As we look ahead to our weekday slate of games, the "rivalry" angle is rather thin. Still, there's one old-school, bitter rivalry to headline the action.
Though it pits a first-place team against a last-place team, this is still one of baseball's marquee rivalries. And in rivalries like this, you can toss out records. Last time these two played, it was late September, pitting the wild-card Cardinals against the fifth-place Cubs. The Cards took two of three, but two of the games went to extra innings. Overall, last season, the Cardinals beat the Cubs 10 of the 17 times the two clubs faced each other. The first series between the two of the 2013 season, a two-game set, begins Tuesday.
Yunel Escobar was traded by the Blue Jays this past offseason after infuriating fans for years with his on-field play and then making a name for himself last September with a homophobic slur written on his eyeblack. He's now playing for the Rays, and the two clubs square off this week for the first time this season. The four-game series starting Monday is in Tampa Bay, not Toronto, but the meeting is still noteworthy.
Kirk Gibson's most famous moment as a player was the walkoff home run against Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 World Series. This came as a member of the Dodgers, but Gibson is now the Diamondbacks manager. And the two clubs face each other in a three-game series at Dodger Stadium starting Monday.
2010 NLCS Rematch
Back in 2010, the Phillies had the best record in baseball, but weren't able to make the World Series, as the Giants took them down in six games. Obviously the teams are a bit different, but most of the key players remain the same. The two clubs will face off in a three-game series in San Francisco starting Monday.