Around the majors: Harvey vs. Nola, Royals get chickenpox

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A look at what's happening all around the major leagues today:



In the first matchup between two talented NL East pitchers who could be squaring off for years to come, Mets ace Matt Harvey (11-7) faces prized rookie Aaron Nola (5-1) and the Phillies. Both right-handers were drafted No. 7 overall - Harvey out of North Carolina in 2010 and Nola from LSU last year. "Really excited. First time in New York, first time at Citi Field," said the 22-year-old Nola, set to make his ninth major league start. "I've been watching Matt Harvey for a few years now. He's a great competitor. It's going to be exciting to get out there and face him."

SEE MORE: The secret to the Mets' success is ... Jerry Springer


The Royals will be without reliever Kelvin Herrera and outfielder Alex Rios for a couple weeks and could lose more players as the chickenpox has afflicted the clubhouse. With the playoffs about a month away, the AL Central leaders are hoping the disease won't derail their bid for another World Series berth. "Think there is always a concern because these guys were in for three or four days before they showed signs of it," manager Ned Yost said. "Since that point, (trainer) Nick Kenney has done a real good job of monitoring." Kansas City plays the second of three games against Detroit.


First base has become a position for hulking sluggers, but Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt is breaking the mold. He stole his 21st base in Game 1 of a doubleheader Tuesday and is just the third full-time first baseman since 2000 to swipe 20-plus bags in a season, joining Ryan Klesko (23 in 2000 and 2001) and Derrek Lee (21 in 2003). Goldschmidt also has 27 homers and 97 RBIs.


Two of the NL's top pitchers face each other as Washington's Max Scherzer (11-11, 2.88) goes against St. Louis' Michael Wacha (15-4, 2.69). Scherzer, a St. Louis native and Missouri product, had one of the worst months of his career in August, posting a 6.43 ERA in five starts. Wacha, meanwhile, is in the middle of a dominant stretch and has lost just once since June 22.


After struggling in his first few outings with the Rangers, Cole Hamels has settled in with his new club and looks for a third straight victory in a contest at San Diego. Hamels, acquired from Philadelphia before the non-waiver trade deadline, dominated Baltimore his last time out and has a 3.89 ERA in five starts with Texas. The Rangers were surprising buyers at the deadline - they were four games under .500 when they acquired Hamels - but are now in the thick of the AL wild card race.


Ranking MLB stadiums
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Around the majors: Harvey vs. Nola, Royals get chickenpox

30. Tropicana Field, Tampa Bay Rays

The playing surface is a mixture of grass and artificial turf, and there are fire inspection rings in play over head. Must be a joy to play in.

(AP Photo)

29. Rogers Centre, Toronto Blue Jays

The only things worse than this warehouse-looking place are the metric measurements on the outfield walls.


28. Coliseum, Oakland A's

Any place sewage seeps back through the clubhouse drains probably isn’t a suitable location for pro sports.

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

27. Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas Rangers

Remember when this place was state of the art? Neither do we.

(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)

26. U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago White Sox

What’s more bland than the Chicago White Sox? Their uniforms. What’s worse than that? The stadium.

(AP Photo/Jeff Haynes)

25. Turner Field, Atlanta Braves

This place won’t live to see its 20th birthday. Good luck to the Braves’ next home, which will probably still always be empty, too.

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

24. Marlins Park, Miami Marlins

Makes perfect sense for an orange and teal team to play in a stadium with neon green everything. Also, has anyone ever figured out what exactly this is? 

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

23. Angel Stadium, Los Angeles Angels

Nothin’ like some fake rocks in center field to really set the mood for a baseball game.


22. Progressive Field, Cleveland Indians

The fact that it’s no longer Jacobs Field bumps this down at least five spots.


21. Busch Stadium, St. Louis Cardinals

Can this place just stay out of the playoffs just once?


20. Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati Reds

How cheap is that wind tunnel?

 (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

19. Chase Field, Arizona Diamondbacks

Center field is the deepest part of the stadium, guys. The wall doesn’t need to be that high.

Clintus McGintus/Flickr

18. Yankee Stadium, New York Yankees

Great place to see the best baseball players of the 20th century.

(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

17. Miller Park, Milwaukee Brewers

Bernie sliding down that slide for every home run is ridiculous and awesome at the same time. Every time.

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

16. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia Phillies

Once you get over the fact that some little league parks have deeper fences? Cool place to catch a game.

 (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

15. Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles Dodgers

They should probably just name it Vin Scully Stadium at this point. Might help them out in these rankings.

 (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

14. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City Royals

The scoreboard being shaped like a long crown is a bit odd, but you can’t blame them for playing up the whole royalty thing.

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

13. Coors Field, Colorado Rockies

If it’s not a blizzard in Denver, Coors Field is still pretty impressive. But let’s lose those humidors and get these balls flying like its 2001. 

(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

12. Comerica Park, Detroit Tigers

Credit to the grounds crew for making sure the infield didn’t collapse through the ground while Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera manned the corners. That approached a good 600 pounds of man.

 (AP Photo/Matt Halip)

11. Minute Maid Park, Houston Astros

Get back to us next year, once that ridiculous hill and flag pole are scrapped.

(AP Photo/Bob Levey)

10. Target Field, Minnesota Twins

You probably won’t want to sit outside in Minnesota until about mid-June, but after that, Target Field is tough to beat.

 (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

9. Citi Field, New York Mets

Ownership may be fresh out of cash, but at least its stadium has an awesome selection of $12 beers. 

(AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

8. Nationals Park, Washington Nationals

It’s been seven years, and the team just can’t sell these naming rights. Strangely, this makes the park even cooler.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

7. Safeco Field, Seattle Mariners

For a stadium that opened up in 1999, the Mariners’ digs have held up pretty well -- even when their roster hasn’t.

 (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

6.. Petco Park, San Diego Padres

Fun fact: An old candy factory building was physically moved to make room for the stadium. 

(AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

5. Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox

Relax, Fenway is definitely an amazing place to watch a game. But sitting directly behind a pole and/or facing the left-center field wall just isn’t always appealing.


4. Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs

We’re glad the Cubs decided to keep their old home intact, but there’s no two ways about it: Until renovation is complete, Wrigley is a dump.

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

3. PNC Park, Pittsburgh Pirates

After two decades under .500, the Pirates are finally playing some winning ball again. Good thing, because their park deserves as many games as possible.

 (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

2. Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore Orioles

Still as beautiful as the day it opened in 1992, Camden Yards is headed toward becoming the next legendary American ballpark. 

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

1. AT&T Park, San Francisco Giants

Already 15 years and three names later, AT&T Park remains the best place to watch a Major League Baseball game. Between the amazing food, packed-out stands and the glistening bay in right field, San Francisco is lucky to call it home. 

(AP Photo)


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