Yankees vs. Astros: ALCS Game 2 Time, TV Info, Live Stream and More

The Houston Astros took Game 1 of the American League Championship Series with a 2-1 victory over the New York Yankees on Friday night, but there's no time to reflect on that result.

Another game is on the docket on Saturday, with the home team looking to take a commanding lead with the same blend of stellar pitching and timely hitting that got the job done on Friday.

Dallas Keuchel was marvelous in throwing seven shutout innings, striking out 10 Yankees to continue his recent dominance of New York.

He got just enough offense as Houston scored twice in the fourth on RBI singles from Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel.

Hoping not to go down 2-0, the Yankees will start right-hander Luis Severino, who was strong in Game 4 of the ALDS against the Cleveland Indians after failing to complete an inning in the Wild Card game. The Astros counter with righty Justin Verlander, who is looking to earn his third postseason win after getting two against the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS.

        

Key for New York: Making Contact

The Yankees struck out 14 times in Game 1, including four times in 1.2 innings against Houston closer Ken Giles. That gives them 83 strikeouts in seven games, compared to 49 hits and 29 walks. They fanned a not-so-nice 69 times during the ALDS, and if Game 1 of the ALCS is any indication, there have been no adjustments made.

And now they have to face Verlander, whom Houston picked up from the Detroit Tigers at the last second before the non-waiver deadline expired in August. Since joining the Astros, he's gone 7-0 in seven appearances, including a win in relief in the ALDS Game 4 clincher over Boston.

Verlander has 46 strikeouts in 42.2 innings with the Astros, with 222 strikeouts overall between Detroit and Houston.

All the strikeouts in Game 1 aside, some key Yankees took stride. Aaron Judge, who had a whopping 16 strikeouts in the ALDS, was 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. Brett Gardner and Starlin Castro also had singles after going a combined 8-for-43 against Cleveland.

And Greg Bird was 2-for-4 with a ninth-inning home run. Three of his seven hits this postseason have left the yard.

            

Key Matchup for Houston: Jose Altuve vs. Luis Severino

Jose Altuve may or may not be the American League MVP after leading the league in batting (.346) and hits (204). Along the way it seemed like he got the best of every pitcher he faced, with the man he will be facing to start Game 2 among a select few he hasn't.

Luis Severino retired Altuve in four of five at-bats this season, striking him out twice in the process. Altuve's only hit was an infield single in an 8-1 home win over the Yankees on July 2.

Altuve is the straw who stirs Houston's drink when at the plate, and when he struggles, so usually does his team. In the 34 games he started but did not record a hit, the Astros—who won 101 games—went 18-16 and averaged 3.79 runs per game. They averaged an AL-best 5.53 runs per game overall.

Houston had six hits against Yankees pitching in Game 1, with three by Altuve. His fourth-inning single sparked the Astros' scoring, as he followed that with a stolen base and then scored on Carlos Correa's hit.

                

Follow Brian J. Pedersen on Twitter at @realBJP.

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Yankees vs. Astros: ALCS Game 1 TV Schedule, Ticket Info and Odds

One team needed to win three consecutive elimination games in order to keep its season going, while the other has been home and resting for a few days waiting to get back in action. But how the New York Yankees and Houston Astros got to this point no longer matters.

All the past results get thrown out now that the Yankees and Astros start the best-of-seven American League Championship Series beginning with Game 1 on Friday at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. The winner of that first game will get a leg up on reaching the World Series, which neither team has played in for quite some time.

The Yankees' last appearance in the Fall Classic came in 2009, when they beat the Philadelphia Phillies in six games. The Astros' lone World Series trip came in 2005, when they were swept by the Chicago White Sox.

Game 1 is set for an 8:08 p.m. ET first pitch and will be shown live on FS1, which you can find locally here. If you're in Houston and want to take in the game in person, StubHub has tickets available.

And for those interested in making a friendly wager, OddsShark.com has the Astros as minus-175 favorites for Game 1.

Much of that advantage comes from the fact Houston has been able to line its pitching staff up for the opener. Left-hander Dallas Keuchel pitched in Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox, allowing one run and three hits over 5.2 innings, and he'll be throwing on six days' rest.

The Astros bullpen should be fresh, too. Closer Ken Giles, who threw two innings in the Game 4 clincher, is the only reliever who has thrown in a live game after Monday.

For the Yankees, the hope will be that its Game 1 starter can do as well as he did last time out in order to allow a much-taxed bullpen to get some time off:

Masahiro Tanaka threw seven scoreless innings with a walk and seven strikeouts in the Game 3 win over the Cleveland Indians, the first of three straight victories that enabled New York to rally from down 2-0 in the ALDS. If he can go at least six it will lessen the need to go heavy on relievers, who threw a combined 20 innings in the last series with Dellin Betances, Aroldis Chapman and David Robertson each making three appearances.

