MLB viewing guide: Weekend schedule spotlight

Justin Edmonds

In which aces will likely have to clean up the messes left by their unknown back-of-the-rotation starters.

Cleveland Indians at Boston Red Sox

Day

Home SP

Visit. SP

Time

Where

24-May

John Lackey (2-4), 3.31 ERA, 3.10 FIP

Justin Masterson (7-2), 2.83 ERA, 2.93 FIP

7:10 pm ET

NESN, SportsTime Ohio

25-May

Jon Lester (6-1), 3.15 ERA, 3.40 FIP

Scott Kazmir (2-2), 6.35 ERA, 5.40 FIP

1:35 pm ET

NESN, SportsTime Ohio

26-May

Felix Doubront (3-2), 5.61 ERA, 3.59 FIP

Corey Kluber (3-3), 5.19 ERA, 3.61 FIP

1:35 pm ET

NESN, SportsTime Ohio

This series might be the biggest one between the Tribe and the Red Sox since the 2007 ALCS, simply because the Tribe has not really been competitive since. Masterson was a Red Sox back in the day, and Boston might be wishing they held onto him even though Victor Martinez gave them a solid year and a half. Games two and three of the series (shown as one and two above) have obvious favorites in Masterson and Lester, respectively, but the Sunday match-up could be a high-scoring affair with two mediocre starters on the mound facing two of the top three offenses in the league.

Colorado Rockies at San Francisco Giants

Day

Home SP

Visit. SP

Time

Where

24-May

Tim Lincecum (3-3), 4.70 ERA, 3.80 FIP

Tyler Chatwood (2-0), 2.55 ERA, 3.03 FIP

10:15 pm ET

ROOT Sports, KNTV

25-May

Barry Zito (3-3), 3.91 ERA, 3.59 FIP

Juan Nicasio (4-1), 4.47 ERA, 5.13 FIP

4:05 pm ET

MLB Network, MLB.tv (free), ROOT Sports, CSBA

26-May

Matt Cain (3-2), 5.12 ERA, 4.98 FIP

Jon Garland (3-5), 5.19 ERA, 4.71 FIP

4:05 pm ET

ROOT Sports, CSBA

The Rockies, Giants, and Diamondbacks are in a three-way tie atop the NL West at 26-21, and the first two teams square off against each other by the bay while the D'backs host the Padres. Colorado's still under .500 on the road, but if Chatwood continues his surprising start by leading them to victory in the opener, the Rockies would only have to take down one of Zito or Cain to capture the series. When their stars Troy Tulowitzki (163 wRC+) and Carlos Gonzalez (154 wRC+) are performing up to snuff while, the Rockies' offense can be a dangerous minefield for an opposing pitcher to navigate.

New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays

Photo credit: J. Meric

Day

Home SP

Visit. SP

Time

Where

24-May

Roberto Hernandez (2-4), 5.24 ERA, 4.98 FIP

David Phelps (2-2), 3.83 ERA, 3.65 FIP

7:10 pm ET

MLB Network, My9, Sun Sports

25-May

Matt Moore (8-0), 2.29 ERA, 4.20 FIP

Vidal Nuno (1-1), 1.13 ERA, 4.53 FIP

4:10 pm ET

MLB Network, YES Network, Sun Sports

26-May

Alex Cobb (5-2), 2.73 ERA, 3.78 FIP

CC Sabathia, (4-3), 3.43 ERA, 3.84 FIP

1:40 pm ET

TBS, YES Network, Sun Sports

Rays fans are unlikely to be very familiar with the first two members of the Yankees' rotation this weekend. They've never seen Andy Pettitte's sub, Nuno, and they only saw Phelps in about 10 innings as a reliever/starter last year. Both Moore and Cobb mystified the Yankees in their most recent starts against them, so New York will hope to reverse their fortunes now that a healthy Curtis Granderson is back on the team.

Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals

Day

Home SP

Visit. SP

Time

Where

24-May

Jordan Zimmermann (7-2), 1.62 ERA, 2.76 FIP

Kyle Kendrick (4-2), 2.82 ERA, 3.71 FIP

7:05 pm ET

MLB Network, CSN, MASN

25-May

Dan Haren (4-5), 5.54 ERA, 4.90 FIP

Jonathan Pettibone (3-0), 3.00 ERA, 4.84 FIP

7:15 pm ET

FOX

26-May

Ross Detwiler (2-4), 2.76 ERA, 3.67 FIP

Cole Hamels (1-7), 4.45 ERA, 4.33 FIP

1:40 pm ET

CSN, MASN

The Phils and Nats enter the series both trying to distance themselves from the .500 mark -- the former is a game under and the latter is a game over. The good news for both is that, for as hot as the Braves started, they are unlikely to just run away with the division title. Few players on either team are hot at the moment, so unless several break out, this could be a series dominated by pitching, even though aces Cliff Lee and Stephen Strasburg won't be in it.

Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners

Day

Home SP

Visit. SP

Time

Where

24-May

Joe Saunders (3-4), 5.64 ERA, 5.12 FIP

Justin Grimm (3-3), 4.02 ERA, 3.99 FIP

10:10 pm ET

KTXA, ROOT Sports

25-May

Felix Hernandez (5-3), 2.07 ERA, 2.23 FIP

Derek Holland (3-2), 3.30 ERA, 2.81 FIP

10:10 pm ET

FOX Sports-Southwest, ROOT Sports

26-May

Hisashi Iwakuma (5-1), 2.37 ERA, 3.51 FIP

Nick Tepesch (3-4), 3.98 ERA, 4.16 FIP

4:10 pm ET

FOX Sports-Southwest, ROOT Sports

The Mariners shook things up on the off-day by demoting Jesus Montero to Triple-A Tacoma, and shuffled other catchers around in their system enough to suggest that the Montero catching experiment is effectively over. Now with Kelly Shoppach firmly established as the team's starter until top prospect Mike Zunino's arrival, the Mariners take on the division leaders, who are already 10 games ahead of them. Since capturing a series victory in New York with back-to-back wins against the Yankees, Seattle has lost six in a row and both Felix and Iwakuma are coming off uncharacteristically terrible starts in Cleveland.

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