On Deck: Labor Day baseball
Posted on: September 5, 2011 11:16 am
Edited on: September 5, 2011 11:46 am
By Matt Snyder
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Cardinals last stand: The Cardinals swept the Brewers last week in Milwaukee. Now the Brewers visit St. Louis for three games. Being 9 1/2 games out int he NL Central, the Cardinals need to sweep the Brewers again, otherwise you'd have to consider this race over. Even if they do sweep, 6 1/2 is a tall order, but it's at least feasible. Jake Westbrook (11-7, 4.72) is the Cardinals' starter Monday, and last time out he gathered the win -- and hit a grand slam -- against the Brewers. Randy Wolf (11-9, 3.58) was the starter for the Brewers that game, and it's a rematch Monday. Brewers at Cardinals, 4:15 p.m. ET.
Shields rematch: The Rangers have a 3 1/2 game lead in the AL West -- which is one of the few remaining intriguing races. Monday, they'll open a series in Tampa Bay. James Shields (13-10, 2.84) is the starter for the Rays, and last time out he handcuffed the Rangers for eight shutout innings, only allowing four hits. Only the Yankees and Red Sox have scored more runs among AL teams than the Rangers, so it's a tall order to hold them down once, much less twice. Scott Feldman (1-0, 2.86) will start for the Rangers in what was supposed to be struggling Alexi Ogando's spot. Rangers at Rays, 1:10 p.m. ET.
Big week for Cleveland: The Indians trail the Tigers by 6 1/2 games and have a two-game lead over the White Sox in the AL Central. This week, the Indians have three games at home against the Tigers and four in Chicago against the White Sox. Monday, Ubaldo Jimenez (8-10, 4.70) looks to get things off to a positive start for the Indians, while Doug Fister (6-13, 3.26) will try to bury them. This could be a huge series, as the Tigers could essentially put the division away, but an Indians' sweep brings things to within 3 1/2 games. The two then have another three-game series later this September.
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