It’s a full 15-game slate on this Tuesday, the final Tuesday before the All-Star break. All 15 are night games as well. Let’s get to it … 

Tuesday’s baseball scores

Tanaka returns to Yankees

Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka has been sidelined since June 9 when he strained not one but both hamstrings while running the bases against the Mets. He takes into his Tuesday night start against the Orioles with a 4.58 ERA/93 ERA+ and a 3.84 K/BB ratio after 13 starts this season. That ERA+ is the worst mark of his career, and his current K/BB ratio, while very good relative to most, is also the worst mark of his career. Tanaka finished seventh in the AL Cy Young balloting in 2016, but since then he owns a 4.70 ERA.

Although his sinker and four-seam fastball aren’t his primary pitches — he’s more of a slider-splitter guy than ever before — those two secondary offerings are getting hit hard this season. Going forward, it’ll be interesting to see whether he can avoid grooving those two flavors of fastball. At least the Orioles, who rank last in the AL in OPS and run scored, may provide a soft landing for Tanaka upon his return. 

Whether Tanaka can find his old level over his next start or three will likely inform what the Yankees do leading up to the July 31 non-waiver deadline. No doubt they want to add starting pitching depth, particularly with Sonny Gray’s ongoing struggles, but whether they angle for a depth piece or a frontline guy to put alongside ace Luis Severino may hinge on whether Tanaka rebounds. We get our first hint at that on Tuesday night in Baltimore. 

Red Sox go for eighth straight

Boston enters their Tuesday night encounter with the Rangers sporting an MLB-best seven game win streak. Thanks in part that recent surge, the SportsLine Projection Model now tabs them for 107 wins, which would be the most in franchise history. More to the point, SportsLine presently gives Boston a 60.3 percent chance of topping the Yankees in the AL East. Need more good news, Sox rooters? Boston’s next 16 games come against teams with losing records, so that’s a good chance to fatten up even more. 

For the Sox on Tuesday night, swingman Hector Velazquez makes his first start since April 14. 

The improbable A’s keep winning

The A’s suffocated the world-champion Astros  on Monday night, and are now a season-best 11 games over .500. Back on June 14, the A’s were a game below .500, but since then they’ve gone an MLB-best 17-5. It’s surprising enough that the A’s have played their way into contention, and it’s even more surprising that they’ve done so while being banged up. Our own R.J. Anderson took at look at Oakland’s unlikely run in 2018

Quick hits

Live team updates

Source link