LEADING OFF: Syndergaard on 6 days of rest, Arrieta vs Cards
A look at what's happening all around the majors today:
Pushed back a day in the rotation, Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard (7-2, 1.91 ERA) has won five straight decisions going into his start against LHP Danny Duffy (2-1, 3.17) and the Royals at Citi Field. Syndergaard won 2-0 in Kansas City when the teams split two games to open the season. Of course, he also earned New York's lone World Series victory last October, when he rankled the Royals by firing his first pitch above the head of leadoff hitter Alcides Escobar.
Ace Jake Arrieta leads the Cubs against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. The Farmington, Missouri native is 5-1 with a 2.09 ERA in 10 career starts against the Cardinals, allowing just one home run in 60 1/3 innings - a two-run shot to Randal Grichuk on May 25 this season. Arrieta has 26 strikeouts over his last 18 innings, spanning three starts.
Detroit rookie Michael Fulmer (7-2) starts against Hisashi Iwakuma (6-5, 2.43) of Seattle. Fulmer's five-start winning streak was snapped in his last start against Kansas City, but over his past six outings, the right-hander has allowed only two runs in 40 innings. Fulmer has the lowest ERA among all rookie pitchers, minimum 50 innings.
NOT A WALKING SHOE
Clayton Kershaw has a historically good 141-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio so far this season, but just a little ways down I-5, Matt Shoemaker (3-7, 4.50) has been nearly as impressive of late. The Angels right-hander goes into a start against Houston with a 55-to-2 K/BB ratio over his past six starts, although he's just 1-2 despite a 1.83 ERA in that time. The Astros counter with right-hander Lance McCullers (3-2, 4.24).
Cole Hamels (7-1, 2.88) tries to help the Rangers extend their commanding lead in the AL West in a matchup against struggling Cincinnati. Hamels delivered 7 2/3 solid innings in a 1-0 win over St. Louis his last time out. Dan Straily (4-3, 3.66) is up for the Reds, who are trying to claw out of last place in the NL Central.