LEADING OFF: Ivey debut, Cubs-Cards, Rodón tries to rebound
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
DEBUT TIME IN TEXAS
Tyler Ivey is set for his major league debut for Houston against his hometown Texas Rangers just a few miles from where the right-hander grew up watching the Astros’ biggest rival.
The 25-year-old expects about 50 family members and friends to be at Globe Life Field, across the street from where Ivey watched the Rangers at Globe Life Park, which is now a football venue. He is replacing injured starter José Urquidy.
“Growing up a Rangers fan, it’s really crazy,” said Ivey, who spent some time in his youth in the Houston suburb of Katy and cheered for the Astros as well. “To be able to make my debut in my hometown is something. I just can’t describe it.”
Ivey appeared in two games at Triple-A Sugar Land. He pitched for Texas A&M as a freshman before transferring to a junior college and getting drafted by the Astros.
During his last full minor league season in 2019, Ivey was suspended after umpires found a foreign substance on his glove and was out six weeks with an elbow sprain. He missed alternate site and instructional league work last year after coming down with COVID-19.
ANDERSON VS. ANDERSON
Atlanta’s Ian Anderson starts Friday at home against Pittsburgh and Tyler Anderson, after Ian Anderson started and won at Milwaukee last Saturday, in a game the Brewers started Brett Anderson. This will be the first time since 1900 that a pitcher started consecutive games against different pitchers with the same last name as him, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Cubs and Cardinals meet for the first time this season when they begin a three-game series in St. Louis. Led by Nolan Arenado and Jack Flaherty, the Cardinals head into the weekend on top of the NL Central. Carlos Martínez (3-4, 4.35 ERA) faces fellow right-hander Kyle Hendricks (3-4, 5.27 ERA) in Game 1. Martínez is 3-0 with a 2.66 ERA in his last three starts for St. Louis. Hendricks is coming off a terrific performance at Detroit, tossing eight-plus innings of one-run ball in Chicago’s 5-1 victory on Sunday.
HOPING TO REBOUND
Carlos Rodón (5-1, 1.47), coming off his first loss this season, last weekend against Kansas City, starts for the Chicago White Sox at the Yankees. Jordan Montgomery (2-1, 4.75) opens the homestand for New York, which will be playing at home for the first time since the state government allowed expanded capacty.
AL EAST SHOWDOWN
In the tightly bunched AL East, Tyler Glasnow (4-2, 2.35) starts for the AL champion Tampa Bay Rays in a series opener at Bay area rival Toronto in Dunedin. The Blue Jays planned a bullpen game.
WEST COAST RIVALS
Alex Wood (5-0) starts against the Dodgers for the first time since leaving Los Angeles as a free agent when the Trevor Bauer (4-2) faces San Francisco in the opener of a three-game series at Oracle Park.
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