Expect Game 1 to set the tone for what should be a tremendous ALDS between two great teams. Houston won the season series 5-2 over the Yankees, taking two of three at home and three of four in the Bronx. But none of those games happened after the All-Star break, so not much can be gleaned from those results.

                  

Follow Brian J. Pedersen on Twitter at @realBJP.

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MLB Playoffs 2017: Odds, TV Schedule, Predictions for Final NLDS Game

There's no rest for the weary in the National League Division Series. Less than 24 hours after finishing Game 4 in Chicago, the scene has moved to Washington, D.C., where the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals will decide who plays the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series.

The lack of a travel day came about after Game 4, originally set for Tuesday, was pushed back to Wednesday because of rain. The Nationals won that game, 5-0, to keep alive their hope of winning a postseason series for the first time in franchise history.

Now it's win or go home for both teams, with the Cubs' goal of defending their World Series title on the line while the Nats try to end decades of playoff futility.

Take a look at what Vegas thinks of that chance, according to OddsShark.com.

       

Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals Viewing Guide

When: Thursday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. ET

Television: TBS

Live Stream: WatchTBS

Odds: Cubs 25/29, Nationals 106/100

       

Game 5 Preview

Cubs manager Joe Maddon wasted no time confirming that right-hander Kyle Hendricks would start in Game 5, but he's also got another starter picked if Hendricks can't go out, per Angelo DiCarlo of WNDU:

Hendricks was brilliant in Game 1 of the NLDS, holding the Nationals to two hits over seven innings in the 3-0 victory. It was his fourth consecutive start allowing one earned run or fewer, with six walks and 26 strikeouts over 25.2 innings.

Quintana, Chicago's Game 3 starter on Monday, was strong over 5.2 innings in that game in throwing 96 pitches. The lefty midseason pickup from the Chicago White Sox has only once before pitched on two days' rest—in 2013, when he allowed three runs over seven innings in a loss against the Baltimore Orioles.

Jon Lester threw 3.2 innings after Jake Arrieta only lasted four, a tandem that could get matched by Hendricks and Quintana.

After that, it's a mystery for the Cubs, much as it is from the outset for Washington. Manager Dusty Baker hasn't announced whether lefty Gio Gonzalez or righty Tanner Roark will start, meaning this is the second straight game Roark is in the running to get the ball.

Roark, who has yet to appear in the NLDS, was originally set to start Game 4, but the rainout enabled Baker to go with Stephen Strasburg and that moved paid off in the form of seven shutout innings. Gonzalez got a no-decision in Game 2, giving up three runs in five innings.

"I'm not trying to be coy at all, because that was the theme of the day with [Stephen Strasburg]," Baker said, per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post. "Whoever it is, I hope they pitch like Stras did today."

It's entirely possible both teams will go with back-to-back starters to help lessen strain on their bullpens, though Washington is in a better position. Ryan Madson and closer Sean Doolittle each threw a frame in Game 4, with Doolittle only throwing 12 pitches, while the Cubs went through four relievers Thursday after Arrieta/Lester.

Cubs closer Wade Davis was pulled after allowing a walk and two hits, including a grand slam to Michael A. Taylor, and while he only threw 11 pitches his confidence could be damaged.

On the hitting front, neither team has been knocking the cover off the ball. The Nationals are batting .172, with Taylor the only starter hitting better than .188, while the Cubs' team batting average (.159) is nearly 80 percentage points lower than during their championship run a season ago.

The big names have been particularly cold on both ends. Bryce Harper is 2-for-15, though one of those hits was a home run, while Anthony Rendon (2-for-14) and Ryan Zimmerman (3-for-16) have also struggled for Washington, and Chicago studs Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo are a combined 7-for-30 with 14 strikeouts.

A loss here will be considered disastrous for both teams, but more so for the Cubs. Despite being the lower seed they are the defending champions and have far more pressure on their shoulders, while Washington is almost playing with house money after being down 2-1 on the road. It will be the Nationals moving on to their first NLCS since moving to Washington and the franchise's first since doing so as the Montreal Expos in 1981.

       

Follow Brian J. Pedersen on Twitter at @realBJP.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Playoffs 2017: Odds, TV Schedule, Predictions for Final NLDS Game

There's no rest for the weary in the National League Division Series. Less than 24 hours after finishing Game 4 in Chicago, the scene has moved to Washington, D.C., where the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals will decide who plays the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series.

The lack of a travel day came about after Game 4, originally set for Tuesday, was pushed back to Wednesday because of rain. The Nationals won that game, 5-0, to keep alive their hope of winning a postseason series for the first time in franchise history.

Now it's win or go home for both teams, with the Cubs' goal of defending their World Series title on the line while the Nats try to end decades of playoff futility.

Take a look at what Vegas thinks of that chance, according to OddsShark.com.

