Looking down the road, it's hard to imagine a more exciting and productive left-side infield tandem than what the Cubs have with Kris Bryant at third and Addison Russell at shortstop. Those of a certain age in Chicago might see shades of Ron Santo and Ernie Banks, basking in the North Side sun.
They say in sports that the home team has an advantage, and Red Land Little League has certainly made the most of that edge in its first three games at the 2015 Little League World Series.
This week's collection of waiver-wire finds includes several sluggers, a speedster and a middle infielder who should be owned in nearly all leagues. Shrewd owners can also find some rarely considered two-start hurlers for the coming week and an under-the-radar reliever who has pitched his way into a closer's job.
Bidding to become the sixth pitcher in big league history with at least three no-hitters, Justin Verlander didn't allow a knock until Chris Iannetta lined a single just fair to left field to begin the ninth. Verlander settled for a one-hit shutout as the Tigers blanked the Angels, 5-0.
It's reached the point where each of Jose Berrios' starts for Triple-A Rochester might be his last. The Twins' No. 2 prospect was at his best Wednesday night, allowing just three hits and one walk in seven shutout innings as Rochester defeated Syracuse, 6-0.
When the ball left his bat, D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt knew it was home run. He just didn't realize quite how far it would carry.
Jake Peavy considers himself a No. 1 starter regardless of when he pitches in San Francisco's rotation. All he cares about is delivering every fifth day, especially as September approaches with the World Series champion Giants in another tight playoff chase. Buster Posey followed Brandon Belt's leadoff triple in the sixth inning with a go-ahead double, Peavy won for the second time in six starts, and the Giants beat the Cubs 4-2 on Wednesday night to stop Chicago's six-game winning streak.
John Lackey pitches to get balls in play, allowing his defense to do the work for him. Lackey pitched seven strong innings and St. Louis' defense was stellar behind him, leading the Cardinals to a 3-1 victory over the Diamondbacks. ''We played great defense for sure today,'' said Lackey, who allowed a run and seven hits and struck out four.
Andrew McCutchen had a big night to keep him on pace for a career-high in RBIs. The All-Star outfielder homered and drove in four runs to help the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 7-2 victory over the Miami Marlins on Wednesday. ''This guy was the MVP,'' Marlins manager Dan Jennings said.
Bartolo Colon isn't too old to try new things. The big right-hander tossed five-hit ball and struck out eight in seven sharp innings, Michael Cuddyer hit a long homer and the NL East-leading New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-4 on Wednesday night. Colon (11-11) bounced back from a rough outing in Colorado, helping the Mets improve to 18-6 since July 31.
For the third time this season, the Mets own a winning streak of at least half a dozen games. They grabbed their sixth straight win with a 9-4 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night, extending their National League East lead to 6 1/2 games -- their largest since leading the Phillies by seven games with 17 to go in 2007 -- and putting themselves on pace for exactly 90 wins.
The Minnesota Twins took over the second AL wild-card lead using both long and small ball against one of the majors' top pitchers. Eduardo Escobar homered twice and Joe Mauer had a tiebreaking RBI single as Minnesota beat Chris Archer and the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 Wednesday night for the Twins' sixth consecutive win. Minnesota has its longest winning streak away from home since a six-game stretch Aug. 14-26, 2007.
Realistically, the Seattle Mariners would need to be far closer to a playoff berth for Nelson Cruz to be in consideration for American League MVP. Cruz hit his AL-leading 39th homer on Wednesday, driving in three runs and backing eight strong innings from Felix Hernandez in the Mariners' 8-2 win over the Oakland Athletics. Cruz had RBI singles in the first and sixth innings then added a solo homer off Oakland reliever Fernando Abad in the eighth.
The Blue Jays acquired veteran left fielder Ben Revere from the Phillies last month primarily for his defense, and he showed everybody why with a sensational catch during the third inning of Wednesday's 12-4 win over the Rangers.
Postseason races continued to heat up across the Majors on Wednesday, a day that seemed to have a little bit of everything.
Minnesota continued to roll on Wednesday night with a 5-3 win over Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field to claim its sixth consecutive victory and move into the top spot for the second American League Wild Card spot.
Justin Smoak hit a two-run home run in the top of the fifth to put the Blue Jays ahead for good and Edwin Encarnacion hit a grand slam in the sixth in a 12-4 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday night.
The Dodgers homered three times in a five-run fourth inning Wednesday night to chase rookie starter David Holmberg, and they held on for a 7-4 win over the Reds at Great American Ball Park.
Andrew McCutchen crushed a three-run homer as part of a six-run second inning, left-hander Jeff Locke fired seven strong innings, and the Pirates cruised to a 7-2 win over the Marlins on Wednesday night at Marlins Park.
Edwin Encarnacion turned David Price's 30th birthday into a party - and a win for Toronto's new ace. Encarnacion hit a grand slam to extend his hitting streak to 21 games, boosting Price when he was pitching on his birthday for the first time in the majors and helping the Blue Jays to a 12-4 victory against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night. The right-handed slugger pulled a pitch into the Toronto bullpen in left-center for his 26th homer after Kevin Pillar opened a six-run sixth inning with a long ball that chased Texas starter Colby Lewis (14-6).