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Saturday, August 21, 2010
Looking ahead to Saturday’s action

By Mike Lynch

With the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners the only early East Coast start on Saturday, let's look ahead to some of the later games:

Hanson Braves at Cubs, 4:10 ET: In seven starts since the All-Star break, Atlanta Braves starter Tommy Hanson is 0-3 with a 1.77 ERA. If those numbers seem a little incongruous, that's because they most certainly are. Hanson has pitched at least six innings and allowed no more than one run in each of his past five starts, but has an 0-2 record over the span. According to our friends at the Elias Sports Bureau, Hanson is the first pitcher with a streak of five such starts to not earn a win in any of them since 1913, which was the first season in which earned runs were official in the American and National Leagues. Perhaps Hanson's luck will change against a Chicago Cubs team that enters Saturday on a five-game losing streak.

Rangers at Orioles, 4:10 ET: Cliff Lee takes the hill for the Texas Rangers looking to buck a trend that has emerged for him this season: struggles against the AL East. Though he sports an 8-2 record and 2.06 ERA against baseball's five other divisions, he is just 2-4 with a 3.92 ERA against the AL East. In fact, five of the nine homers Lee has allowed this season have been against the AL East. Lee is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in two starts against the Baltimore Orioles this season.

Angels at Twins, 4:10 ET: Minnesota Twins starter Kevin Slowey, removed from his most recent start after seven no-hit innings, is unbeaten in his past nine starts (4-0) with a 3.31 ERA. The Twins have won each of his past four starts.

StrasburgNationals at Phillies, 7:05 ET: Stephen Strasburg makes his third start since returning from the DL. He has gone 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in the first two. Philadelphia Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick will make his third start of the season against the Nationals. The other two were his first two starts of the season and he was torched in both games. He managed two no-decisions, but sports a 17.47 ERA versus Washington this season.

Giants at Cardinals, 7:15 ET: Great starting pitching matchup here: Tim Lincecum versus Chris Carpenter. The duo have accounted for three of the past five NL Cy Young Awards (with Lincecum winning the past two). Carpenter is 14-2 after the All-Star break the past two seasons and is sporting a 2.10 ERA in his past seven starts. Lincecum enters having lost three consecutive starts for the first time in his career. With a loss on Saturday, he'd set a career high with his eighth loss of the season.

Rockies at Diamondbacks, 8:10 ET: Colorado Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez looks to become the first pitcher in franchise history to rack up 18 wins in a season. He's sporting a 1.86 ERA in his past four starts.

Rays at Athletics, 9:05 ET: David Price, already the first 15-game winner in Tampa Bay Rays history, aims for his 16th win of the season. He's 1-0 with a spotless ERA in his lone career start versus the Oakland Athletics.