With the Golden State Warriors and Washington Capitals celebrating their NBA and NHL championship wins and the NFL season still a long way off, baseball takes centre stage in America. Ben Steele takes a look at the big games this week...
"The Astros have been one of the best sides in the league this season and a couple of dominant wins against the Athletics (16-2 and 11-0) earlier in the season highlight Houston's ability to score heavily."
Angels @ Mariners
Wednesday, 21:10 BST
The American League West is stacked full of talent and tonight's matchup between Los Angeles and Seattle will be one that plays a key part in the playoff race and a game that will be decided by two key men.
Mike Trout is a baseball superstar and he added to the hype last night with a pair of home runs in Seattle, but tonight could be a totally different prospect as he faces one of hottest pitchers in the game. Marco Gonzales has been close to unplayable in his last five starts, boasting a 4-0 record and a 0.81 ERA across those games he has transformed from a dependable starter into a key part of the Mariner rotation.
Trout has had success against Gonzales in the past but he is one of the few Angels who has, so while Trout may perform well I expect Gonzales to take care of his supporting cast and come away with the win.
Pirates @ Diamondbacks
Wednesday 21:40 BST
The final game of a three-game series in Arizona sees the Diamondbacks looking to complete a high scoring sweep. Zack Greinke will take the mound for the home side knowing that the D-backs offence has outscored the Pirates 22-13 this series and will expect more of the same tonight.
A Jon Jay powered 13-8 win last night marked the fifth consecutive game that Arizona had scored eight runs or more in a single game. With perennial All-Star Paul Goldschmidt starting to find form after a very slow start to the season and a number of solid options throughout the lineup I wouldn't be surprised if Arizona took care of the run line on their own.
Astros @ Athletics
Thursday 03:05 BST
One of the safest bets in baseball this season has been backing Gerrit Cole to stand up and be counted on the mound for the Houston Astros and tonight is no exception. Cole has been in form of his life this season and is on the verge of breaking a team record for strikeouts tonight, as he looks to improve his 7-1 record.
The Astros have been one of the best sides in the league this season and a couple of dominant wins against the Athletics (16-2 and 11-0) earlier in the season highlight Houston's ability to score heavily. Oakland's pitcher Paul Blackburn is relatively inexperienced and will need to produce the best performance of his career if he is to stifle a batting lineup featuring three players with 11 or more home runs this season.