Sunday, May 19

5 sequence to maintain your eye on this week

As we strategy the top of the primary month of the season, we’ve seen some groups carry out surprisingly effectively whereas a few of final yr’s prime groups have struggled. Those traits will likely be put to the check this week in a number of notable matchups. Here are 5 sequence to look at through the week of April 24:

Astros (12-10) at Rays (19-3)
3 video games (Monday-Wednesday)

Head to go: The Astros went 5-1 in opposition to the Rays in 2022, together with a three-game sweep in Tampa in September. They additionally met within the 2019 and 2020 playoffs, with every workforce successful one sequence.

Storyline: Are the Rays taking the torch from the Astros? These groups have mixed for the previous 4 AL pennants, with Boston in 2018 being the final different workforce to earn one. They are additionally two of three AL groups to succeed in every of the previous 4 postseasons, becoming a member of the Yankees. But thus far, Tampa Bay has vastly outperformed Houston in 2023.

Watch out for: Josh Lowe. Lowe struggled throughout 52 video games of motion as a rookie in 2022, however his emergence has been certainly one of a number of causes for Tampa Bay’s MLB-best 19-3 document. His slugging proportion of .691 ranks fifth amongst gamers with 50-plus plate appearances.

Dodgers (12-11) at Pirates (16-7)
3 video games (Tuesday-Thursday)

Head to go: The Dodgers went 1-5 in opposition to the Pirates in 2022 — their worst document in opposition to any opponent throughout their 111-win season.

Storyline: Will these groups proceed their shocking begins? The Dodgers’ 12-11 document is on tempo to be their worst since going 82-79 in 2011. The expertise is there, however accidents and bullpen points have hampered Los Angeles up to now. In distinction, the Pirates have tremendously surpassed expectations this season after shedding 100-plus video games in each 2021 and 2022, and this sequence will function one other check for them.

Padres (12-12) at Cubs (12-9)
3 video games (Tuesday-Thursday)

Head to go: The Padres went 5-2 in opposition to the Cubs in 2022. They swept a four-game sequence in Chicago, and misplaced two out of three in San Diego.

Watch out for: Patrick Wisdom. Though Wisdom had 25-plus residence runs in every of the previous two seasons, he’s taken it to a brand new stage this yr, as he ranks third in MLB with 9 homers.

Yankees (13-9) at Rangers (14-7)
4 video games (Thursday-Sunday)

Head to go: The Yankees went 4-3 in opposition to the Rangers in 2022. The groups cut up a four-game sequence in Texas, and the Yankees took two out of three in New York.

Storyline: Are the Rangers for actual? After six consecutive shedding seasons from 2017-22, together with 94-plus losses in every of the previous two years, Texas and first-year supervisor Bruce Bochy have surged to the highest of the AL West. Going in opposition to the Yankees, who’ve made every of the previous six postseasons, will function a powerful litmus check.

Watch out for: Anthony Rizzo. After an spectacular 2022 season during which he hit 32 residence runs (his first 30-homer season since 2017), the 33-year-old has saved his profession resurgence alive this season. He has a batting line of .316/.411/.566, all of which might be profession highs.

Braves (14-8) at Mets (14-9)
4 video games (Friday-Monday)

Head to go: These groups haven’t performed this season, however the Braves went 10-9 in opposition to the Mets in 2022, together with a three-game sweep of their closing head-to-head sequence of the season. This outcome was notably notable, because it decided the tiebreaker for the NL East.

Storyline: Two of final season’s 100-win groups, the Astros and Dodgers, have hovered round .500 thus far in 2023. The different two — the Braves and Mets — haven’t. After these groups completed with equivalent 101-61 data final season, they each seem like the category of the NL East once more, and any sport between them may have main playoff implications.

Watch out for: Matt Olson. Olson was a Met destroyer final season, with seven residence runs in opposition to New York — two greater than another MLB participant in opposition to the Mets in 2022. Olson has additionally been profitable out of the gate in 2023, with a team-high six residence runs.

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