       

Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals Viewing Guide

When: Thursday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. ET

Television: TBS

Live Stream: WatchTBS

Odds: Cubs 25/29, Nationals 106/100

       

Game 5 Preview

Cubs manager Joe Maddon wasted no time confirming that right-hander Kyle Hendricks would start in Game 5, but he's also got another starter picked if Hendricks can't go out, per Angelo DiCarlo of WNDU:

Hendricks was brilliant in Game 1 of the NLDS, holding the Nationals to two hits over seven innings in the 3-0 victory. It was his fourth consecutive start allowing one earned run or fewer, with six walks and 26 strikeouts over 25.2 innings.

Quintana, Chicago's Game 3 starter on Monday, was strong over 5.2 innings in that game in throwing 96 pitches. The lefty midseason pickup from the Chicago White Sox has only once before pitched on two days' rest—in 2013, when he allowed three runs over seven innings in a loss against the Baltimore Orioles.

Jon Lester threw 3.2 innings after Jake Arrieta only lasted four, a tandem that could get matched by Hendricks and Quintana.

After that, it's a mystery for the Cubs, much as it is from the outset for Washington. Manager Dusty Baker hasn't announced whether lefty Gio Gonzalez or righty Tanner Roark will start, meaning this is the second straight game Roark is in the running to get the ball.

Roark, who has yet to appear in the NLDS, was originally set to start Game 4, but the rainout enabled Baker to go with Stephen Strasburg and that moved paid off in the form of seven shutout innings. Gonzalez got a no-decision in Game 2, giving up three runs in five innings.

"I'm not trying to be coy at all, because that was the theme of the day with [Stephen Strasburg]," Baker said, per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post. "Whoever it is, I hope they pitch like Stras did today."

It's entirely possible both teams will go with back-to-back starters to help lessen strain on their bullpens, though Washington is in a better position. Ryan Madson and closer Sean Doolittle each threw a frame in Game 4, with Doolittle only throwing 12 pitches, while the Cubs went through four relievers Thursday after Arrieta/Lester.

Cubs closer Wade Davis was pulled after allowing a walk and two hits, including a grand slam to Michael A. Taylor, and while he only threw 11 pitches his confidence could be damaged.

On the hitting front, neither team has been knocking the cover off the ball. The Nationals are batting .172, with Taylor the only starter hitting better than .188, while the Cubs' team batting average (.159) is nearly 80 percentage points lower than during their championship run a season ago.

The big names have been particularly cold on both ends. Bryce Harper is 2-for-15, though one of those hits was a home run, while Anthony Rendon (2-for-14) and Ryan Zimmerman (3-for-16) have also struggled for Washington, and Chicago studs Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo are a combined 7-for-30 with 14 strikeouts.

A loss here will be considered disastrous for both teams, but more so for the Cubs. Despite being the lower seed they are the defending champions and have far more pressure on their shoulders, while Washington is almost playing with house money after being down 2-1 on the road. It will be the Nationals moving on to their first NLCS since moving to Washington and the franchise's first since doing so as the Montreal Expos in 1981.

       

Follow Brian J. Pedersen on Twitter at @realBJP.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

NL Wild Card Game 2017: Rockies vs Diamondbacks Date, Time, TV Info, Live Stream

The National League's Wild Card Game on Wednesday night pairs familiar foes in an unfamiliar place.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, while the Colorado Rockies are appearing in the postseason for the first time since 2009. For either to go any further will require winning the 20th meeting this season between West Division rivals led by first-year managers.

Arizona (93-69) wrapped up its spot a week ago, reversing its record from a season ago, as Torey Lovullo orchestrated a turnaround that's likely to earn him NL Manager of the Year honors. The Rockies (87-75) clinched on Saturday when the Milwaukee Brewers lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, putting Bud Black into the postseason for the first time in 10 years as a manager.

The Diamondbacks took the season series 11-8, splitting 10 meetings in Phoenix. The winner gets to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers, beginning Friday, in the NL Division Series.

 

NL Wild Card Game: Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

Where: Chase Field, Phoenix

Date: Wednesday, October 4

Time: 8 p.m. ET

TV: TBS

Live Stream: MLB on TBS

 

Preview

The number of offensive standouts in this Wild Card matchup are enough to field almost the entire National League All-Star team, with both the Diamondbacks and Rockies set to send a slew of great hitters and sluggers to the plate on Tuesday.

It all starts at the top for the Rockies, where center fielder Charlie Blackmon put together one of the best seasons ever by a leadoff hitter. He led the NL in batting average (.331), hits (213), runs scored (137) and total bases, his 104 RBI the most ever by a leadoff hitter. And just for good measure, Blackmon smacked 37 home runs.

