Best matchup: Rusch vs. Sheets

• 1:05 p.m. ET: Pat Burrell always hits homers against the Mets. Kaz Ishii has a 5.40 ERA, and has allowed seven homers this year. Burrell is 4-for-9 against Ishii in his career, including a homer. All of that adds up to Burrell being The Most Likely Guy To Go Deep today.

• 2:05: The Pitching Matchup of the Day will be in Milwaukee, where Glendon Rusch of the Cubs will throw his soft stuff against Ben Sheets and his hard stuff.

• 3:35: The Dodgers are fading and they've got Elmer Dessens starting for them, against Brian Lawrence in San Diego, where Lawrence's stuff generally translates better than in other parks; opponents are hitting .249 against him in Petco Park, .300 when he pitches outside of San Diego. This game, then, qualifies as The Reverse Lock: All logic points to a Padres' victory.

• 7:05: All of the momentum the Yankees generated last week could be wiped out entirely tonight if they lose the fourth game of their series with Tampa Bay. Chien-Ming Wang pitches for the Yankees, Mark Hendrickson for the Rays.

• 7:07: The Orioles' lead in the AL East is shrinking, and now they turn to Sidney Ponson to win the final game of their series with the Jays -- against Roy Halladay. It's possible that Baltimore could be just a half game ahead of the Red Sox by the end of the night.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from Wednesday

The Good: The Angels clearly defined themselves as the front-runner in the AL West, beating up on Kenny Rogers in the first inning and taking the final game of a sweep of Texas.

The Bad: The Royals continue to be fodder for the front-running White Sox, losing again; Chicago has now won seven straight games overall, and incredibly, they have a 49-22 record.

The Ugly: There might have been a traffic jam of all the scouts rushing to get out of San Francisco to file their reports on Jason Schmidt this morning, after he struck out 10 and fired eight scoreless innings. That's two straight outings in which Schmidt has performed well.

Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. His book, "The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty," is available in paperback and can be ordered through HarperCollins.com.