A look at what's happening all around the major leagues today:
White Sox ace Chris Sale takes a streak of seven straight outings with at least 10 strikeouts into his start at St. Louis. The left-hander has fanned 85 during the run.
In the opener of a three-game set between young teams on the rise, the Cubs visit Citi Field. Jonathon Niese pitches for the Mets against a club rumored to have interest in trading for him. Third baseman Daniel Murphy is expected back from the disabled list for a scuffling New York lineup that needs help. Chicago swept four games from the Mets last month at Wrigley Field.
Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton is expected to come off the disabled list and play at Baltimore. The former AL MVP got into just seven games for the Rangers before straining his left hamstring in early June. Hamilton says he's ''good to go,'' even though he's not quite at 100 percent.
JUST IN TIME
Tigers star Justin Verlander is set to start at home against Pittsburgh after a back issue caused him to miss a start. He is 0-1 with a 6.17 ERA in two starts this season, which began with him on the disabled list because of a triceps injury. Gerrit Cole, leading the majors with 11 wins, starts for the Pirates.
Rookie Xavier Scruggs is giving the Cardinals a big boost, helping them post the best record in the majors. The 27-year-old first baseman is 9 for 19 with six RBIs in seven games since being promoted from Triple-A. St. Louis has won six in a row and now hosts the White Sox.
Ascending ace Dallas Keuchel (9-3) struck out 12 against the Yankees in his last start. Now, he gets the ball for the AL West-best Astros in a matchup against the Central-leading Royals in what could be an improbable postseason preview.