Aug 9, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (49) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Denny Medley/Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
PAIR OF ACES
Two AL Central aces square off when Chicago's Chris Sale (15-7, 3.14) faces Detroit's Justin Verlander (14-7, 3.33). Sale is coming off a strong start for the White Sox, striking out 14 over nine innings in a 3-1 loss to Felix Hernandez and the Mariners. Meanwhile, Verlander is 7-1 with a 2.00 ERA over his past 11 starts.
KING IN SWING
Felix Hernandez (9-4, 3.14) tries to win his sixth straight decision when Seattle wraps a series at Texas. Hernandez hasn't lost since returning from the disabled list on July 20 and has a 2.43 ERA in five August starts.
BACK IN THE FOLD
Aaron Sanchez (12-2, 2.99) returns to Toronto's rotation against Baltimore after being optioned to the minor leagues following his last start Aug. 20. The move was made to skip one of Sanchez's starts in an effort to limit his innings. Sanchez has hit a speed bump in his breakout season, allowing a 5.29 ERA over three August starts.
Ryan Vogelsong (3-3, 3.02) looks to cap a strong August that began with his return from facial fractures after taking a pitch to the face in May. The Pirates righty is 2-2 with a 2.48 ERA in five starts since coming off the DL, and earlier this month he called the injury a “blessing in disguise” because he was able to spend time cleaning up his delivery with pitching coach Ray Searage. Jason Hammel (13-7, 3.21) is up for the Cubs.
Luis Cessa (4-0, 4.11) isn't one of the big-name Baby Bombers, but the 24-year-old can keep up his emergence in the Yankees rotation in a start at Kansas City. Cessa, formerly a Mets prospect, has victories in his first two major league starts this month, allowing three runs over 12 innings while throwing just 184 pitches. Royals righty Ian Kennedy (9-9, 3.57) has a 1.14 ERA over his past six starts.
The Mets and Marlins conclude a series with NL wild card implications. Miami righty David Phelps (7-6, 2.52) makes his sixth start this season after allowing four runs in 3 2/3 innings last time out. Bartolo Colon (12-7, 3.44) has won consecutive starts for New York. Both teams are chasing the Cardinals for the second wild-card spot.
Diamondbacks righty Shelby Miller (2-9, 7.14) will be called up from Triple-A Reno to make his 15th start of the season. Miller hasn't pitched in the majors since July 6 and his ERA is nearly double that of any previous season.