LEADING OFF: Arrieta wraps homestand, Quintana up for Sox
A look at what's happening all around the majors today:
ONE MORE AT WRIGLEY
The Cubs seek their major league-best 40th victory when ace Jake Arrieta faces Arizona to close a 10-game homestand. Arrieta (9-0, 1.56 ERA) will attempt to win his 21st straight decision and move closer to Carl Hubbell's major league record of 24. The Cubs have won 10 of 11, with the lone defeat coming in Arrieta's last start Monday against the Dodgers. Arrieta went seven scoreless innings before the bullpen faltered in the 5-0 loss, ending a Cubs streak of 23 straight victories when he starts.
CHICAGO'S OTHER ACE?
White Sox LHP Jose Quintana (5-5, 2.13) takes on Tigers RHP Justin Verlander (4-5, 4.11) with an impressive string of success to his name. Over his past 16 starts dating back to last August, Quintana is 7-5 with a 1.92 ERA. The 27-year-old is performing well by advanced metrics, too – he entered Saturday ranked third among pitchers with 2.7 wins above replacement, per Fangraphs, trailing only Clayton Kershaw and Noah Syndergaard.
Marlins ace Jose Fernandez (8-2, 2.53) is scheduled to start vs. Mets RHP Matt Harvey (4-7, 5.37), who showed signs of shaking his early-season doldrums by pitching seven shutout innings to beat the White Sox in his most recent outing.
''It's another step,'' Mets manager Terry Collins said. ''I don't think you can say that because in one game he pitched so well, it's all solved. Sunday is a huge challenge. But you can't worry about who they pitch. If he pitches his game, we'll be in good shape, because he's got great stuff.''
Fernandez is 6-0 in his past six starts with a 1.38 ERA. He's 22-1 in 32 career starts at Marlins Park.
Jonathan Villar tries to homer in a fourth straight game when Milwaukee wraps a four-game set at Philadelphia. Villar had two homers in 51 games before the series began but now is approaching his career high of seven homers from 2014. The shortstop is batting .313 with a career-high 20 stolen bases this season.
Sonny Gray (3-5, 6.19) is set to come off the disabled list and pitch for the A's at Houston. He was scheduled to make a rehabilitation start for Class A Stockton, but his return was pushed up when Rich Hill was scratched because of a strained groin.