As America celebrates Independence Day all 30 MLB teams feature in a bumper day of baseball. Ben Steele picks out the best bets...
"On a day synonymous with fireworks in the US you can expect them in Canada too, back over in the run market."
Red Sox to win in the capital
Red Sox @ Nationals
Wednesday 16:05 BST
The now annual 4th of July home game for the Washington Nationals sees them attempt to avoid a series sweep against a Boston Red Sox side with the most wins in the majors. Powered by a trio of home runs the Red Sox ran out 11-4 winners last night and will turn to Eduardo Rodriguez to bring home the win tonight. Rodriguez, 25, has had a solid season but his 9-3 record is probably a little flattering as he has often been given a lot of breathing room by a high powered Red Sox offence.
The Nationals man tasked with keeping a lid on that offence is another 25-year-old, Erick Fedde. Despite being the same age as his opposite number Fedde is considerably less experienced and only picked up his first career win last Saturday, in a crazy 17-7 win for the Nationals. This inexperience will count against him and I expect fans in the nation's capital to see a convincing Red Sox win.
Mariners should keep the streak alive
Angels @ Mariners
Wednesday, 22:10 BST
The Seattle Mariners host their American League West rivals as they look to extend the longest active winning streak in the league. The Mariners have won eight straight games as they continue to hunt down the division leading Houston Astros and have leaned heavily on a number of impressive pitching performances that have limited opposition scoring opportunities. Other than an 8-7 win over the Baltimore Orioles in extra innings, Mariners' pitchers have held opposing lineups to four runs or fewer in every game during the run and Mike Leake (8-4) should be able to continue the streak tonight, particularly as he has 3-1 record against the Angels in his career.
As always, the Angels pose a threat but, Mike Trout aside, their lineup has been very inconsistent. The game is likely to be low scoring and Leake should come away with the win.
Expect fireworks in Toronto
Mets @ Blue Jays
Thursday 00:05 BST
Corey Oswalt of the New York Mets struggled in his first career start, allowing six runs in fewer than three innings of work, he heads to Canada hoping to produce a better showing. However, if previous games between the Mets and Blue Jays are anything to go by, Oswalt may have a job on his hands to keep the score down. When the sides played out a two-game series in late May a total of 27 runs were scored, and last night the game ended in an 8-6 Toronto win.
Oswalt will face off against Marcus Stroman who has performed well since his return from injury but his 6.02 ERA highlights the fact that he too, has a habit of leaking runs. On a day synonymous with fireworks in the US you can expect them in Canada too, back over in the run market.