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Weekend Preview in the AL and NL West

Father’s Day weekend has some pretty intriguing games involving teams from the American and National League West divisions. Fans could get an early preview as to which teams are contenders for the playoffs and which are not. Here is a look at the games.

Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers

By far the most exciting series this weekend, the Cubs and Dodgers will meet for a four game set at Dodger Stadium with the Sunday matchup on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. This series could be a foreshadowing of two teams who could meet in the playoffs.  In the first series back in April, the Cubs took two of three. The current series started Thursday with Clayton Kershaw out-pitching Jon Lester in a 7-3 Dodgers victory. Kershaw threw six innings and gave up three runs while striking out 8. Cody Bellinger was back to his smashing self hitting two home runs and driving in three RBIs. On Friday Rich Hill will face Kyle Hendricks, while on Saturday Walker Buehler will get the ball against Yu Darvish. In the prime time game on Sunday, Hyun-Jin Ryu, who has been hot his last three starts, will face Jose Quintana.

San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies

Another intriguing matchup with playoff implications involves the Padres and the Rockies.  Both teams have had different fortunes recently, as the Rockies are climbing while the Padres are falling.  Manny Machado is struggling in his first season with his new club, while Franmil Reyes and Hunter Renfroe are bringing the power.  For the Rockies, the starting pitching continues to be a problem, while the offense is heating up.  This is a four game set, with the Rockies winning the first on Thursday 9-6. Rockies rookie Peter Lambert will get his third start on Sunday.

Los Angeles Angels at Tampa Bay Rays

Weekend Preview in AL and NL West
Image courtesy of Tampa Bay Times

The Rays have been one of the more surprising teams this season, and are only a half game out of first place in the American League East. The Angels are coming off a two game sweep against their I-5 rivals the Dodgers. This will be a hard fought series as both clubs look to make moves in the standings.  Another four game set, Shohei Ohtani became the first Japanese-born player to hit for the cycle in the first game on Thursday, a 5-3 win for the Angels. With his monster home run in the fifth inning, Albert Pujols became the sixth player to hit 200 home runs as an Angel. Andrew Heaney faces off against Blake Snell on Friday, with Jose Suarez facing Charlie Morton in an afternoon game on Saturday.

Rest of the American League West

In the other matchups this weekend involving American League West teams, the Seattle Mariners will travel to Oakland and play the Athletics. After a strong start to the season, the Mariners have fallen to last in the West.  Oakland on the other hand are in competition for a Wild Card slot. Mike Fiers will start for the A’s on Sunday. Division leaders Houston will be home against the Toronto Blue Jays. It will be a homecoming of sorts for the Jays Cavan Biggio, son of Astros Hall of Famer Craig Biggio. Texas, currently sitting in the second Wild Card spot, will be on the road against the Cincinnati Reds.

Other National League West Games

The Arizona Diamondbacks, tied with the Rockies for second in the division, head to Washington to play the Nationals. Arizona will send Robbie Ray to the mound against Max Scherzer, a possible trade piece by the deadline next month, on Friday.  The Giants will be home against the Milwaukee Brewers and MVP-candidate Christian Yelich. Madison Bumgarner, another trade possibility by the deadline, will get the start on Saturday.

Featured image courtesy of Getty Images

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