“I’ve been in this game for a long long time and that’s probably the best year I’ve ever seen from a single player,” teammate Carlos Gonzalez said, per BSN Denver's Jake Shapiro. “With the way he played with how consistent he was the entire year…It’s special, I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Blackmon's 37 homers tied for the team lead with third baseman Nolan Arenado, who had 130 RBI to rank second in the NL, while first baseman Mark Reynolds' 30 homers were his most since 2011 with the Baltimore Orioles and his 97 RBI are his most since 2009 with the Diamondbacks. Arenado, Blackmon, second baseman DJ LeMahieu and left fielder Gerardo Parra all hit over .300, as did catcher Jonathan Lucroy in 46 games after being acquired from the Texas Rangers on July 30.

The Diamondbacks' lineup is no slouch, either.

First baseman Paul Goldschmidt hit .297 with a career-high 36 home runs and 120 RBI, but unlike in recent years, he had some offensive help around him. Third baseman Jake Lamb had 30 homers and 105, though his second-half numbers (.204 with a .735 OPS) were far lower than what he did before the All-Star break. That dropoff was less noticeable, though, because of the boost from one of most impactful midseason trade acquisitions in recent memory.

Right fielder J.D. Martinez has given Arizona a huge lift in the middle of the order, crushing 29 homers with 65 RBI and a .302 average in just 62 games with the Diamondbacks since his trade from the Detroit Tigers on July 18. All told, he recorded 45 homers and 104 RBI as well as a 1.066 OPS and .690 slugging percentage, which would have overwhelmingly led the majors—Giancarlo Stanton was at .631—had an injury while with Detroit kept him from logging enough plate appearances to qualify.

Martinez was solid for Arizona from the outset but he turned it up in September, according to the team's Twitter account:

It was during that month that he had a four-homer game, going deep in four consecutive plate appearances in a 13-0 win over the Dodgers on Sept. 4, part of the Diamondbacks' team-record 13-game win streak.

On the mound, Arizona is turning to its big-money starter to get it to Los Angeles. Right-hander Zack Greinke, in the second year of a six-year, $206.5 million contract, went 17-7 with a 3.20 ERA with 215 strikeouts in 202.1 innings. His home numbers explain why the Diamondbacks are turning to him instead of saving him for a potential ALDS Game 1 start: In 18 starts at Chase Field, he's 13-1 with 2.87 ERA and 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

Colorado's starter, righty Jon Gray, went 2-0 in Phoenix this season on his way to a 10-4 record with a 3.67 ERA in 20 starts. In mid-September, he allowed two runs over seven innings with a season-high tying 10 strikeouts, though one of those runs came on a solo homer by Martinez.

Arizona's 52-29 home record is second-best in the majors behind the Dodgers, and a big part of that home dominance has been due to the back side of its bullpen. Setup man Archie Bradley recorded a 1.73 ERA over 73 innings, while 40-year-old closer Fernando Rodney, after some early-season hiccups, converted 39 of 45 save attempts including 17 of 18 since the All-Star break.

The Rockies' Greg Holland tied with Los Angeles' Kenley Jansen for the NL saves crown, finishing off 41 of 45 opportunities after missing all of 2016 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He had seven saves during the Kansas City Royals' run to the 2014 World Series but got hurt before getting to be a part of their World Series title a year later.

             

Follow Brian J. Pedersen on Twitter at @realBJP. All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com, unless otherwise noted.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

AL Wild Card Game 2017: Twins vs. Yankees Date, Time, TV Info, Live Stream

The 2017 Major League Baseball postseason begins in earnest Tuesday with a one-game American League Wild Card playoff between the Minnesota Twins and the New York Yankees. The winner gets to move on to face the Cleveland Indians in the AL Division Series beginning on Thursday.

The Twins (85-77) are the first team to go from 100 losses one season to the playoffs the next year, making their first postseason appearance since 2010 when they were swept in three games by the Yankees in the ALDS. New York (91-71) last made the playoffs in 2015, falling to the Houston Astros in the wild-card game, and is looking to make a division series for the first time since 2012.

The Yankees won the season series 4-2 over the Twins, sweeping a three-game series at home just two weeks ago.

             

AL Wild Card Game: Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays

Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y.

Date: Tuesday, October 3

Time: 8 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN

Live Stream: ESPN3 or the WatchESPN app.

           

Preview

Minnesota didn't clinch its playoff spot until Wednesday, but it was fortunate to already have its ace lined up to start the AL Wild Card Game on regular rest. Right-hander Ervin Santana (16-8, 3.28 ERA) made his final regular-season start on Thursday, scattering four hits over five scoreless innings in a no-decision against the Cleveland Indians.

Santana's last loss came against the Yankees on Sept. 18 when he gave up two runs over 5.2 innings in a 2-1 loss. He's 2-2 in eight postseason appearances, including two starts, but his last playoff game was in the 2009 AL Championship Series with the Los Angeles Angels.

