What’s on Tap: Previewing Monday’s action

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Baseball fans are in for a real treat on Monday night. In a battle of aces, the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner takes on the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw in a 10:10 PM EDT start at Dodger Stadium.

Yup, Kershaw is back after spending nearly two and a half months on the disabled list with a lower back injury. He’s made two starts since coming off of the DL, but has logged eight innings in total. They’ve been quality innings, as he’s yielded two runs on six hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts. Unsurprisingly, Kershaw will be on a pitch count of 90 to 100. Prior to the injury, Kershaw seemed like a lock for the National League Cy Young Award, carrying a 1.79 ERA with a 145/9 K/BB ratio in 121 innings following his June 26 start against the Pirates.

Bumgarner was also in the Cy Young conversation, but Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks has really pulled away from the pack and is currently the favorite. Bumgarner owns a 14-9 record with a 2.66 ERA and a 231/52 K/BB ratio in 206 1/3 innings. The ERA is fourth among qualified starters, trailing Hendricks, Jon Lester, and Noah Syndergaard.

Monday night will be the 10th time Kerhsaw and Bumgarner have matched up against each other. The Giants have won five of the nine past matchups.

Something to watch out for: Bumgarner has 14 career home runs. Two of them have come against Kershaw.

The rest of Monday’s action…

Boston Red Sox (Rick Porcello) @ Baltimore Orioles (Dylan Bundy), 7:05 PM EDT

Atlanta Braves (Aaron Blair) @ New York Mets (Noah Syndergaard), 7:10 PM EDT

Washington Nationals (A.J. Cole) @ Miami Marlins (Wei-Yin Chen), 7:10 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds (Tim Adleman) @ Chicago Cubs (Jason Hammel), 8:05 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels (Jhoulys Chacin) @ Texas Rangers (Martin Perez), 8:05 PM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals (Carlos Martinez) @ Colorado Rockies (Tyler Anderson), 8:40 PM EDT

Houston Astros (Brad Peacock) @ Oakland Athletics (Jharel Cotton), 10:05 PM EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks (Braden Shipley) @ San Diego Padres (Clayton Richard), 10:10 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants (Madison Bumgarner) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw), 10:10 PM EDT

Toronto Blue Jays (Marco Estrada) @ Seattle Mariners (Taijuan Walker), 10:10 PM EDT

Dodgers sign OF Jason Heyward to minor league deal

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers signed outfielder Jason Heyward to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

The 33-year-old was released by the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason.

Heyward, who was injured at times last season, put up the worst offensive numbers of his career, batting .204 and with 10 RBIs and one home run in 137 plate appearances. However, he’s a valuable defender in the outfield.

The deal reunites Heyward with first baseman Freddie Freeman. They came up through the Atlanta Braves system and have remained friends ever since.

Heyward was a leader in the Cubs’ clubhouse, helping them win the 2016 World Series.