Can the streaking Chicago Cubs stay red-hot and get back on track to potentially make consecutive World Series appearances?
Can the overachieving Milwaukee Brewers snap out of their doldrums to keep pace with the surging lovable Cubs?
Will the Washington Nationals keep playing at a high level despite not getting the national attention they rightfully deserve and last but not least, can Aaron Judge keep smacking home runs to keep the New York Yankees in the conversation for a wild card berth at the very least?
With the 2017 MLB regular season heating up just like the still-increasing summer temperatures (Yes, global warming is real No. 45) it’s time for another look at the top MLB games of the week.
MLB Top Games July 24-31
Chicago Cubs (51-46) at Chicago White Sox (38-57)
Wednesday, July 26, 8:10 PM ET
Where: Guaranteed Rate Field
Analysis: The Chicago Cubs are heating up nicely, having won two straight and a blistering eight of their last 10 games overall. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the Chicago White Sox who are fading faster than a pair of my 20-year-old blue jeans.
The ChiSox have lost a whopping nine straight and look like they’re in real trouble against their cross-town rivals on Wednesday night.
Cubs’ right-hander Jake Jake Arrieta is 1-0 with a 2.13 ERA in two post all-star break starts while holding opponents to a minuscule .191 batting average.
White Sox veteran right-hander James Shields has gotten smacked senseless since starting the season with a fantastic 1.62 ERA over his first 16.2 innings. Shields has gotten pounded to the tune of an 8.10 ERA over his last six starts spanning just 30 innings while allowing nine home runs and 15 walks.
Milwaukee Brewers (53-48) at Washington Nationals (59-38)
Thursday, July 27, 12:05 PM ET
Where: Nationals Park
Analysis: Milwaukee is struggling mightily right now having lost seven of their last 10 games while Washington has gone a red-hot 8-2 over their last 10. Brewers right-hander Matt Garza was solid in his last start as he limited Philadelphia to just two earned runs on three hits over five innings.
Washington’s Max Scherzer has been mostly rock-solid this season, although he did give up a stunning three consecutive homers to kick off his last start against Arizona, the only time that has happened in his career. The Nats are 26-19 at home this season, but Milwaukee has succeeded on the road more often than not in going 25-24 on the road this season.
Tampa Bay Rays (51-48) at New York Yankees (51-46)
Friday, July 28, 7:05 PM EDT, Yankee Stadium
Analysis: While Tampa Bay has posted a respectable 5-5 record over their last 10 games, they’ve also dropped four straight heading into the new week. The Yankees haven’t been much better in going 6-4 over their last 10 although they did get a win to kick off the new week the last time out.
Tampa Bay right-hander Jake Odorizzi has been wildly inconsistent in finding the strike zone this season with a whopping 82 walks in just 94.2 innings. The 27-year-old hurler gave up three earned runs on three hits in just four innings in his last start against Texas on Sunday and looks like he could give up a home run – or three to New York heavy hitters Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez
Chicago Cubs (51-46) at Milwaukee Brewers (53-48)
Saturday, July 29, 7:10 PM ET, Miller Park
TV: WGN, FSWI
Analysis: While neither team has announced their respective starter for this NL Central showdown, it certainly doesn’t bode well for the Brewers that they’ve dropped seven of their last 10 entering the new week while Chicago has won eight of their last 10 over the same span.
I guess the good news for the Brew Crew is that they’ve posted a solid 28-24 mark at home this season even though Chicago has gone 25-25 on the road.