A look at what’s happening all around the majors Thursday:
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Are the Dodgers and Astros headed for an October showdown? Can the Cubs rediscover their drought-snapping form? Will Aaron Judge pull an MVP/Rookie of the Year sweep? Time to find out … almost. First, the All-Star break gives baseball one more day to rest. MLB resumes its season Friday with a full slate of games.
LET’S MAKE A DEAL
A few of this week’s All-Stars are sure to come up in trade talks as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, including Reds shortstop Zack Cozart and Athletics first baseman Yonder Alonso. Meanwhile, the Nationals are sure to target some bullpen help – maybe White Sox closer David Robertson or Padres left-hander Brad Hand? Then there’s Detroit, which may begin selling off some aging stars, including ace Justin Verlander and outfielder J.D. Martinez. White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana and A’s righty Sonny Gray could be on the move, too. The deadline to make deals without going through the waiver process is July 31 at 4 p.m. ET.
WHAT REALLY MATTERS
Ratings for the All-Star Game ticked up slightly in the first year after baseball nixed the rule awarding the winning league World Series home field. The AL’s 2-1, 10-inning victory at Miami on Tuesday got a 5.5 national rating, 11 share and average audience of 9.28 million on Fox. Viewership was up 7 percent from last year’s 4-2 AL win in San Diego, which received a 5.4 rating and 10 share on Fox, where its average audience was 8.71 million.