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This Weekend in Baseball: Eyes on the NL

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The second month of baseball is in full swing and it has already been somewhat of a roller coaster ride.  While some managers are being praised as gods, others may be in fear for their job.  The drama of the season is just beginning and this is what’s going on this weekend in baseball.

Hands down the series of the weekend is Pirates vs Cubs (and I’m not just saying that because I’ll be at the Friday game).  These two teams will be battling all season and this is only their second meeting of the season.  The first game Francisco Liriano takes the mound for the Pirates and Jason Hammel is throwing for the Cubs. This will no doubt be the most evenly set match ups of the series.  The game could play out as a pitchers duel or a laser show;  I can’t wait!  This series will be filled with drama and I predict the benches will clear at least once during this meeting at Wrigley.  Jake Arrieta will be starting for the Cubs either Saturday or Sunday (the date discrepancy is due to a game being postponed earlier in the week).  Since being pulled in the 5th inning of his last start against the Washington Nationals after allowing 3 runs, Arrieta will be no doubt be looking to make short work of the Pirates so their bats better get ready.

Saturday Matt Andriese will get his second start for the Tampa Bay Rays against the Oakland Athletics.  After a spectacular showing on the mound against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Andriese will be looking to further assert himself as viable option for the rotation.  After the Rays pulled off their first sweep of the season against the Angles, they themselves were swept by the NL division leading Seattle Mariners.  They are more evenly matched against the Athletics and will be looking to make up for the ground they lost out west.

Currently the closest division in the league is the NL West with only 2.5 games separating the Los Angeles Dodgers at the top and the San Diego Padres at the bottom.  This weekend the San Francisco Giants head to Phoenix to play the Arizona Diamondbacks.  By being only divisional match up they give each other the greatest opportunity to put distance between themselves and everyone else.  The Dodgers will be meeting the St. Louis Cardinals for the first time this season.  Both teams seem to be swinging the bat well, so emotions will be high and scores will be close.  The Colorado Rockies got the short end of the stick and are playing the red hot New York Mets; they are likely to at the bottom of the division by the end of the game Sunday.

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