Answering some questions as trade deadline nears

As Sunday's trade deadline approaches, here are answers to the top questions in baseball: Question: Now that the Cubs have reportedly acquired lefty closer Aroldis Chapman in a trade from the Yankees, will that make them the odds-on favorite to be the National League champion, and what can the Nationals do to counter the move? Answer: Yes, at this point, the Cubs have the strongest ... read more

Starting pitching a need? Join the club

As the baseball season resumes, it's no secret what contending teams in the American League East need: Starting pitching. Toronto is getting things going. The Blue Jays' offense is exploding - even with Jose Bautista on the disabled list - and they have best rotation with the fewest questions, especially if Marcus Stroman, 25, has turned it around. Boston's best pitcher, David Price, had an ... read more

Some news and notes on San Diego's Petco Park

San Diego hosts the 87th All-Star Game on Tuesday at Petco Park, so here are random facts about the Padres and the history of the All-Star Game in San Diego. This is the third time the Padres have hosted. The first was in 1978, the second in 1992. In 1978, nine years after the franchise started as an expansion team, the National League won 7-3. ... read more

How to fix what has become a boring All-Star Game

The American League and National League All-Star teams will be announced Tuesday, and of course, there's a steady stream of second-guessing about how the rosters are selected for an exhibition that determines World Series home field advantage. Here's what needs to be done: Cut rosters from 34 to 26 players, meaning each team can select an extra pitcher beyond the regular season 25-man roster, which ... read more

Looking at the Orioles' historic home run tear through June

The Orioles have a big lead in the American League East, but with one game remaining in June, the story is their steady stream of home runs - and how they are different from the other record-setting teams. Mark Trumbo's home run Wednesday in San Diego gave the Orioles 55 home runs during June, tying the record held by the 1996 Oakland Athletics. The Orioles ... read more

Mets and Red Sox have work to do as they try to chase division crowns

The Nationals and Orioles usually have story lines that run on parallel tracks and this year is no different. Each is a first-place team. Each has a sizable lead with a crumbling contender behind them. The defending National League East champion New York Mets have a dysfunctional offense and now, after an 11-4 loss to the Nationals on Monday night, their rotation could be falling ... read more

Cubs-Nationals series could be preview of NLCS

The Nationals and Cubs, two of the best teams in baseball, finished playing their seventh and final game of the regular season Wednesday at Nationals Park. So, what happens now? Will they see each other again? If so, that means they'll meet with the pennant on the line. And, what did each team learn about the other? Nationals manager Dusty Baker says the Cubs will ... read more

With home runs aplenty, is there any pitching in the AL East?

We know there is hitting aplenty in the American League East, but can any of the contenders pitch? The Blue Jays won the AL home run title and the division last season. This season, the Orioles led the majors in home runs while Toronto is fourth and Boston sixth. The Red Sox lead the AL in runs with 369. The Orioles are third and the ... read more