A look at what’s happening around baseball today:
THE FUTURE IS NOW
All-Star Game festivities start in earnest with the Futures Game, where some of the best prospects in Major League Baseball will play a seven-inning matchup at Dodger Stadium.
Among the minor leaguers set to play are: 20-year-old Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez, the No. 2-rated prospect in the majors; Texas pitcher Jack Leiter, son of former big league pitcher Al Leiter; and Washington second baseman Darren Baker, son of Houston manager Dusty Baker.
Former All-Star catcher and longtime manager Mike Scioscia will guide the NL squad, back in the ballpark where his Los Angeles Dodgers won two World Series championships. Three-time All-Star shortstop Jimmy Rollins will manage the AL side.
Electrifying rookie Julio Rodriguez and the Seattle Mariners go for their 13th straight victory when they take on the Rangers in Texas again.
Seattle extended its winning streak to an even dozen as Rodriguez launched his first career grand slam and Robbie Ray struck out 12 in an 8-3 victory over the Rangers on Friday night. The only time the Mariners had a longer winning streak was their team-record 15 in a row in 2001, their last playoff season. They have won 20 of their last 23 games overall.
Atlanta has the only longer streak in the big leagues this year with 14 consecutive wins last month.
Logan Gilbert (10-3, 2.80 ERA) pitches for Seattle against Spencer Howard (1-1, 8.04). Gilbert allowed one earned run over 12 2/3 innings in his previous two starts against the Rangers this season. Howard is 1-3 with a 9.95 ERA in seven career games (six starts) at Globe Life Field.
V FOR VERLANDER
Justin Verlander wraps up a dominant first half in his return from Tommy John surgery when he starts at home for Houston against the A’s.
Verlander (11-3, 2.00 ERA) tries to become the first pitcher in the majors with 12 wins. He’s won three straight starts, allowing just two earned runs in 21 innings.
This is the ninth time Verlander has been chosen as an All-Star. With the Midsummer Classic on Tuesday, it’s uncertain whether the 39-year-old right-hander will be able to pitch an inning in the game on only two days’ rest.
SEE YOU SOON?
Several big hitters will face each other, ahead of possibly squaring off in the All-Star Home Run Derby on Monday night in Los Angeles.
At Nationals Park, Ronald Acuna Jr. and the Braves will take on Juan Soto and Washington. In Texas, Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez plays against Corey Seager and the Rangers.
Dylan Bundy and the Minnesota Twins aim to extend their AL Central lead when they host the White Sox at Target Field.
Bundy (5-4, 4.68 ERA) is trying to regain his form after winning his first three starts of the season. He’s won just two of his last 13 outings.
Lance Lynn (1-2, 6.97) was tagged by Cleveland for a season-high eight runs in four innings in his last start.
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