Well it’s that time of year again….Interleague. The mention of the word can turn a diehard baseball fans stomach, but Interleague play is hear to stay and I have to admit that it’s been fun as a fan to see teams that normally don’t come to St. Louis. Here are the best matchups for the weekend.
Philadelphia at New York Yankees
The Yankees have been on fire since A-Roid…I mean A-Rod came off the DL, but I think the Phillies will be ready for the bright lights at New Yankee Stadium. The pitching matchup for tonight is Brett Myers v. A.J. Burnett. This game, like the series, may have a lot of home runs because both of the starters have been cursed by the long ball. I was watching ‘Mike and Mike’ on ESPN2 before work this morning and I heard Peter Gammons state that the over/under for home runs hit in this series is 16. Greeny immediately said, “I’m taking the over”. I have to agree with him on this. NYS has become a band box that would make Minute Maid Park and Coors Field blush. I see the Phillies winning 2 of 3 and possibly extending their lead in the NL East. More on this later.
The Battle of the Beltway
You may ask why this is a key series, why should I waste my time reading about this? Well, the entertaining part of this series is who isn’t there yet. The question I have for the Orioles is when are you going to call up Matt Wieters? He is the top catching prospect in the minors and they need as much help as possible. One of the future pitching stars for Washington, Jordan Zimmermann, is starting tonight as well.
New York Mets at Boston Red Sox
Could the Mets be catching the Red Sox at the worst possible time? Coming off of a horrible series against the Dodgers, New York runs into a buzzsaw in a Boston team that just finished sweeping the hottest team in baseball, the Toronto Blue Jays. Luckily for the Mets, they should be able to compete this weekend. Saturday may be the roughest game for them with Mike Pelfrey, who I thought looked good in his start earlier this month in Philly that I went to, against Josh “I may be able to pitch like I did in 2007 or 2003” Beckett. The Sox will take 2 of 3 behind their offense. More on this series to come as well….One last question about the Sox, is Big Papi finding his groove?
Milwaukee Brewers at Minnesota Twins
Both of these teams are young and hungry. Milwaukee is leading the jam-packed NL Central and the Twins are coming off of a 20-1 thumping they put on the White Sox at “The Cell” Thursday. The main reason why the Twins are starting to come together is their catcher, Joe Mauer. I feel that Mauer is the best hitter in Major League Baseball(I am a Cardinals fan and I love Albert Pujols, but Mauer is incredible). Watching Mauer hit is like going to a hitting clinic with Tony Gwynn and Pete Rose. To think that Mauer has won 2 AL Batting titles while playing the most demanding position in baseball…I think the sky’s the limit on Mauer and the Twins. If I was holding a catching camp, I would invite Joe Mauer and Yadier Molina to be the guest instructors because they are the best in the game.
I-70 Series, Part 1
The upstart Kansas City Royals visit Busch Stadium this weekend for a battle between the two Missouri teams. The Royals are at 21-20 and playing good ball, with Zack Grienke as one of the early Cy Young candidates in the AL and the Cardinals are coming off a sweep of the Cubs that included 3 great starting perforances for Joel Pineiro, Chris Carpenter, and Adam Wainwright. The only thing that would make this series more enjoyable is if Grienke was scheduled to face Wainwright. I’m guessing the Cardinals take 2 of 3 from the Royals…
Chicago Cubs at San Diego Padres
Now onto the only intraleague matchup of the weekend between the Cubs and Padres. The Cubs will welcome Carlos Zambrano back from the DL tonight and he will match up against a possible future teammate, Jake Peavy. Peavy vetoed a trade to the White Sox yesterday and my guess is that he will end up being traded in late June or early July. Will “PeavyMania” be crazier than the Sabathia sweepstakes from last summer? My guess is yes, since Peavy has 3 years left on his deal after this season. Look for the Cubs, Braves, and a sleeper team(Dodgers…Astros…Mets) to possibly sneak into the picture.
San Francisco Giants at Seattle Mariners
The only reason I mention this is because Randy Johnson is going for win 299 tonight in Seattle. Too bad he couldn’t beat the Mets last weekend, that would have made this game truly special.
Pitching Matchups for the weekend
Remember that these are only Probable matchups. These are the matchups that are the best of the day.
Friday: Johan Santana v. Dice-K Matsusaka
Saturday: Dan Haren facing his former team, the A’s
Sunday: Cole Hamels v. CC Sabathia