The Yankees are turning to righty Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98), the team leader in wins, ERA, innings (193.1) and strikeouts (230). The 23-year-old will be making his postseason debut, but he enters October on a high note, going 5-1 in his last eight starts with 64 strikeouts over 48.5 innings and has been one of the most dominant Yankees pitchers in recent memory, per Sports-Reference.com:

With both teams going for broke on the mound it will come down to which lineup can produce the most. On paper the edge goes to the Yankees, who led the majors with 241 home runs and finished second in runs per game (5.3).

Right fielder Aaron Judge is a shoo-in for AL Rookie of the Year after mashing 52 homers, blowing past Mark McGwire's previous rookie mark of 49. Sure, Judge also led the big leagues in strikeouts (208), but his 127 walks were most in the AL, and he brings a stellar .422 on-base percentage into his first postseason.

Judge isn't the only bat for the Twins pitchers to worry about. Catcher Gary Sanchez blasted 33 homers, shortstop Didi Gregorius has made it possible for Yankee fans to move on from the Derek Jeter era and veteran center fielder Brett Gardner had a career-best 21 homers who hit .282 over the final month of the season.

The Yankees' biggest question mark all year, first base, seems to have been answered with the return of a healthy Greg Bird. Since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 26 he's hit eight homers with 25 RBI and had an OPS of .891.

Minnesota also got a big boost to its lineup on Friday when third baseman Miguel Sano was activated from the DL. He'd missed nearly six weeks with a stress reaction in his left shin but was hitting .267 with 28 homers and 77 RBI before getting hurt.

"I feel like I get the timing quickly, I don't feel any problems at the plate," Sano told Derek Wetmore of 1500ESPN in Minneapolis on Saturday after making his first start since Aug. 19. "So I only need to try to stay focused, [let] the pitch come to me, and try to hit the ball."

If he can play designated hitter on Tuesday it takes pressure off the Twins' other power hitters, second baseman Brian Dozier and left fielder Eddie Rosario, to do all the heavy lifting.

There isn't much postseason experience on Minnesota's roster, at least among its hitters, with first baseman Joe Mauer the only remaining player from the 2010 team. Mauer has had a rejuvenated season after three straight years of declining batting average, hitting .305 with 71 RBI, his most since 2012.

That means the Twins will be leaning on a bunch of young guys who are flying blind, though that's not necessarily a bad thing. Center fielder Byron Buxton figures to carry over the pace he's been on since the All-Star break, hitting .300 with 11 homers and 35 RBI in the second half compared to .216 with 16 RBI in the first half.

A tight game in the late innings heavily favors the Yankees, who bolstered their bullpen at the trade deadline with the addition of righty relievers Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson (along with third baseman Todd Frazier). That duo has combined for a 1.78 ERA with 87 strikeouts in 62 appearances and served as the perfect bridge to the Yankees' two closer options.

Dellin Betances had supplanted Aroldis Chapman for that gig, but the roles appear to have flipped back of late, per Bleacher Report's Stephen Meyer.

Minnesota's bullpen had to be rebuilt after it dealt closer Brandon Kintzler to the Washington Nationals on July 31. Journeyman Matt Belisle converted 9-for-11 save chances after taking over the job.

             

Follow Brian J. Pedersen on Twitter at @realBJP. All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com, unless otherwise noted.

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Ranking the 10 Likeliest MLB Stars to Be Traded This Offseason

"Trade" has been the magic word in baseball of late thanks to the just-passed deadline for teams to make unrestricted deals. For the remainder of the 2017 season, any trades must involve revocable waivers, which can serve as roadblocks to possible transactions.

It might be better just to wait until the offseason, when the standings are wiped out and everyone starts out on even ground—and when players' trade values go back up significantly, thus creating an environment conducive to wheeling and dealing.

Last winter saw the Boston Red Sox pick up starter Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs acquire closer Wade Davis from the Kansas City Royals. In Davis' case, it was a way for the Royals to get added value for a player who is set to be a free agent after this season, while with Sale, the White Sox were willing to part with an ace just as his salary was about to rise and managed to pick up some quality prospects—including infielder Yoan Moncada—in the process.

Expect some similarly structured trades this offseason, with established players serving as the centerpieces. But which ones?

We've come up with 10 of the most likely candidates, each of whom has had his name bandied about in trade rumors at some point in the past year. They were chosen based on the status of their contracts and their respective teams' future plans and ranked based on overall talent and impact on the game.

Begin Slideshow

5 Impact Trades That Can Still Be Made After MLB Trade Deadline

Baseball's non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone, with big names such as Sonny Gray and Yu Darvish going from sub-.500 teams to contenders who hope they can help push them toward the postseason and beyond. They get the chance to be in a pennant race and possibly play for a World Series title, while others who didn't get traded are stuck playing out the string.

Or are they?

Trades can still happen this month, just with a few added hurdles. Instead of being able to deal players without any restrictions before August 31, teams must first put those players through waivers to allow all other teams to make a claim. If a team makes a claim, the trading club has the option to work out a deal, release the player or pull them back, while players who clear waivers can then be traded anywhere.

