On Deck: Verlander/Weaver highlights deadline day
Posted on: July 31, 2011 11:15 am
Edited on: July 31, 2011 11:24 am
By Evan Brunell
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BEST MATCHUP: A fantastic matchup is set to take place amid trade deadline hubbub, with AL Cy Young Award favorite Justin Verlander toeing the mound. Verlander has 14 wins, just like opponent Jered Weaver, but has a higher ERA at 2.34. Weaver is at an eye-popping 1.79, but Verlander has the inside track on the award thanks to his no-hitter, plus a fantastic 4.97 K/BB ratio, with Weaver at 3.62 -- still no slouch. This is a battle between the likely No. 1 and No. 2 finishers for the Cy Young, in some order. Detroit will have reliever David Pauley, just acquired from the Mariners along with Doug Fister, to back up Verlander, but the Angels have yet to make a move at the trade deadline. Angels vs. Tigers, 1:05 p.m. ET
NEW FACES: Hunter Pence already made his Phillies debut, but he's still a new face as he prepares for his second career game as a Phillie, and will do so against a familiar face as Jeff Karstens draws the start for Pittsburgh. Karstens' 2.41 ERA came out of nowhere and is obviously over his head, but he is pitching better this year than he ever has. He'll do so with a new first baseman, as Derrek Lee was dealt from the Orioles over to Pittsburgh late on Saturday. Karstens is opposed by rookie Vance Worley. (Sadly, Lee won't join the Pirates until Monday, so the team gets one more day of Lyle Overbay at first.) Pirates vs. Phillies, 1:35 p.m. ET
NEW STREAK: Dustin Pedroia's attempt to run his hitting streak to 26 games the other day was snapped, but another Red Sox player is ready and willing to start getting attention for his own hitting streak. Jacoby Ellsbury is at 19 games, continuing what has been a breakout season for the center fielder. Baltimore's Nick Markakis and Kansas City's Alex Gordon are also working on 19 straight. In other news, Boston is searching high and low for a new starting pitcher to replace Andrew Miller, who draws the assignment Sunday despite a lousy 17/24 K/BB ratio. The White Sox bring their own lefty to the mound in Mark Buehrle, whose 2.45 ERA since the start of May ranks in the top 10 of baseball. Red Sox vs. White Sox, 2:10 p.m. ET
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