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The struggling Yankees pitching staff gets a presumed shot in the arm Saturday vs. Tampa Bay as Ivan Nova returns from the disabled list for the stretch run. He is 4-1 with a 3.05 ERA in 44.1 innings in his career vs. the Rays. Bet on Rays-Yankees and every game at WagerWeb.com.
Boston at Toronto – Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz (11-6, 4.46) vs. Jays RHP Carlos Villanueva (7-5, 3.48): Buchholz has lost his last three decisions, but he hasn’t allowed more than four runs in his last three starts. He threw 121 pitches in a loss to Toronto last time out, nearly going complete. … Villanueva surrendered three runs on seven hits over six innings during his last start against the Red Sox. He has now thrown eight quality starts in 13 outings out of the rotation this season, but is just 5-5 over that span.
Chicago White Sox at Minnesota – White Sox LHP Jose Quintana (6-4, 3.52) vs. Twins RHP Samuel Deduno (6-3, 3.55): The Twins scored seven runs off Quintana in 1 1/3 innings on Sept. 4, the lefty’s worst start of the season. The rookie pitched well beyond his years his last time out, holding Detroit to one run in 7 2/3 innings and striking out seven. … Deduno continues to rack up strikeouts at a high volume, but what’s more encouraging for the Twins has been his reduction in walks. Deduno walked six over his last 20 innings (three starts) with 18 strikeouts.
Detroit at Cleveland – Tigers RHP Anibal Sanchez (7-12, 4.07) vs. Indians RHP Justin Masterson (11-13, 4.96): Sanchez recovered from two early homers to pitch seven efficient, quality innings in defeat on Sunday at Angel Stadium, but still took the loss. He beat the Tribe with six solid frames for his first Tigers win Aug. 3 at Comerica Park. … Masterson continued his tough luck against the Twins on Monday, falling to 1-3 in five starts against Minnesota. He was charged with six runs in his career high-tying 13th loss. He has allowed at least six runs in six of his past nine outings.
Tampa Bay at NY Yankees – Rays RHP James Shields (14-8, 3.71) vs. Yankees RHP Ivan Nova (11-7, 4.92): Shields has been on a roll since throwing a shutout against the Athletics on July 31. He’s won six times in his last seven decisions, posting eight quality starts in his last eight starts. He is 2-2 against the Yankees in 2012. … Nova is returning to the rotation after a stint on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder. He replaces Freddy Garcia, who was unable to complete five innings in three of his last four starts.
LA Angels at Kansas City – Angels RHP Zack Greinke (14-5, 3.68) vs. Royals RHP Jeremy Guthrie (7-12, 5.06): Greinke had another solid start in a win vs. the Tigers, giving up two runs in seven innings to put his ERA at 1.88 over his last four starts. In his return to Kansas City while with the Brewers on June 12, he pitched seven innings of one-run ball. … The Royals have won Guthrie’s last seven starts, as the right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.70 ERA in that stretch. His latest start was against the White Sox, whom he shut out for eight innings while not factoring in the decision.
Seattle at Texas – Mariners LHP Jason Vargas (14-10, 3.85) vs. Rangers RHP Scott Feldman (6-11, 4.97): Vargas only allowed four hits in seven innings last time out, but a three-run home run made the southpaw the hard-luck loser. The lefty turned in a lights-out July, but has gone 2-3 in seven starts since. … Feldman was pushed back in the rotation and will be pitching on eight days’ rest. His last start was on Sept. 6 in Kansas City, and he is 0-5 with a 5.97 ERA in his last six starts. He is 0-2 with a 6.30 ERA in three starts against Seattle this year.
Baltimore at Oakland – Orioles LHP Zach Britton (5-2, 4.72) vs. A’s RHP Jarrod Parker (10-8, 3.56): Britton lost his groove Sunday, surrendering five runs on five hits and five walks in 3.1 innings, as the Orioles were crushed 13-3 by the Yankees. Britton had allowed just three earned runs over his previous 28.2 innings. … Parker handled a potent Angels lineup with ease on Monday, allowing the Halos just one run on three hits over seven strong innings on the road. The 23-year-old righty has surrendered one run or fewer 13 times in 25 starts.