A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
BIG ARMS IN THE BRONX
With slugger Giancarlo Stanton heating up at the plate Andre Holmes Jersey , the major league-leading Yankees (49-22) go for a three-game sweep of visiting Seattle. Luis Severino (10-2, 2.09 ERA) pitches for New York against lefty James Paxton (6-1, 3.44), who is 5-0 with a 2.55 ERA since the beginning of May – a nine-start span that includes a no-hitter in Toronto. The Mariners have lost three straight for the first time since April 17-19 against the World Series champion Astros.
STRANGE TO SEE
Three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (10-3, 2.06 ERA) tries to avoid his first three-game losing streak since August 2015 when the Nationals host lowly Baltimore. He’ll hope to get some help on offense from slumping slugger Bryce Harper, who went 0 for 4 in a rain-delayed 3-0 loss Wednesday night, dropping his batting average to .209. Washington manager Dave Martinez said Harper has been working hard with batting coach Kevin Long. ”He’s going to hit. I know he’s going to carry us for a month or two or for whatever,” Martinez said.
Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha (8-2, 3.20 ERA) is scheduled for an MRI after exiting Wednesday’s start with a left oblique strain. ”Feeling a little bit better,” he said following the game. ”I’m hoping for the best.” Carlos Martinez (3-3, 2.73) pitches for St. Louis in the opener of a four-game set at Milwaukee. He is 6-4 with a 1.95 ERA against the Brewers. Slumping outfielder Ryan Braun is expected to rejoin the Brewers after the team sent him to Los Angeles on Wednesday for treatment on his achy right thumb. The six-time All-Star is hitting just .236 with eight home runs and 31 RBIs.
SEEKING HIS FIRST WIN
Giants ace Madison Bumgarner (0-2, 4.67 ERA) pitches at home against last-place San Diego, which has dropped four straight. Bumgarner missed the first two months of the season with a broken pinkie. He has lost four in a row to the Padres Jeff Heuerman Jersey , who counter with Tyson Ross (5-4, 3.51). Meanwhile, San Francisco right-hander Jeff Samardzija (shoulder tightness) is set to make his second rehab start with Triple-A Sacramento.
READY TO GO
White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia (right hamstring strain) could return to the lineup against Oakland in the opener of a four-game series. Garcia was hitting .333 with two home runs and seven RBIs during a six-game rehab stint with Triple-A Charlotte. He batted .330 with 18 homers and 80 RBIs last season, making his first All-Star team.
COMING UP EMPTY
Boston will be looking for a couple of clutch hits against the Minnesota Twins in the finale of its road trip. The Red Sox were 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position Wednesday and are 2 for 22 in the first two games of the series. They stranded 18 runners in those two games and have lost four of five overall. Rick Porcello (8-3, 3.70 ERA) starts against Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson (2-4, 3.27), who has allowed only five runs over his last four starts spanning 26 2/3 innings.
The end has arrived.
Actually, for Atlanta, Phoenix, Dallas and Charlotte, the end came in their season finales Tuesday. There are nine teams that know Wednesday is the last day of their season. And 15 teams already have clinched playoff berths.
Then there are Minnesota and Denver.
Game 82 for both teams will have a Game 7-of-the-playoffs feel, which is a fitting way to transition from the regular season to the postseason. Nuggets at Timberwolves, winner to the playoffs Carl Lawson Jersey , loser to the offseason. It’s the first time since 1997 – and only the third time since the NBA went to this postseason format in 1983 – that two teams will play on the season’s final day in such a situation.
”It’s bigger than all of us,” Wolves star Karl-Anthony Towns said.
Minnesota is trying to get into the playoffs for the first time since 2004 – the longest current drought in the NBA. Denver – winner of six straight to give itself this chance – is trying to get to the postseason for the first time since 2013.
So there’s only one spot left in the 16-team tournament that will decide whose fingerprints get to put the smudge of a championship celebration on the Larry O’Brien Trophy in June.
Much like the race between Minnesota and Denver, the entire tournament bracket itself is going down to the wire. There will be eight first-round matchups, and every single one of those pairings will be decided on Wednesday. So, too, will 11 of the 16 seeds. Portland and Utah will play for the No. 3 seed in the West, in one of the few cut-and-dry matchups.
The only order of business that was cleared up Tuesday was the No. 2 overall seed, with Toronto now assured of finishing with the NBA’s second-best record.
Here’s some other things to note going into the last day of the regular season:
A FIRST FOR LEBRON
It’s really, really, really hard to find something that LeBron James hasn’t done in his career. But if he appears for Cleveland against New York on Wednesday night, it will mark the first time in James’ 15 seasons that he plays in all 82 regular-season games. He will lead the NBA in minutes played, field goals made and total points this season – at 33 years old.
Philadelphia would be the No. 3 seed in the East if it beats Milwaukee, and a franchise that knew nothing but losing (OK Terrance Williams Jersey , ”process” losing) in recent years will set a record – for winning. If the 76ers prevail, it would be their 16th consecutive victory and that would top the record for longest winning streak to end any NBA season.
Houston’s James Harden has the scoring crown wrapped up. He’ll be the first player to win back-to-back scoring titles since his former Oklahoma City teammate Kevin Durant won three straight from 2009-10 through 2011-12.
Once again, the NBA will see more points than ever (in terms of total, not average per game). There were 259,753 points in the regular season a year ago; that will be surpassed Wednesday night, and the league is on pace to reach somewhere around 261,000 by the time the final whistle blows.
A LITTLE CASH
As if getting to the playoffs wasn’t enough, there’s a bit of a financial stake at play for Minnesota and Denver in their finale – the winning team splits $298,485, as part of the NBA’s $20 million playoff pool this season.
Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook needs 16 rebounds against Memphis to average exactly 10.0 per game this season. If he gets there, he’ll average a triple-double for the second consecutive year. Westbrook has six games this season with at least 16 rebounds, including a season-high, 18-board effort at Miami on Monday night. Westbrook will also lead the NBA in assists per game.
Golden State lost 10 of its final 17 games this season. The Warriors‘ regular season ended Tuesday with a blowout loss at Utah. Klay Thompson isn’t worried Trey Hopkins Jersey , and he knows the defending champions – who have dealt with many injuries, most recently Stephen Curry out with a knee issue – have plenty of doubters. ”We’re ready to prove people wrong,” Thompson said.
The field-goal percentage race between Houston’s Clint Capela and the Los Angeles Clippers‘ DeAndre Jordan might look closer than it really is. Capela is shooting 65.3 percent, Jordan 64.3 percent – but if Jordan is going to catch Capela, he’ll have to shoot 15 for 15 on Wednesday (assuming Capela doesn’t take any shots). Jordan was trying to be the first player to lead the league in shooting for six straight seasons, but it seems like he’ll merely have to settle for tying Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O’Neal with five straight crowns.
Here’s another category where Jordan will finish second. Detroit’s Andre Drummond will lead the league’s rebounding race for the second time in three years.
The Northwest Division this season will go down as the most competitive in the current six-division format – and it’s not even close. The team that finishes last in the Northwest will be only three games behind the team that wins the division crown. There’s never been a last-place team within less than 11 games of the winner in this current format, which has been in play for 14 seasons.
There have been 116 rookies in the NBA this season, up 28 from last season, and the latest addition is noteworthy. Andre Ingram is a 32-year-old who debuted Tuesday for the Los Angeles Lakers against Hou Womens Frank Ragnow Jersey ,