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Who has the edge: Cubs or Nationals?

The Cubs and Nats have MLB's two best records. By the end of the weekend, we should have a better grasp on how they stack up against each other. But why wait until then when we can obsess now?

Arrieta's stats are ludicrous, and Dallas Braden can't even handle it (2:51)
AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

Houston's short-term gain and long-term pain

The moves to win in 2015 instead of continuing their methodic, rebuilding process have hurt the Astros in 2016 and may have set them back for years to come.

Lincecum on the move? (2:12)
Braden: Too much money involved to deter PED usage (1:49)
Are PED violators cheaters or are they just trying to make a living? (1:10)
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31mMyles Thomas

Diary of Myles Thomas: 'Out of the Coal Mine'

Our 1927 Yankees protagonist, mediocre pitcher that he is, gets the call from the bullpen for his first action of the season. He describes the feeling: "As I wait to face my first batter of the year, it feels like I've climbed out of a mine shaft that opens directly onto the Griffith Stadium pitcher's mound."

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Yankees are too reliant on Alex Rodriguez

The Yankees' problem is not that Alex Rodriguez is hurt. It is that their success depends too heavily on a 40-year-old with two hip surgeries.

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Ortiz puts Red Sox back in first place

David Ortiz drove in three runs with a home run and a single against the White Sox, and the Red Sox reclaimed first place in the American League East.

Halos in playoffs? Hal-NO (2:33)
MLB-best Cubs and Nationals set to face off (1:59)
Harper smacks 10th home run (0:26)
Cub Studios

Tim Kurkjian short stories: Torii Hunter's shoes

Former Twins center fielder Torii Hunter was so insistent that his shoes remain spotless that if they got dirty during a game, he'd head back into the clubhouse to clean them.

Decline in velocity for King Felix (1:19)
Rays mascot KO'd by Adrian Gonzalez (0:31)
Correa over Harper, Trout, and Machado (1:37)


Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

First line from former Cubs manager Dusty Baker: "This is different than the old interview room."

Eddie Matz ESPN Senior Writer 

Orioles closer Zach Britton could return soon. "He had a good day today," said skipper Buck Showalter. "He's close to being available." Britton sprained his ankle trying to field a ball on Saturday and hasn't pitched since. In his absence. Baltimore has only had one save opportunity, which Darren O'Day successfully converted.

Stephen Piscotty gets on his horse

Check out this incredible play by Stephen Piscotty, who sprints and lays out to catch a foul ball.


Andrew Marchand ESPN Senior Writer 

We are admittedly reading into things a little bit, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi nor Alex Rodriguez again had an update on how long he would be out. Girardi said the team wants its doctor to review the MRI of A-Rod's hamstring. A Baltimore radiologist has given the Yankees an opinion. Maybe it means little and the Yankees are just being cautious, but if the MRI caused no reason to worry, would the Yankees need to wait another day?

Jim Caple ESPN Senior Writer 

Mr. Red is ready for Star Wars weekend in Cincinnati. He may need the Force with his bullpen to catch the Cubs though.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Cubs recent call up Ryan Kalish gets a surprise start on Thursday night against the Nationals. Out of baseball last year he was ready to play independent ball but the Cubs called and here he is.


Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Cubs RF Jason Heyward is hopeful he can start tomorrow as he rehabs a sore wrist. He addressed reporters while a Mariachi band started playing in the clubhouse in honor of Cinco de mayo.


Marly Rivera ESPN Writer 

Brett Gardner, who said his elbow is a little sore, will get lose in the cage and said he'll be available off the bench.

Andrew Marchand ESPN Senior Writer 

It is going to be another raw night at Camden Yards. The AccuWeather forecast calls for periods of rain during the Yankees and Orioles game. The temperature will be in the low 50s. Bring a park and an overcoat, if you are in town.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

The Cubs called up relief pitcher Spencer Patton on Thursday after placing righty Neil Ramirez on the bereavement list. Patton pitched very well in spring training and then threw 10 scoreless innings for Triple-A Iowa earning 4 saves before coming up. He's available tonight versus Washington and will wear No. 40.

Marly Rivera ESPN Writer 

Mychal Antonio Givens, whose mom is Puerto Rican, has elected to pitch for Team Puerto Rico in the 2017 WBC.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Cubs OF Jason Heyward won't start his fourth consecutive game as he nurses a sore wrist. Heyward said it bothers him more in cold weather so maybe Friday he'll return. Temps are expected to be 20 degrees warmer than Thursday night. Recent call up Ryan Kalish will start in LF as Joe Maddon elects a defense first mindset with pitcher Kyle Hendricks on the mound. He pitches to contact. Backups Tommy La Stella and Tim Federowicz also are in the lineup.

Andrew Marchand ESPN Senior Writer 

Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner is out of the lineup after being hit with a fastball on his right elbow on Wednesday. Starlin Castro moves into Gardner's No. 2 slot in the order, while Aaron Hicks is in left and Dustin Ackley is in right. The ultra-struggling Chase Headley is on the bench against righty Kevin Gausman, as Ronald Torreyes is at third.

Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN

Wonder how many times hitters have been intentionally walked right in front of Matt Carpenter. Bases loaded, one out, 2-0 STL.