The 2018 All-Star teams have been announced with a number of players making their first appearance, but before next Tuesday's big show the big names will be looking to win again...
"Houston have beaten Oakland 8-1, 11-0, 16-2 and 13-5 already this season and with Jose Altuve, Alex Bergman and George Springer in the lineup you have to like their chances of scoring heavily again."
Machado to star as trade rumours swirl
New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles
Thursday, 00:05 BST
When you look at the season standings and see the Yankees a full 33 games ahead of the Orioles you won't be surprised to learn that New York will be considerably better represented at the All-Star game than Baltimore. However, the two sides will both be providing one starter each. Manny Machado has been the lone bright spot for Baltimore this season and was again last night as he kept the O's in the game with a pair of game tying home runs before Jonathan Schoop hit a walkoff single to give Baltimore their fifth win over New York this season. Machado will have to be at his best against Sonny Gray as his record against the Yankees' man is positive. I expect Machado to add to his home run total tonight, I also think Baltimore fans won't be watching Machado for too much longer; as multiple playoff chasing sides look to trade for the Orioles star.
Mahle and the Reds to continue their run
Cincinnati Reds @ Cleveland Indians
Thursday, 00:10 BST
The inter-league series between the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds has produced back-to-back ninth inning wins for the Reds including an incredible comeback last night that saw Cincinnati score seven runs when they were just one out from defeat to win 7-4. Reds pitcher, Tyler Mahle, is 4-0 in his last seven starts will be hoping to see run support earlier than other members of the rotation have in this series as he looks to lock up the sweep. I expect this game to be another high-scoring matchup with both batting lineups sitting in the top 10 in runs scored, batting average, hits and RBIs showing their ability to cause pitchers all kinds of problems. Mahle will continue his impressive form but we'll also see several runs scored.
Houston to go heavy on the runs
Oakland Athletics @ Houston Astros
Thursday 00:05 BST
The vaunted Astros pitching rotation will send two starters to the All-Star game next week but tonight's starter Lance McCullers Jr (10-3) isn't one of them. McCullers is backed by one of the best offensive units in the league who the Athletics have struggled to keep quiet this season and after their wild, extra inning win last night will be looking to explode again. Houston have beaten Oakland 8-1, 11-0, 16-2 and 13-5 already this season and with Jose Altuve, Alex Bergman and George Springer in the lineup you have to like their chances of scoring heavily again. Oakland's Khris Davis and Matt Olson are the main threats to McCullers' chances of an 11th win but it is tough to bet against the Astros man.