QUEENS CRUNCH TIME The Mets are back on a roll, and it's a well-timed one with a string of playoff contenders on the schedule. New York beat Cleveland 9-2 on Tuesday night for its fourth win in five games, and that pushed the club to 25-10 since the All-Star break. Marcus Stroman is slated to make his fourth start since being traded to the Mets prior to the trade deadline, and New York has won each of his first three outings. Adam Plutko is the scheduled starter for the Indians. After finishing this three-game series Thursday, the Mets will host the Braves and Cubs for three games each, then face the Phillies twice with the Nationals sandwiched in between.
TIGER TIME Astros ace Justin Verlander is set to pitch against former teammate Miguel Cabrera for the first time in his career. The duo played together on the Tigers for parts of 10 seasons, but they've never squared off for a regular season at-bat. Verlander has faced Detroit three times since being traded away late in the 2017 season, but Cabrera was out of the lineup for all three meetings.
SURLY STARTS Tensions are running high between the Marlins and Braves once again. Atlanta manager Brian Snitker was ejected for arguing with umpires after Miami starter Elieser Hernandez plunked Ronald Acuña Jr. with the first pitch of Tuesday's game. Acuña has been hit three times by the Marlins, most notably on Aug. 15, 2018 by José Ureña — also with the first pitch of a game. Both benches cleared after that incident.
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