Last August there were 21 trades after the non-waiver deadline, and while most didn't involve big names, a few had an impact on the postseason. The most notable was outfielder Coco Crisp, whom Cleveland picked up from Oakland on August 31, and he ended up hitting .333 for the Indians in the World Series.

One such player who figured to be in play for a waiver trade was San Francisco pitcher Johnny Cueto, but a potential injury on Monday night may have scrapped that possibility. Cueto, who is on the disabled list with a blister issue, left his minor league rehab start with forearm tightness, according to CSN Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic.

Who are some of the other significant players who could still be dealt this month? We've got a few ideas.

Begin Slideshow

5 Impact Trades That Can Still Be Made After MLB Trade Deadline

Baseball's non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone, with big names such as Sonny Gray and Yu Darvish going from sub-.500 teams to contenders who hope they can help push them toward the postseason and beyond. They get the chance to be in a pennant race and possibly play for a World Series title, while others who didn't get traded are stuck playing out the string.

Or are they?

Trades can still happen this month, just with a few added hurdles. Instead of being able to deal players without any restrictions before August 31, teams must first put those players through waivers to allow all other teams to make a claim. If a team makes a claim, the trading club has the option to work out a deal, release the player or pull them back, while players who clear waivers can then be traded anywhere.

Last August there were 21 trades after the non-waiver deadline, and while most didn't involve big names, a few had an impact on the postseason. The most notable was outfielder Coco Crisp, whom Cleveland picked up from Oakland on August 31, and he ended up hitting .333 for the Indians in the World Series.

One such player who figured to be in play for a waiver trade was San Francisco pitcher Johnny Cueto, but a potential injury on Monday night may have scrapped that possibility. Cueto, who is on the disabled list with a blister issue, left his minor league rehab start with forearm tightness, according to CSN Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic.

Who are some of the other significant players who could still be dealt this month? We've got a few ideas.

Begin Slideshow

San Francisco Giants: Final 2017 Trade Deadline Grades

You didn't hear a sound from the San Francisco Giants Monday afternoon because they did not make an impact move at the non-waiver trade deadline.

Despite having the worst record in baseball and an aging roster in desperate need of an overhaul, the Giants were noticeably silent on the trade market. Their lone move came Wednesday when they sent Eduardo Nunez to the Boston Red Sox for a pair of minor leaguers.

Plenty of other players were available, but a combination of injuries, poor production and unfavorable contracts contributed to the lack of deals. As a result, the Giants are stuck with what they have for the rest of the season unless they're able to make some moves in August using the trade waiver process.

Follow along as we break down what the Giants did, what they weren't able to do and what they could still accomplish before this massively disappointing season comes to an end.

Begin Slideshow

Los Angeles Dodgers: Final 2017 Trade Deadline Grades

The Los Angeles Dodgers are 43 games above .500, lead their division by 14 games and are a virtual lock to make the playoffs for the fifth straight season. If ever there was a team that could afford to stand pat at the trade deadline, it was them.

But what fun would that be?

Rather than go with what has gotten them this far, the Dodgers went all-out on Monday by adding three pitchers, including one of the best starters in the game in Texas Rangers righty Yu Darvish. In doing so, they made it clear that nothing short of making their first World Series since 1988—and winning it all for the first time in 29 years—will be acceptable.

"They are going for it," MLB Network's Jon Morosi tweeted Monday.

With the trade deadline now in the rearview mirror, let's break down what the Dodgers did (and didn't do) and what it means for the rest of the regular season and into the playoffs.

Begin Slideshow

Los Angeles Dodgers: Final 2017 Trade Deadline Predictions, Fact or Fiction

With the best record in baseball and a massive lead in the National League Central, it's fair to say the Los Angeles Dodgers are headed to the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season. The club they've assembled for 2017 has been tremendous, with no major weaknesses, as evidenced during a recent stretch where they won 31 of 35 games.

But just making the playoffs isn't good enough, not when the previous four trips (with similarly strong teams) failed to produce a World Series appearance. Anything short of the Fall Classic will be considered a disappointment this season, which means the Dodgers have to find a way to ensure they get over the hump.

That's where the upcoming July 31 trade deadline comes in. Though the Dodgers don't have any major needs, that doesn't mean they can't bolster their roster with talent from other teams. The key is making sure not to give up too much for additions that aren't imperative.

How will the Dodgers handle the next few days? Check out our rundown of their situation as the trade deadline looms.

Begin Slideshow

Los Angeles Dodgers: Final 2017 Trade Deadline Predictions, Fact or Fiction

With the best record in baseball and a massive lead in the National League Central, it's fair to say the Los Angeles Dodgers are headed to the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season. The club they've assembled for 2017 has been tremendous, with no major weaknesses, as evidenced during a recent stretch where they won 31 of 35 games.

