There aren't many feelings more confident for a team than winning eight of nine games and having their ace on the mound. Especially when that ace is Clayton Kershaw, starter for the Dodgers against the Rockies on Tuesday, who has three starts left to make a final push to start the All-Star Game.
It seems the odds on favorite to start on the mound for the National League is Matt Harvey of the Mets, playing in his home park. Harvey leads the NL in ERA (2.00), ERA+ (183) and strikeouts (134). Kershaw is second in ERA+ (176), third in ERA (2.08) and strikeouts (118). Adam Wainwright and Patrick Corbin will receive consideration as well.
Kershaw in the opener will have to face the red-hot Michael Cuddyer.
The outfielder, who like Kershaw will be an All-Star in New York, is on a 27-game hitting streak. It's the longest streak in MLB this season, the longest hitting streak of his career and the longest streak in Rockies history. During those 27 games, Cuddyer is hitting .372/.400/.575 with six home runs and 19 RBI.
Cuddyer's 42 hits, six home runs and 11 extra-base hits in those 27 games are almost as much as Yasiel Puig has (44 hits, seven home runs, 12 extra-base hits) in his first 26 games in the majors.
But Cuddyer has been hot for much longer than a month. He has reached base via hit, walk or hit by pitch in 46 straight games, the longest streak since baseball's Guy Frieri, Kevin Millar, reached base in 52 straight games with Baltimore in 2007.
- Hanley Ramirez has a hitting streak of his own, a 12-game hitting streak that is his longest since a 14-game streak in August and September 2010. During his current streak Ramirez is hitting .477/.521/.886 (21-for-44) with five home runs, 11 runs scored and 15 RBI.
- Cuddyer in his career against Kershaw is 2-for-6 (.333) with a pair of singles.
- With the departure of Matt Guerrier, Ronald Belisario has switched his uniform number from No. 51 back to No. 54. Belisario wore No. 54 during the 2009-2010 seasons.
- Former UCLA Bruin and 2012 eighth-round draft pick by the Dodgers, Scott Griggs, was named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week, after allowing just one hit in eight innings with 15 strikeouts last week in three appearances for Class-A Great Lakes.
Time: 5:40 p.m.