LEADING OFF: Cards decked by Yelich, Snell hurts toe at home

April 17, 2019

A look at what's happening around the majors today:


Michael Wacha and the Cardinals will try to figure out a way to finally get Christian Yelich out. The reigning NL MVP has eight homers against St. Louis already this season, including three on Monday and a three-run shot Tuesday. Yelich is the first player to homer in six consecutive games versus the Cardinals. "It's almost like he's psychic," St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said this week. Heading into the series finale, the Brewers have won nine of their last 10 against the Cardinals, including four in a row. Wacha allowed three homers over 3 2/3 innings in his last start but is 5-0 in 12 career games against Milwaukee. Yelich has 14 homers in 22 games vs. St. Louis since joining the Brewers last season — 12 of them in 16 meetings at Miller Park.


Blake Snell, the 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner, thinks he might miss just one start after breaking a toe on his right foot at home Sunday night. Tampa Bay's ace left-hander got hurt when he stepped out of the shower and then attempted to move a large granite item. He said it was a "really dumb" move. "It's like a three-piece set and this pole that comes up like 2 1/2, 3 feet. Went to move it, I lifted it up and it wasn't glued to the pole and the pole came crushing down," Snell explained. Snell is 2-1 with a 2.16 ERA in four starts this season. He was placed on the 10-day injured list Tuesday and is eligible to return April 24.


Cincinnati right-hander Sonny Gray, who grew up rooting for the Reds, looks to avoid the bad luck that's plagued his first three starts for them when he takes the mound at Dodger Stadium. Gray has a 2.03 ERA but is 0-2. The Reds were shut out in his first two outings, and in his most recent start, he took a line drive off his left calf and lasted only four innings. Walker Buehler (1-0, 8.25) starts for Los Angeles in the finale of a three-game series that marked Yasiel Puig's return to LA.


He's not quite in Chris Davis territory yet, but Daniel Palka is really struggling. Palka, who led the White Sox with 27 homers as a rookie last season, is hitless in 32 at-bats this year. He is 0 for 34 dating to 2018, the longest current skid for a major league position player.


Greg Bird is back on the injured list for the banged-up Yankees, and that means more opportunities at first base for breakout slugger Luke Voit. Bird has a left plantar fascia tear, and manager Aaron Boone expects the left-handed hitter will miss at least a month. It's the fourth straight year Bird has been injured early in the season, including when he missed all of 2016 following shoulder surgery. He has never played more than 82 major league games in a year. New York (7-9) goes for a two-game sweep of the rival Red Sox (6-12) after James Paxton's dominant outing in an 8-0 rout Tuesday night. J.A. Happ (0-2, 8.76 ERA) faces Boston righty Nathan Eovaldi (0-0, 8.40).


Matt Harvey (0-1, 10.05 ERA) is looking for his first win with the Angels. The former Mets ace, who spent most of last season with Cincinnati, makes his fourth start for Los Angeles in the finale of a three-game series at Texas. Harvey has already faced the Rangers once this year, allowing eight runs and 10 hits over four innings April 4 in losing his home debut with the Angels, who won the other two games the right-hander has started. He gave up six runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings against Milwaukee during his last start, also at home.