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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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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.

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.

Halos in playoffs? Hal-NO (2:33)
Decline in velocity for King Felix (1:19)
Trout makes adjustments to get out of slump (0:30)
Rays mascot KO'd by Adrian Gonzalez (0:31)
Correa over Harper, Trout, and Machado (1:37)


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.

Andrew Marchand ESPN Senior Writer 

Yankees manager Joe Girardi indicated last night that he thought left fielder Brett Gardner may not be a player for the next couple of days. The first sign that is the case is that the Yankees have called up outfielder Ben Gamel. Gamel, 23, was hitting .286 with a .709 OPS for Triple-A Scranton. He is a left-handed batter.

Mark Saxon ESPN Staff Writer 

Matt Adams, one of the Cardinals' hottest hitters, left today's game with a bruised left knee. Adams had to squat to catch Jaime Garcia's one-hop throw in the first inning and his knee collided with the leg of the runner, Darin Ruff. Adams has a .956 OPS in his last 14 games. The Cardinals are are calling his removal "precautionary."

Eddie Matz ESPN Senior Writer 

Another lovely day in Seattle, Washing -- oops, I mean Baltimore.

Marly Rivera ESPN Writer 

Alienación de Orioles contra Yankees para el tercer partido de la serie, empatada a una victoria por bando

Eddie Matz ESPN Senior Writer 

Cubs v. Nats. Two best records in baseball. Chicago's sweep in Pittsburgh was impressive, but so was Washington taking five of six in St. Louis and KC. Here's a fun fact: If the Nats manage to take 3 of 4 at Wrigley, then despite having managed nearly 5,000 combined games, Dusty Baker and Joe Maddon will have the same exact winning percentage (.528).

Katie Strang ESPN.com 

Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer, who enters his second start tonight after making a successful MLB debut on Friday, knows that any decisions over his immediate future are up to the club's front office, but he would like to make it difficult one. "Obviously, I have no control over that, but I do have control over the outcome of the way I pitch. As long as I put zeroes up and get this team a 'W' that's my ultimate goal." Fulmer is currently the organization's top-ranked prospect

Katie Strang ESPN.com 

A few lineup changes for Tigers heading into tonight's contest vs. the Indians: Mike Aviles in at SS, Andrew Romine at CF. Michael Fulmer to make his second MLB start after impressive MLB debut in Minneapolis on Friday.