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MLB: CC Sabathia and the Yankees host Justin Verlander and the Tigers this afternoon at 1:05 p.m. ET, with the weather at Yankee Stadium stealing all the headlines. Forecasts call for rain and temperatures in the 40s, so fans may be in for a long day of starts and stops. ... A few hours away, Derek Lowe will line up opposite Livan Hernandez when the Braves and Nationals meet in Washington D.C. ... The Brewers welcome the reigning NL Central champion Reds to Miller Park today at 2:10 p.m., with Yovani Gallardo and Edinson Volquez on the bump. ... The Royals start their quest for just a second winning season in 18 years when they host the Angels today at 4:10 p.m. Luke Hochevar gets the nod for Kansas City, while last season's strikeout leader Jared Weaver will make the start for L.A. ... When the Cardinals and the Padres kick off their 2011 seasons today at 4:15 p.m., no doubt fans will be wondering if this year is the last for Albert Pujols in St. Louis. With Adam Wainwright sidelined, Chris Carpenter gets the start for the Cards; Tim Stauffer is on the bump in place of Mat Latos, on the DL with a shoulder injury. ... Tim Lincecum and the defending World Series champion Giants pay a visit to Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers tonight at 8 p.m.
NBA: There are just two NBA games on the docket tonight, but they're good ones. Tonight at 10:30 p.m. on TNT the Mavericks, who boast the best road record in the league, pay a visit to the Lakers, who've won nine straight at home. Dallas is a half-game back of L.A. for the second seed in the West, so a win tonight could help the Mavs make a run for the No. 2 spot as the regular season winds down. ... The Spurs, who lead both the Mavs and the Lakers in the West, welcome the Celtics to the AT&T Center. San Antonio has lost four straight to Boston and is on the verge of its worst losing streak in 14 years, having lost four straight. The Celtics haven't fared much better as of late, losing three of four and seven of 12 to fall 2 1/2 games back of the Bulls in the East. Catch that one on TNT at 8 p.m.
NHL: Vancouver already has clinched the top seed in the West; tonight it can clinch the best record in the NHL with a win over the Kings. ... Out with a concussion since Jan. 5, Sidney Crosby has been cleared to take part in the morning skate but can't yet participate in practices or games. His presence alone may help the Penguins tonight in their tilt with the Lightning, who have bounced back from a four-game slide with back-to-back wins.