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3hJeff Sullivan

Factors behind Orioles' march to first place

What makes the Baltimore Orioles so good? Jeff Sullivan examines that in detail and identifies the overachievers (like Mark Trumbo) and key position units (such as the bullpen).

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Todd Warshaw/Getty Images
8hJim Bowden

What would it take to trade for Chris Sale?

Jim Bowden looks at what five teams -- the Red Sox, Rangers, Nationals, Cubs and Dodgers -- would have to part with to land White Sox ace Chris Sale.

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White Sox fan takes hilarious stance on uncomfortable throwbacks (0:22)
David Banks/USA TODAY Sports
2hMarty Callinan, ESPN Stats & Information

The wild ride to .500 for the Chicago White Sox

The Chicago White Sox have played at times like one of the best teams in baseball. They also have a few stretches they would like to forget.

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8m

MLB Trade Deadline 2016

As the Aug. 1 MLB trade deadline approaches, stay up to date on all the latest moves, rumors and expert analysis.

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Vote now: How does your MLB team stack up?

ESPN The Magazine's Ultimate Standings grades organizations on everything from ticket prices and stadium experience to the talent on the field, court or rink. How does your favorite MLB team stack up? Vote now!

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White Sox looking to stay hot on Wednesday Night Baseball (2:18)
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Melvin Upton brings lots of options to Blue Jays (2:02)
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Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports
17hMark Saxon

Jedd Gyorko powering Cardinals' slugging surge

Led by the red-hot Jedd Gyorko, the St. Louis Cardinals continued to hit for power on Tuesday. But will all the home runs ultimately be enough?

AP Photo/Tony Dejak
8hESPN Stats & Information

It's time for the Royals to sell

The Royals are three games under .500 for the first time this season. We look into why they should be sellers at the deadline.

Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire
1dDoug Glanville

Why hasn't the slide rule increased double plays?

A close play at second base to start a double play no longer involves the take-out slide. It is a free pass to convert, and yet conversions are not increasing in percentage.

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Jim Bowden ESPN Senior Writer 

Jay Bruce homers 5th straight game 25th of year at perfect time for selling Cincinnati Reds. Best fits include: Orioles, Dodgers, Mariners, Indians.

Andrew Marchand ESPN Senior Writer 

Yankees manager Joe Girardi is apparently not sentimental when it comes to birthdays. Alex Rodriguez turned 41 on Wednesday, but did not get a spot in the lineup against righty Lance McCullers. It is not a surprise as Girardi planned to DH Carlos Beltran all three games here in Houston. It is the fifth game in a row Rodriguez has been benched.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Watch Cubs catcher discuss hitting 5th on Wednesday against the White Sox. It's his third start batting fifth in the order this season.

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Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Boxer Carl Frampton, 22-0, chats with James Loney in the home dugout during Mets batting practice at Citi Field. Frampton is fighting for the featherweight championship Saturday at Barclays Center.

Katie Strang ESPN.com 

Tigers sweep Red Sox with 4-3 win on Wednesday, improve to 54-48.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Cubs manager Joe Maddon is shaking up the back end of his lineup a little bit. Struggling outfielder Jason Heyward is batting seventh for the first time this season while .200 hitter Miguel Montero will move up to fifth. The Cubs have slumped on offense over the past four games as they take on the White Sox tonight.

David Schoenfield ESPN Senior Writer 

Don't ignore Stephen Strasburg in the NL Cy Young race. He's now 14-1 with a 2.68 ERA and while voters don't weigh wins as much as they used to, 14-1 does stand out. My biggest knock on him is he's pitched 8 innings just twice. But he's pitched fewer than 6 just once (5.1) and he is eighth in the NL in innings.

Katie Strang ESPN.com 

Tiger starter Michael Fulmer exits the game in the eighth inning after surrendering the tying run. Bruce Rondon, who had a stellar outing last night, on to pitch now. Tigers have voiced concern about his inconsistency. This will be a pretty good test for him here.

Bradford Doolittle @bbdoolittle

The wind is currently blowing in at Wrigley Field, which is good for the pitchers and good for sweaty sports writers in the press box.

Pedro Gomez MLB 

.@cubs OF Jason Heyward getting extra work in today, early afternoon, at Wrigley with hitting coach John Mallee.

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Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN

Some of the teams evaluating Andrew Cashner look at him for a swingman role -- rotation if needed, or bullpen if needed.

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Outfielder Wuilmer Becerra, the promising third prospect acquired from the Blue Jays in the R.A. Dickey trade, has undergone labrum surgery. Becerra was hitting .312/.341/.393 in 65 games with Class A St. Lucie.

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Jose Reyes says he hopes the strained intercostal muscle on his left side only sidelines him for a short period. He injured it swinging on a comebacker to the pitcher in Game 1 of Tuesday's doubleheader. Wilmer Flores will handle third base for the time being.

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David Schoenfield ESPN Senior Writer 

Padres rookie Alex Dickerson is earning a long look down the stretch with home runs in four straight games (and the Padres have homered in 25 straight games, two shy of the MLB record of the 2002 Rangers). Dickerson is 26 and never had the plate discipline in the minors to tap into his power potential, but he could hit himself into the team's 2017 plans.

Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN

Among the relievers that the Giants have discussed: The Phillies' Jeanmar Gomez, Milwaukee's Jeremy Jeffress.