It's Monday, which means it's time to look ahead to the top storylines for the upcoming week. Here are the four best.
1. Price makes Tigers debut (in a familiar place)
The Tigers acquired David Price from the Rays in a three-team trade with the Mariners minutes before Thursday's non-waiver trade deadline. He'll make his first start for Detroit on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium, where he has made the second-most starts of his career (behind Tropicana Field, obviously). The Tigers now have the past three AL Cy Young award winners in their rotation with Max Scherzer (2013), Price (2012) and Justin Verlander (2011). The rotation is set up well for a short postseason series. The bullpen? That's another matter.
For most of the first half, it appeared just about any team could win the AL East. The teams were all bunched closely together and no one had separated themselves from the pack. The Orioles, thanks to 10 wins in 16 second-half games, have jumped out to 3½-game lead in the division over the second-place Blue Jays. The two clubs meet for three games in Toronto from Tuesday through Thursday, so the Jays have a chance to climb right back into the division race with a strong series. The O's, on the other hand, will have the opportunity to bury their closest competitor.
3. World Series rematch
Thanks to the magic of interleague play, the Red Sox and Cardinals will meet for three games in St. Louis this week (Tuesday through Thursday) after squaring off for the World Series title last fall. These two clubs also made a trade last week, with John Lackey joining the Cards and the duo of Allen Craig and Joe Kelly becoming BoSox. Lackey started on Sunday and will not face his old teammates, but Kelly is scheduled to start Wednesday against his former team. Craig is nursing a sore ankle but is expected back in the lineup to face his old squad.
4. Richards vs. Greinke
It's a pretty rough week for high-end pitching matchups. The best comes from the four-game Angels-Dodgers Freeway Series, as Garrett Richards and Zack Greinke are scheduled to meet Monday night. Greinke has an AL Cy Young award to his credit as well as the huge nine-figure contract, but Richards has the advantage in ERA+ (136 to 134), WHIP (1.04 to 1.16) and WAR (3.7 to 3.5) this season. Both are excellent, just like their teams. Richards vs. Greinke in Dodger Stadium is easily the top pitching matchup of the next four days.