MLB viewing guide: Monday schedule spotlight

USA TODAY Sports

Picking out the most intriguing or horrific matchups of the day since... just now.

Oakland Athletics at Boston Red Sox

Day

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Time

Where

22-Apr

Felix Doubront (1-0), 4.50 ERA, 2.92 FIP

A.J. Griffin (2-0), 2.25 ERA, 3.42 FIP

6:35 pm ET

CSCA, NESN

Boston reeled off seven wins in a row before the Royals sent them to a screeching halt with a rare Sunday doubleheader sweep. The A's were on a roll of their own with a 12-2 stretch until the Rays swept them in Tampa last weekend. At 12 wins apiece, only one team's going to end Monday night with the lucky 13th victory, which would be tops in the AL.

Pittsburgh Pirates at Philadelphia Phillies

Day

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Time

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22-Apr

Jonathan Pettibone (MLB debut)

A.J. Burnett (1-2), 2.63 ERA, 2.44 FIP

7:05 pm ET

ROOT Sports, CSN

With John Lannan sidelined for two months following knee surgery, the Phils turn to a Triple-A starter who is sure to be confused for Jonathan Papelbon, the man who might close out his first victory. (Well, confused for him again.) While Pettibone's name sounds more aristocratic than athletic, he's not the first Pettibone to crash the majors. Father Jay made four starts for Billy Gardner's bumbling '83 Twins. He lost all of them, making him the only pitcher in major-league history since 1903 to start and lose all four career games. Jonathan will be hoping to establish a new family legacy in the pros.

New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays

Photo credit: Al Bello

Day

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Time

Where

22-Apr

Matt Moore (3-0), 1.00 ERA, 3.36 FIP

CC Sabathia (3-1), 2.57 ERA, 2.63 FIP

7:10 pm ET

ESPN, YES Network, Sun Sports

When ESPN originally picked this game to air for Monday Night Baseball, they surely assumed that handedness would not be a big factor. Yet without Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira, the lineup is utter crap against southpaws like Moore. The righty-heavy lineup features three hitters who currently have an OPS lower than .500: Eduardo Nunez (.477), Jayson Nix (.495), and Ben Francisco (.349). Unless Vernon Wells continues his inexplicable renaissance, it looks like CC is going to have no margin for error.

Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros

Day

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Time

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22-Apr

Brad Peacock (1-1), 5.27 ERA, 5.44 FIP

Felix Hernandez (1-2), 2.20 ERA, 2.50 FIP

8:10 pm ET

ROOT Sports, CSN

If King Felix is ever going to make a run at Randy Johnson's team strikeout record of 19, the free-swinging Astros are perfect cannon fodder. They average nearly 10 whiffs per game against mortal pitchers, let alone those who struck out 200 men four years in a row. This could be fun.

Miami Marlins at Minnesota Twins

Day

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Time

Where

22-Apr

Kevin Correia (1-1), 2.95 ERA, 3.91 FIP

Ricky Nolasco (0-2), 3.86 ERA, 4.18 FIP

8:10 pm ET

FOX Sports-Florida, FOX Sports-North, MLB.tv (free)

Someone working at MLB is quite cruel because, for whatever reason, Marlins/Twins is the MLB.tv Free Game of the Day. This is a sick joke, right?

Atlanta Braves at Colorado Rockies

Day

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Time

Where

22-Apr

Jeff Francis (1-1), 8.25 ERA, 2.94 FIP

Mike Minor (2-1), 0.95 ERA, 2.18 FIP

8:40 pm ET

ROOT Sports, Sports South

Remember when the Braves were 12-1 and apparently about to run away with the NL East? They just lost four out of five to the Royals and Pirates and carry a three-game losing streak into Denver. Baseball! The Rockies are not normally an imposing team, but a hot 13-5 start now has them equal with the Braves for the best record in baseball. Are the Rockies this year's version of the 2012 Orioles, or are they closer to the 2012 Indians?

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