MLB viewing guide: Thursday schedule spotlight

Patrick McDermott

Yu Darvish vs. Justin Verlander, and more aces where those came from in Thursday's action around the league.

Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays

Day

Home SP

Visit. SP

Time

Where

16-May

Alex Cobb (4-2), 3.09 ERA, 3.77 FIP

Felix Doubront (3-1), 6.40 ERA, 2.83 FIP

7:10 pm ET

NESN, Sun Sports

The Rays lost ace David Price to a triceps injury Wednesday night, and they might drop a home series to the Red Sox if Cobb and the offense don't step up. Fortunately, their opposition tonight is much less imposing than Lester. Though Lester was a lefty as well, Tampa has still hit southpaws better than righties -- .286/.346/.437 vs. .243/.320/.406. The Rays have struggled so much on the road this year that winning each home series becomes even more essential.

Cincinnati Reds at Miami Marlins

Day

Home SP

Visit. SP

Time

Where

16-May

Jose Fernandez (2-2), 3.65 ERA, 3.18 FIP

Mat Latos (4-0), 3.04 ERA, 3.34 FIP

7:10 pm ET

FOX Sports-Ohio, FOX Sports-Florida

Latos and Fernandez are two of the more exciting pitchers under-25 in the majors right now, with the Marlins' rookie closer to his teenager years than he is to 25. Latos could dominate the Miami lineup, but Fernandez will likely have a more difficult time against a strong Reds offense that is arguably the best in the National League even without Ryan Ludwick around.

Detroit Tigers at Texas Rangers

Day

Home SP

Visit. SP

Time

Where

16-May

Yu Darvish (6-1), 2.73 ERA, 2,41 FIP

Justin Verlander (4-3), 1.93 ERA, 2.10 FIP

8:05 pm ET

MLB Network, FOX Sports-Detroit, FOX Sports-Southwest

This match-up of aces could very well end up being one of the best of the year, given Verlander's reputation and Darvish's punch out feats. Verlander has given up just one homer, but Darvish has been striking out hitters at a tremendous pace just under 14 per nine.

San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies

Day

Home SP

Visit. SP

Time

Where

16-May

Jhoulys Chacin (3-2), 2.70 ERA, 3.05 FIP

Matt Cain (2-2), 5.04 ERA, 4.92 FIP

8:40 pm ET

CSBA, ROOT Sports

Matt Cain has to figure himself out eventually... right? Tim Lincecum fell apart last year, and Ryan Vogelsong is assuming that role in 2013. The Giants can't afford their $127.5 million investment struggling in the first season of that extension. They're still on top of the NL West, but it will be difficult to stay there with all three on the skids.

Washington Nationals at San Diego Padres

Day

Home SP

Visit. SP

Time

Where

16-May

Edinson Volquez (3-3), 5.15 ERA, 4.78 FIP

Stephen Strasburg (1-5), 3.10 ERA, 3.36 FIP

10:10 pm ET

MASN, FOX Sports-San Diego

Surprisingly, Stephen Strasburg has yet to make a start in his hometown of San Diego. Barring an unexpected injury, that will happen tonight after 53 starts in the pros. Strasburg had an incredible 1.59 ERA and 13.9 K/9 in three years at San Diego State while becoming one of the most hyped draft picks of all time. He would certainly like to relive those SDSU days by posting similar numbers against the Padres tonight.

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