– Boston’s Josh Beckett will make his second straight start against the
Braves after hurling his first shutout as a member of the Red Sox on
Sunday. He’s gone four of his last six starts without allowing an
earned run, lowering his ERA from 5.85 to 3.74 in the process. The
Braves will turn to Jair Jurrjens, who is 0-3 despite a solid 3.80 ERA
this month. Jurrjens ranks sixth in the NL in ERA, but he has just a
5-5 record to show for it.
– Matt Cain will attempt to become the NL’s first 10-game winner in
the lone intraleague contest of the night when he takes on the Brewers.
Starting for Milwaukee will be Yovani Gallardo, who has given up more
than three earned runs just twice this season. The Giants have won each
of Cain’s last nine starts, and if they prevail again tonight, they’ll
be just the third NL team to reach 40 wins. They’re 39-32, while the
Brewers are 38-34.
– Will a series against the Rockies pull Matt Holliday out of his
latest slump? Holliday, who has no homers and just one RBI in his last
17 games, will be facing his former team for the first time tonight.
Unfortunately, the series will take place in Oakland, rather than at
Coors Field. Holliday has hit .248/.355/.421 with four homers in 34
games at the Coliseum this year.
Game of the Night
N.Y. Yankees vs. N.Y. Mets – Sure, it’s Yankees-Mets, but the best
reason to watch tonight’s game is to see how CC Sabathia performs after
leaving his start Sunday in the second inning with biceps tightness.
Sabathia didn’t pitch during the first series between the two teams,
when the Yankees took two out of three. Neither did Mike Pelfrey, who
will start for the Mets tonight. Pelfrey has struggled some after a
strong May, though his 7.08 ERA during June is largely the result of
one awful outing against the Pirates. He’s 5-2 with a 4.74 ERA for the
season. Sabathia is 6-4 with a 3.71 ERA.
When he’s not throwing baseballs, Twins pitcher Trevor May is an active gamer. He streams on Twitch, a very popular video game streaming site, fairly regularly and now he’s officially on an eSports team. Luminosity Gaming announced the organization added May last Friday. It appears he’ll be streaming and commentating on Overwatch, a multiplayer first-person shooter made by Blizzard Entertainment.
May is the only current athlete to be an active member of an eSports team. Former NBA player Rick Fox owns Echo Fox, an eSports team that sports players in games including League of Legends, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Street Fighter V, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Mortal Kombat X. Jazz forward Gordon Hayward is also a known advocate of eSports.
The NBA in particular has been very active on the eSports front. Kings co-owners Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov launched NRG eSports in November 2015. Shortly thereafter, Grizzlies co-owner Stephen Kaplan invested in the Immortals eSports team. Almost a year later, the 76ers acquired controlling stakes in Team Dignitas and Team Apex. The same month, the Wizards’ and Warriors’ owners launched a group called Axiomatic, which purchased a controlling stake in Team Liquid, a long-time Starcraft: Brood War website which has since branched out into other games. And also in September 2016, Celtics forward Jonas Jerebko bought team Renegades, moving them to a group house in Detroit. In December 2016, the Bucks submitted a deal to Riot Games in order to purchase Cloud9’s Challenger league spot for $2.5 million. The Rockets that month hired someone specifically for eSports development, focusing on strategy and investment. Last month, the Heat acquired a controlling stake in team Misfits.
Once an afterthought, eSports has grown considerably in recent years and now it should be considered a competitor to traditional sports. League of Legends, in particular, is quite popular, reaching nearly 15 million concurrent viewers at its peak in the most recent League of Legends World Championship. That championship featured a prize purse of $6.7 million with $2 million of it being split among winner SK Telecom T1’s members.
The Orioles have re-signed outfielder Michael Bourn to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league camp, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.
Bourn, 34, joined the Orioles last year in a trade from the Diamondbacks on August 31. Though he compiled a meager .669 OPS with the Diamondbacks, Bourn hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with the O’s through the end of the season.
Bourn, a non-roster invitee to camp, will try to play his way onto the Orioles’ 25-man roster. If he does make the roster, Bourn will receive a $2 million salary, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports points out.