But just making the playoffs isn't good enough, not when the previous four trips (with similarly strong teams) failed to produce a World Series appearance. Anything short of the Fall Classic will be considered a disappointment this season, which means the Dodgers have to find a way to ensure they get over the hump.

That's where the upcoming July 31 trade deadline comes in. Though the Dodgers don't have any major needs, that doesn't mean they can't bolster their roster with talent from other teams. The key is making sure not to give up too much for additions that aren't imperative.

How will the Dodgers handle the next few days? Check out our rundown of their situation as the trade deadline looms.

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New York Yankees: Final 2017 Trade Deadline Predictions, Fact or Fiction

A year after being one of the more active sellers at the trade deadline, the New York Yankees are back in a familiar scenario: looking to add pieces for a postseason push. They've already pulled off one major move but are far from done wheeling and dealing.

The acquisition of third baseman Todd Frazier and relievers Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson on July 19 addressed only some of the Yankees' needs as they prepare for the stretch run in both the American League East and wild-card races.

Where else do they need to upgrade, and which options are on their radar? What will it take to make that happen, and what is the likelihood they'll be able to make a deal before the July 31 deadline? Follow along as we outline the Yankees' trade picture.

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Indians vs. Cubs World Series Game 3: Live Score and Highlights

The World Series moves to Wrigley Field in Chicago on Friday for Game 3, with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs tied at a game apiece.

Cleveland won the opener 6-0, while the Cubs knotted the series with a 5-1 victory in Game 2. This will be the first World Series game in Wrigley Field since 1945.

The Indians are sending right-hander Josh Tomlin to the mound to face Chicago righty Kyle Hendricks. Tomlin is 2-0 this postseason with a 2.53 ERA, while Hendricks has a 1.65 ERA in three starts with a 1-1 record.

Here's Cleveland's starting lineup:

LF Carlos Santana
2B Jason Kipnis
SS Francisco Lindor
1B Mike Napoli
3B Jose Ramirez
RF Lonnie Chisenhall
C Roberto Perez
CF Tyler Naquin
P Josh Tomlin

The Cubs will counter with this nine:

CF Dexter Fowler
3B Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
LF Ben Zobrist
C Willson Contreras
RF Jorge Soler
2B Javier Baez
SS Addison Russell
P Kyle Hendricks

First pitch is set for just after 8 p.m. ET and will be shown on Fox, but stick with Bleacher Report for real-time updates, analysis, pictures, tweets and anything else worth noting from Chicago.

    

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Cubs vs. Indians World Series Game 1: Live Score and Highlights

A battle between two of the most long-suffering franchises in baseball history begins Tuesday night with Game 1 of the World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians. The winner will be one step closer to their first title in a long, long time.

The Cubs, making their first World Series appearance in 71 years, are seeking their first title since 1908. The Indians, which last played in the Fall Classic in 1997, last won it all in 1948.

Chicago is sending veteran left-hander Jon Lester to the mound, who 2-0 with an 0.86 ERA in three starts this postseason, against Cleveland righty Corey Kluber. The Indians' ace is 2-1 with an 0.98 ERA during the team's 7-1 run through the American League.

The Cubs have trotted out this lineup, which includes the return of Kyle Schwarber, who tore knee ligaments during the first week of the regular season:

CF Dexter Fowler
3B Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
LF Ben Zobrist
DH Kyle Schwarber
2B Javier Baez
RF Chris Coghlan
SS Addison Russell
C David Ross

The Indians counter with this batting order:

CF Rajai Davis
2B Jason Kipnis
SS Francisco Lindor
1B Mike Napoli
DH Carlos Santana
3B Jose Ramirez
LF Brandon Guyer
RF Lonnie Chisenhall
C Roberto Perez

First pitch is set for just after 8 p.m. The game will be shown live on Fox, but stick with Bleacher Report for real-time updates, analysis, statistics, tweets, pictures and anything else worth noting from Progressive Field in Cleveland.

 

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Cubs vs. Dodgers: Keys for Each Team to Win Game 5

It's now a best-of-three series between the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers for a spot in the World Series. The Cubs' 10-2 win at Los Angeles on Wednesday evened the National League Championship Series at two games apiece. Basically, the first team to claim two victories moves on.

Now we're guaranteed to get two more matchups between the Cubs and Dodgers: first Game 5 on Thursday at Dodger Stadium and then Saturday at Wrigley Field in Chicago. None is more important than the next one, though, because it puts the winner in position to advance the following game.

Surprisingly, past scenarios like the one we're currently in haven't favored the team with home-field advantage for the rest of the series. According to ESPN, in league championship series where the road team won Game 4 to make it 2-2, only three of nine teams who had two of the next three at home ended up making the World Series.

What are the keys for each team in order to win this pivotal fifth game? Follow along as we break down what both the Cubs and Dodgers need to do in order to take the next one.

