LEADING OFF: Kershaw back vs Fernandez, Porcello goes for 20

BY foxsports • September 8, 2016

A look at what's happening all around the majors Friday:



Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (11-2, 1.79) will return from the disabled list to face Jose Fernandez (13-8, 3.30) and the Marlins. It will be Kershaw's first start since June 26 because of a mild disk herniation. Despite missing over two months, he still ranked second among major league pitchers in wins above replacement entering Thursday, per Fangraphs , trailing the Mets' Noah Syndergaard and just ahead of Fernandez.


Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello (19-3, 3.23) can become this year's first 20-game winner when Boston faces Toronto to start a pivotal three-game series. Porcello is 5-0 with a 2.47 ERA over his past six starts. The Red Sox lead the Blue Jays by one game in the AL East. This is the first of six games the teams have left against each other, including a three-game series at Fenway Park to end the season.


With Stephen Strasburg's status in the air, Tanner Roark (14-8, 2.89) may prove a critical piece for the Nationals in the postseason. The right-hander gets the ball against Philadelphia, a team he shut out over seven innings in a win Aug. 29.


Jon Lester (15-4, 2.61) tries to follow one of his best starts this season when the Cubs face the Astros. Lester pitched nine innings with just 102 pitches in a 2-1 win over the Giants last time out. Rookie Joe Musgrove (2-3, 5.06) is up for Houston.


Texas ace Yu Darvish (5-4, 3.45) tries to rebound in a start against the Angels. Darvish gave up five runs in four innings in a 7-6 loss to Houston last time out, and Texas has allowed an average of eight runs per game over its past six.


Rays shortstop Matt Duffy will have surgery on his left heel performed by Dr. Bob Anderson, team orthopedist for the NFL's Carolina Panthers. Duffy is out for the season after being acquired from San Francisco for left-hander Matt Moore on Aug. 1. Tampa Bay signed shortstop Alexei Ramirez - released Sunday by the Padres - and will also count on Nick Franklin and Brad Miller at short.

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