Andre Ethier tries to extend streak to 31 games

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With another hit Saturday against the Mets, Andre Ethier will overtake Ryan Zimmerman’s 2009 streak of 30 games and claim the longest hitting streak since Chase Utley hit in 35 straight in 2006.

He’ll also match Willie Davis’ franchise record for the Dodgers, established in 1969.

Trying to stop Ethier tonight will be one of the game’s toughest pitchers to hit against.  Chris Young has limited hitters to a .218 average over the course of 139 career starts.  The league is just 12-for-82 against him this year, good for a .146 average.

Lefties such as Ethier have compiled a .223 career average against Young.  This year, though, they’re just 5-for-48, giving them a .104 average.

Not so encouraging, huh?

Of course, Ethier did take on Young a time or two during the right-hander Padres career.   And he pretty much manhandled him.  Ethier is 12-for-29 with a whoppping six homers versus Young.  He has a .414 average and a crazy 1.603 OPS against him.

So things don’t seem to dire after all. And Ethier typically hasn’t been waiting around to extend his streak. Last night’s early single gave him nine first-inning hits during the 30-game stretch.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.