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Cubs vs. Dodgers NLCS Game 3: Live Score and Highlights

After two games at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, the National League Championship Series shifts west for Game 3 at Dodger Stadium. The Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers are knotted at a game apiece, making Tuesday's clash a pivotal one in determining who will head to the World Series.

The Cubs won 8-3 on Saturday thanks to a pinch-hit grand slam from Miguel Montero, but on Sunday the Dodgers claimed a 1-0 victory behind a masterful performance from pitcher Clayton Kershaw on short rest.

Chicago is sending righty Jake Arrieta (18-8, 3.10 ERA) to the mound against Los Angeles lefty Rich Hill (12-5, 2.12). Each is looking for their first win this postseason.

Here's the Cubs' Game 3 lineup:

CF Dexter Fowler
3B Kris Bryant
LF Ben Zobrist
1B Anthony Rizzo
2B Javier Baez
RF Jorge Soler
SS Addison Russell
C Miguel Montero
P Jake Arrieta

Los Angeles counters with this nine:

2B Chase Utley
SS Corey Seager
3B Justin Turner
1B Adrian Gonzalez
RF Josh Reddick
CF Joc Pederson
C Yasmany Grandal
LF Andrew Toles
P Rich Hill

First pitch is set for just after 8 p.m. ET, and the game will be shown live on Fox Sports 1, but stick with Bleacher Report for real-time updates, analysis, statistics, pitchers, tweets and anything else worth noting from LA.

 

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Indians vs. Blue Jays ALCS Game 3: Live Score and Highlights

The American League Championship Series heads north of the border for Game 3, with the Toronto Blue Jays trying to get back into it after dropping the first two games to the Cleveland Indians.

Pitching has dominated the series so far, with Cleveland posting wins of 2-0 and 2-1 at home. Toronto is hitting .159 with 25 strikeouts in the two games while the Indians are hitting .182 but have managed to get just enough clutch hitting from Francisco Lindor (a two-run home run in Game 1 and the go-ahead RBI single in Game 2) to be on top.

Cleveland is sending right-hander Trevor Bauer (12-8, 4.26 ERA) to the mound for Game 3. He was originally set to be the Game 2 starter until suffering a freak injury, a lacerated pinky on his throwing hand suffered while doing repairs on a drone.

The Indians will send this lineup to the plate:

DH Carlos Santana
2B Jason Kipnis
SS Francisco Lindor
1B Mike Napoli
3B Jose Ramirez
RF Lonnie Chisenhall
LF Coco Crisp
CF Tyler Naquin
C Roberto Perez

Toronto will counter with righty Marcus Stroman (9-10, 4.37), who will look to follow up a pair of strong outings against the Indians in the regular season with another in the playoffs.

Here's how the Blue Jays' batting order looks:

RF Jose Bautista
3B Josh Donaldson
1B Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
C Russell Martin
DH Michael Saunders
CF Kevin Pillar
LF Ezequiel Carrera
2B Ryan Goins

First pitch is set for just after 8 p.m. ET, and the game will be shown on TBS, but stick with Bleacher Report for real-time updates, analysis, statistics, pictures, tweets and anything else worth noting from the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

    

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Blue Jays vs. Indians ALCS Game 1: Live Score and Highlights

The Toronto Blue Jays haven't been to a World Series since winning back-to-back titles in 1992 and 1993. The Cleveland Indians last made it in 1997 and haven't claimed a championship since 1948.

Something has to give when these teams meet in the American League Championship Series. Game 1 is set for Friday night in Cleveland, with Toronto sending right-hander Marcos Estrada (9-9, 3.48 ERA) against Cleveland righty Corey Kluber (18-9, 3.14 ERA).

Both teams advanced to the ALCS with division series sweeps. The Blue Jays won all three games against the Texas Rangers (including two on the road), while the Indians beat the Boston Red Sox 3-0. The two teams split six games during the regular season, including an epic 19-inning win by Cleveland on July 1 in Toronto.

Here's Toronto's batting order:

LF Ezequiel Carrera
3B Josh Donaldson
1B Edwin Encarnacion
RF Jose Bautista
C Russell Martin
SS Troy Tulowitzki
DH Michael Saunders
CF Kevin Pillar
2B Devon Travis

Cleveland counters with this lineup:

DH Carlos Santana
2B Jason Kipnis
SS Francisco Lindor
1B Mike Napoli
3B Jose Ramirez
RF Lonnie Chisenhall
LF Coco Crisp
CF Tyler Naquin
C Roberto Perez

First pitch is set for just after 8 p.m. ET, and the game will be shown live on TBS. Stick with Bleacher Report for real-time updates, analysis, statistics, tweets, pictures and anything else worth noting from Progressive Field in Cleveland.

   

Follow Brian J. Pedersen on Twitter at @realBJP.

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