As always, Sunday brings us a full 15-game slate of Major League Baseball action, including a healthy dose of afternoon games. Here is everything you need to know about Sunday’s MLB action:

Sunday’s scores

Cubs, Pirates going in opposite directions

One Sunday afternoon, the Cubs will look to complete a three-game sweep of the Pirates at Wrigley Field, and wow, these two teams are going in totally different directions. Look at their records since May 18:

  • Cubs: 15-6 (plus-44 run differential)
  • Pirates: 5-16 (minus-31 run differential)

The Cubs have the NL’s best record since May 18. The Pirates have the worst.   

On the morning of May 18 the Pirates were in first place in the NL Central, with a half-game lead over the Brewers and a 2 1/2 games lead over the Cubs. Now the Brewers are in first place with a half-game lead over the Cubs. The Pirates? They’re in fourth place and eight games back of the division lead. Ouch.

I suppose the good news is the Pirates will welcome Ivan Nova back from the disabled list Sunday. He’d been out with a finger injury. Nova should provide some rotation stability. The Cubs will counter with Kyle Hendricks.

Yankees looking for Subway Series sweep

The first two games of the 2018 Subway Series have been a perfect microcosm of the Mets’ season. They started out great and jumped out to first inning leads Friday and Saturday, but they fell flat after that, and were outplayed in innings 2-9.

The Mets, who were once 11-1 this season, are currently riding an eight-game losing streak that has them 27-34 on the season overall. They are 16-33 — 16-33! — since that 11-1 start. Only the rebuilding Reds (22-43) and Marlins (23-41) have worse records in the National League. Ouch. 

As for the Yankees, they’ve won their last four games and nine of their last 10 games overall. They own MLB‘s best record (42-18) and fourth best run differential (plus-91). And in Sunday’s Subway Series finale, they’re sending ace Luis Severino to the mound. The Mets will counter with Seth Lugo, who is replacing the injured Noah Syndergaard.

Quick hits

  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman said he is “always open to outside help” in the wake of RHP Masahiro Tanaka’s injured hamstrings. Cashman did say the Yankees are likely to replace Tanaka internally, however.
  • Top Blue Jays prospect 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will miss at least four weeks with a knee injury. He suffered the injury running the bases earlier this week. Vlad Jr. is hitting .407/.457/.667 as a 19-year-old in Double-A.
  • The Mets are considering sending OF Michael Conforto to Triple-A, reports the New York Post. Conforto, who had shoulder surgery last September, returned ahead of schedule this year but is hitting only .219/.340/.365 in 52 games.
  • The Rays are expected to call up top prospect SS Willy Adames “very soon,” reports the Tampa Bay Times. Adames went 2 for 12 with a homer in a three-game cameo earlier this year. MLB.com ranks Adames as the 20th best prospect in baseball.
  • The Brewers have called up RHP Brandon Woodruff to start Sunday, the team announced. 1B Ji-Man Choi was sent down in a corresponding move. Choi smacked a pinch-hit go-ahead grand slam Saturday.
  • The Astros placed RHP Joe Smith on the 10-day DL with right elbow discomfort, the team announced. Smith has a 5.49 ERA in 19 2/3 innings this season. RHP Reymin Guduan will called up a corresponding move.
  • 2B Jason Kipnis and DH Edwin Encarnacion are not in the Indians’ lineup Sunday. Kipnis is dealing with a minor neck issue and Encarnacion has a minor ankle problem. Both are day-to-day.
  • The Rangers placed RHP Doug Fister on the 10-day DL with a right knee strain, the club announced. He exited Friday’s night with soreness in the knee. IF Hanser Alberto was called up in a corresponding move.

Live team updates

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