than any other pitcher in the National League last year, and was one of just a few pitchers to cough up 200 hits.
Key matchup: The Rangers vs. a better Rangers team currently on the disabled list

No MLB team has been hit harder by the injury bug this year than these Rangers. According to Baseball Reference, the Rangers currently have nine players on the disabled list, including three-quarters of their starting infield. Third baseman Adrian Beltre should be back soon, even as soon as Monday night. Second baseman Rougned Odor won’t be far behind — he might also come back this week — but Elvis Andrus is on the 60-day disabled list and won’t be back until June. Starter Martin Perez is also on the shelf with an elbow injury, and there’s no timetable for his return.

While many of the rest of the Rangers’ current maladies are of little consequence, they can’t afford to lose any more depth (or ground in the AL West standings). Mini-slumps from the Angels and Astros recently have kept Texas within a reasonable distance — they’re already nine games out of first place — but if they don’t get healthy soon, that gap could soon get too large to make up.
Prediction

Fulmer has another strong outing and the Tigers take game one.
Gameday reading

Recap: Zimmermann, bullpen stay strong in win
Check out Grayson Greiner’s first MLB hit
Beau Burrows throws 6 scoreless innings in win
FanPost Friday: How would you fix baseball?
2018 MLB draft profile: RHP Ethan Hankins
Dan Dickerson: The mystery of the 19th century sabermetrician

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Game 46: Detroit Tigers vs. Seattle Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
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Game 45: Detroit Tigers vs. Seattle Mariners, 9:10 p.m.

Diamondbacks vs Brewers Live

Pollock sprains thumb, to see specialist as D-backs slump

PHOENIX (AP) – When A.J. Pollock dived and missed Tyler Saladino’s drive in center field, Arizona was all but assured of its sixth straight loss.

Pollock’s troubling tumble could prove even costlier than that for the slumping Diamondbacks.

The center fielder sprained his left thumb trying to field pinch-hitter Saladino’s inside-the-park home run in the ninth inning of the Milwaukee Brewers’ 7-2 win over Arizona on Monday night.

Pollock laid out for Saladino’s line drive with two outs and the Brewers ahead 5-2. He missed, rolled over his glove hand and sat in center favoring his left hand while Saladino dashed around the bases and slid headfirst for the 28th inside-the-park homer in club history.

A trainer led Pollock off the field, and after the game, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said the initial diagnosis was a sprained thumb. Pollock had X-rays and will see a hand specialist Tuesday.

“The trainer just recommended that we get him off the field. I’m going to follow what the trainer says,” Lovullo said. “He seemed to be giving decent feedback. … He (Pollock) wasn’t in a tremendous amount of pain, I do know that much.”

Pollock leads the team with a .293 average, 44 hits, 11 home runs and 33 RBIs. An All-Star in 2015, Pollock played only 12 games in 2016 after breaking his elbow on a slide just before the regular season started and was out from mid-May to early July with a strained groin last season.

“Seemed like he was fine walking out,” Diamondbacks outfielder Steven Souza Jr. said. “He’s a big part of this team.”

Jonathan Villar homered and scored three runs for Milwaukee. Junior Guerra (3-3) allowed two runs and walked four, and the Brewers’ bullpen finished up with three scoreless innings.

“If you go five or six good innings, you’ve got a good bullpen and you’ve got a chance for a win,” Guerra said.

The Brewers went ahead 5-2 in the ninth on Villar’s second home run of the season, then tacked on two more with Saladino’s sprint. After the game, he was showered with confetti in the visiting clubhouse.

“It’s a good feeling because it got by him, and then it’s time to kick it in gear at the same time,” Saladino said. “Everything you’ve got, turn it on. It doesn’t happen very often so you’ve got to dig a little deeper than normal.”

The Diamondbacks remain in first place in the NL West but have seen their lead shrink from six to 1 1/2 games since the beginning of the month.

Milwaukee has won four of five. Josh Hader lowered his ERA to 1.44 with two scoreless innings.

Christian Yelich singled off reliever Andrew Chafin with one out in the seventh, driving in Manny Pina to break a 2-2 tie. After Jimmie Sherfy walked the bases loaded, Domingo Santana’s fly ball to right made it 4-2.

Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin (4-1) was charged with four runs on six hits and struck out eight.

Villar, who wasn’t in the lineup until Ryan Braun was scratched before the game, had three hits.

Orlando Arcia, the No. 8 hitter, delivered a two-out, two-run double off Corbin to give the Brewers a 2-0 lead in the second inning.

The Diamondbacks didn’t get a hit off Guerra until Paul Goldschmidt’s double in the fourth, when Arizona scored twice to tie it at 2. Daniel Descalso scored when Souza doubled down the left-field line to make it 2-1.

Goldschmidt then trotted home on Nick Ahmed’s sacrifice fly.

Goldschmidt nearly had his first home run since April 15, but his two-out fly ball to right landed in Lorenzo Cain’s glove just in front of the fence to end the fifth inning.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Brewers: Braun was in the original lineup as the left fielder Monday but was scratched with right mid-back tightness. … 1B Eric Thames is spending the daytime before games at the team’s spring training facility in Phoenix doing rehabilitation on his injured left thumb.

Diamondbacks: RHP Braden Shipley (elbow) will throw a bullpen session Tuesday. … RHP Randall Delgado (oblique) will throw long toss Tuesday and a bullpen session Wednesday. … LHP Robbie Ray (oblique) threw 90 feet Monday, and 3B Jake Lamb (shoulder) continues his rehab assignment with Class A Visalia. … RHP Shelby Miller (recovery from elbow surgery) will make another extended spring training start this week.

UP NEXT

Brewers: RHP Jhoulys Chacin (3-1, 4.00 ERA) faces Arizona on Tuesday. The Brewers are 7-2 in his starts this season, with five straight wins.

Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Greinke (3-2, 3.70 ERA) is 1-3 in six starts against Brewers in his career. He’s 15-1 at home since last year.