LEADING OFF: Verlander-Syndergaard & King Felix-Lincecum
A look at what's happening all around the majors Friday:
CY OLD VS. CY FUTURE?
Noah Syndergaard (9-5) starts for the New York Mets in a series opener, facing the Tigers for the first time and trying to end a four-start winless streak (0-2). Justin Verlander (11-6), the 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner, starts for the Tigers. Verlander was AL pitcher of the month in July, going 4-0 with a 1.69 ERA in four starts.
STREAKING BOTH WAYS
Jon Lester (11-4) starts for the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs, who carry a four-game winning streak into their series opener at Oakland. Dillon Overton (1-2) starts for the Athletics, who have lost five in a row and are last in the AL West.
IF ONLY A FEW YEARS AGO
Felix Hernandez (5-4) starts for the Seattle Mariners against the visiting Los Angeles Angels and Tim Lincecum. King Felix, the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner, is 6-3 with a 1.68 ERA in nine home starts against the Angels since the start of the 2013 season. He is 14-16 with a 3.32 ERA in 48 starts against the Angels. Lincecum, the 2008 and '09 NL Cy Young winner for San Francisco, has allowed 12 runs and 12 hits over 6 1/3 innings in his past two starts.
In a matchup MLB executives would love for the World Series, the Boston Red Sox open an interleague series at the Los Angeles Dodgers. All-Star knuckleballer Steven Wright (12-5), who starts for Boston, leads AL qualifiers in fewest homers allowed per nine innings at 0.52. Scott Kazmir (9-4) won a career-best seven straight decisions before losing to Arizona on July 30.
PATCHED UP CARPENTER
St. Louis is expected to activate leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter before Friday's series opener against Atlanta. The infielder has not played since July 6 because of a strained right oblique muscle.
Ichiro Suzuki is two hits shy of 3,000 heading into the Miami Marlins' series opener at Colorado.