What’s on Tap: Previewing Sunday’s action

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Sunday’s slate features a twin billing at 1:10 PM EDT, when J.A. Happ and Chris Archer will face off at Tropicana Field and Carlos Martinez and Tim Adleman will go head-to-head at the Great American Ball Park. Archer’s win-loss record is nothing to sniff at, especially as he’s just three outings away from a 20-loss season, but his stuff has appeared solid over the last month with a 3.03 ERA and a jaw-dropping ten-strikeout performance against the Astros last weekend.

While the Rays have been all but ousted from the wild card race, the Blue Jays are relying on Happ to reclaim first place in the AL East. It’s not the worst idea they’ve had, since the left-hander appears to be in the running for the American League Cy Young Award this autumn, but the Blue Jays will need to step up their offensive production if they want to stay ahead of the Red Sox. Toronto’s offense has taken three losses in the last five games, averaging just 4.2 runs per game behind some solid starts from the rotation.

In the evening, Nationals’ right-hander Reynaldo Lopez will take on the Mets’ Seth Lugo at 8:08 PM EDT in another division showdown. Like the Rays, a first-place finish is out of sight for the Mets, but they still stand an excellent chance of overtaking the Cardinals to secure a postseason berth. Lopez is starting in place of Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer, who will be getting an extra day of rest on Sunday before he headlines a ten-game homestand on Monday afternoon.

Lugo, meanwhile, slotted in for an injured Steven Matz halfway through August and has been outstanding ever since. He posted a 2.55 ERA through three starts with five runs, five walks, and 12 strikeouts scattered over 17 2/3 innings. Matz reportedly experienced irritation in his shoulder prior during a bullpen session last week, and with a speedy return to the rotation in doubt, there’s no question that the Mets will continue to look to Lugo as the playoff bracket solidifies.

You can find more from Sunday’s action below.

Atlanta Braves (Julio Teheran) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Jake Thompson), 1:35 PM EDT, Citizens Bank Park

Milwaukee Brewers (Chase Anderson) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Steven Brault), 1:35 PM EDT, PNC Park

New York Yankees (Michael Pineda) @ Baltimore Orioles (Wade Miley), 1:35 PM EDT, Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Chicago White Sox (Anthony Ranaudo) @ Minnesota Twins (Andrew Albers), 2:10 PM EDT, Target Field

Detroit Tigers (Daniel Norris) @ Kansas City Royals (Edinson Volquez), 2:15 PM EDT, Kauffman Stadium

San Francisco Giants (Johnny Cueto) @ Chicago Cubs (John Lackey), 2:20 PM EDT, Wrigley Field

Houston Astros (Collin McHugh) @ Texas Rangers (Yu Darvish), 3:05 PM EDT, Globe Life Park in Arlington

Boston Red Sox (Eduardo Rodriguez) @ Oakland Athletics (Kendall Graveman), 4:05 PM EDT, Oakland Coliseum

Arizona Diamondbacks (Archie Bradley) @ Colorado Rockies (Jon Gray), 4:10 PM EDT, Coors Field

Los Angeles Angels (Matt Shoemaker) @ Seattle Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma), 4:10 PM EDT, Safeco Field

Miami Marlins (Tom Koehler) @ Cleveland Indians (Danny Salazar), 4:10 PM EDT, Progressive Field

San Diego Padres (Christian Friedrich) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Jose De Leon), 4:10 PM EDT, Dodger Stadium