But what are the best games scheduled for this week?
Ranking the Best MLB Games This Week
3. Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Date: July 6, 2023
Time: 2:10 p.m. ET
Surprisingly, the NL Central is becoming one of the more intriguing division races this season. Over the past few months, three teams have moved into the top spot, illustrating the parity among competitors. Although the Milwaukee Brewers spent much of their season as the team to beat, they’ve been usurped by the Cincinnati Reds. Still, the Chicago Cubs are doing their part to stay in the race and could use the latter part of the four-game series to make up more ground in this intra-divisional series.
The Cubs and Brewers split the opening two games of the set. Milwaukee conquered the Cubs in the series opener, with Chicago returning the favor in extras on Independence Day.
The Cubs will send a resurgent Marcus Stroman to the mound, taking on former All-Star Freddy Peralta. The Brewers’ ace has had his best stuff working lately, punching out 22 over his previous 16.1 innings. Even better, Stroman is allowing the fewest hits per nine innings of his career and is well on his way to setting a new benchmark in wins.
2. Los Angeles Angels vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Date: July 7, 2023
Time: 10:10 p.m. ET
The MLB has a slew of quality matchups to end the week, not the least of which is the battle for LA. The Los Angeles Dodgers invite their freeway rivals, the Los Angeles Angels, to Chavez Ravine for a three-game interleague showdown.
Both teams are battling for playoff positions, amplifying the importance of this cross-town meeting. The Halos are on the outside of the American League playoff picture looking in, while the Dodgers have fallen from division leaders to wild-card hopefuls. Mookie Betts and company have dropped three of their past four, sitting just 1.5 games clear of the Brewers and San Francisco Giants. Moreover, every series this month comes against a playoff-caliber squad.
LA needs to get more out of their starting pitching, starting with Tony Gonsolin. The former ninth-round pick has given up 15 earned runs across his last 14.1 innings pitched. He’ll have a chance to reverse course against Griffin Canning in Friday night’s series opener.
Neither team can afford to lose ground in their respective playoff races, raising the stakes in an already crucial rivalry series.
1. Atlanta Braves vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Date: July 7, 2023
Time: 6:40 p.m. ET
The two best teams from their respective leagues stand toe-to-toe in what could foreshadow the World Series. The AL-leading Tampa Bay Rays host the NL-best Atlanta Braves in a battle of the best ahead of the mid-summer classic.
Tampa Bay has led the majors in wins for most of the season, but the Braves have overtaken their inter-league counterparts over their recent sample. Since June 13, Atlanta has gone 17-2 to match the Rays in victories. But with fewer losses, the NL East leaders have surpassed Tampa in winning percentage. They’ll have a chance to assert themselves further ahead of the All-Star break.
Charlie Morton will be in his old stomping grounds, leading the Braves into Friday night’s tilt. Morton spent two seasons at the Trop, accumulating an 18-8 record with a 3.33 ERA and 10.9 K/9 rate. The two-time All-Star has been less convincing in Atlanta but surely will be on his A-game against his former squad.
Likewise, Tyler Glasnow has a lot to prove. He’s fallen off his standard and has just two wins in seven starts this year. Both lineups are loaded with talent, while Morton and Glasnow desperately need improved efforts. Friday’s series opener could be the most entertaining, but each contest is worth tuning into.
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