The red-hot Indians visit the Royals in a crucial American League Central showdown. What are the other series and matchups you shouldn't miss this week?
Want to know which series, pitchers and players you should try to get tickets to see this week? SI.com's Watchability Rankings will give you the lowdown on the must-see games for the week ahead, including the best pitching matchup and the hottest hitter. Here are our picks for the week of June 1.
All stats are through Sunday, May 31.
Is Cleveland finally shaking off its early-season slump? After falling to a season-worst 14–23 on May 18, the Indians have turned around, ripping off 10 wins in their last 13 games. They'll get a chance to keep that hot streak going and gain some ground in the American League Central in the process when they hit the road for a three-game series against the Royals. Kansas City, meanwhile, has hit a rough patch, with four losses in its last five games to drop the team out of first place in the division. If the Royals can snap out of that skid, they can also set back the surging Indians.
Others To Watch
Cubs vs. Nationals, June 4–7: These two teams met for a three-game set in Chicago at the start of last week, with the Nationals taking two of three. The Cubs will try to get some revenge in a four-game series set in Washington.
Cardinals vs. Dodgers, June 4–7: Like the Cubs and Nationals, St. Louis and Los Angeles just wrapped up a three-game series. The Cardinals took two of three, but the Dodgers will get to host the upcoming four-game set at the end of this week.
It's ace against ace in Seattle, where Pineda will duel against Hernandez to open a series between the Mariners and Yankees. Pineda is coming off a strong last start, with just one run allowed and eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings against the Royals. That dropped his ERA to a tidy 3.36, but that can't hold a candle to King Felix. Hernandez was utterly dominant in his last turn, throwing a complete-game shutout against the Rays with eight strikeouts, and his ERA on the season is a ridiculous 1.91 through 70 2/3 innings. Pineda and the Yankees will have their hands full trying to keep pace with him.
Player To Watch: Josh Donaldson
Toronto's third baseman has settled in nicely to his new digs north of the border, but he took things up a notch last week. Donaldson hit a scalding .440, bashing six homers and collecting 11 RBIs. That includes a game-winning shot against the White Sox on May 26, a three-run job that was his second homer of the game. Donaldson will try to keep things going in three games against the Nationals in D.C. before returning to Canada for a series against the Astros.