NEW YORK — The Atlanta Braves have fared well against teams with winning records so far this season and this week will test their success.
The first stop for the Braves will be a visit to Yankee Stadium for the opener of a three-game interleague series with the New York Yankees on Monday night.
Atlanta (48-34) heads to New York after completing a three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals with a 6-5 victory on Sunday.
Mike Foltynewicz pitched five one-hit innings and the Braves improved to 30-19 against teams with winning records Authentic Brian Allen Jersey , which is the best mark in the National League. Only the Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros are performing better against winning opponents.
Atlanta begins a stretch of 16 of 18 games against teams with winning records. After visiting Yankee Stadium for the first time since June 2012, the Braves visit Milwaukee for four games next weekend and host the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 13-15.
Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer Sunday. He is 9-for-52 (.173) in his last 12 games.
“It’s coming,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker told reporters after Freeman hit his 16th homer of the season. “Somebody’s going to pay. It’s just one of those things that everybody goes through.
“He’s working, and we still have unbelievable confidence in him and what he brings. You feel like he’s going to do something special every time he goes up there.”
The Yankees also will get their first looks at rookie outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. and second baseman Ozzie Albies.
Acuna went 4-for-13 in the weekend series after missing a month with a mild ACL sprain and contusion in his left knee and also a lower back contusion. The 20-year-old is batting .269 with six homers and 15 RBIs in his first 32 games.
Albies enters with a .275 average and on an 11-game hitting streak. During the longest streak of his career, he is batting .431 (22-for-51).
The Yankees own the best home record in the majors at 31-12 and are 26-7 in their last 33 home games. New York also has slugged 77 of its major league-leading 137 homers at home after setting a season high with six in Sunday’s 11-1 rout of the Boston Red Sox.
Aaron Hicks hit three homers and Aaron Judge belted his 22nd, rookie Gleyber Torres hit his 15th and Kyle Higashioka delivered his first as the Yankees roughed up David Price.
Anibal Sanchez, who is 3-2 with a 2.68 ERA in nine appearances (eight starts), gets the ball for the Braves. He’s hoping to avoid his third straight loss after allowing six runs and 10 hits in 9 2/3 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays and the Cincinnati Reds.
Sanchez exited his last start on Tuesday with right calf cramps after throwing a pitch to Cincinnati’s Joey Votto.
Sanchez is making his 271st career start. The first start of his career occurred June 25, 2006, at old Yankee Stadium when he allowed seven hits in 5 2/3 scoreless innings for the Miami Marlins against a lineup featuring Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano.
Including his major league debut, Sanchez is 4-1 with a 3.79 ERA in six career starts against the Yankees. He last faced New York on Aug. 1 with the Detroit Tigers and held the Yankees to two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings in a 4-3 win at Yankee Stadium. It also was his last win with the Tigers.
If Sanchez gives the Braves a chance for a save opportunity in the ninth inning, Arodys Vizcaino could close it out. Vizcaino was placed on the disabled list June 24 with shoulder inflammation, took a rest day Sunday after throwing a side session Saturday and could be activated for the opener.
Vizcaino last pitched June 17. Before going on the DL, he posted a 1.82 ERA, converted 15 of 17 save opportunities and struck out 33 in 29 2/3 innings in 30 appearances.
Jonathan Loaisiga will make his fourth start since being inserted into the rotation for Masahiro Tanaka (hamstrings). Loaisiga is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his first three starts.
Two of those starts were scoreless outings as he threw a combined 10 1/ 3 scoreless innings Patriots Danny Shelton Jersey , allowed four hits and fanned 14 in wins over Tampa Bay on June 15 and at Philadelphia last Monday. His other start was June 20 when he allowed three runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings of a 7-5 win over the Seattle Mariners decided on a walk-off homer by Stanton.
“He was a lot more assertive, a lot more aggressive with his fastball and challenging the strike zone with it,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “We saw a number of really good breaking balls. We saw some good changeups. When he got in some putaway counts, I felt like he did a better job of making it look like a strike out of the hand, which is something you’ve got to be better at here in the big leagues.”
Monday will be the 30th regular-season meeting between the teams, who met in the 1996 and 1999 World Series. The Yankees are 17-12 all-time against the Braves.
LeBron James made the first move. Now what?
Cleveland? Los Angeles? Philadelphia? A surprise?
Stay tuned. Decision III is this summer’s blockbuster, and it’s coming soon.
James told the Cavaliers that he is not exercising his $35.6 million contract option for next season and will become an unrestricted free agent, two people familiar with the decision told the Associated Press on Friday.
The decision to decline the option for 2018-19 was expected by James because it gives him more options, which includes him re-signing with the Cavs, who can offer him the most money – a five-year, $209 million contract. James can also sign a short-term deal with Cleveland, something he has done each year since returning in 2014.
James had until 11:59 p.m. to express his intentions to the Cavs and his agent Rich Paul informed the team in the morning, said the people who spoke on condition of anonymity to the AP because the sides are not publicly commenting on moves ahead of free agency opening Sunday.
The three-time champion is now the most coveted prize in an NBA free-agent class that includes All-Stars Paul George and Chris Paul. Teams can begin negotiations with free agents at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.
The fact that he didn’t pick up his option could be good news for worried Cavs fans, who fear James may leave them for the second time in his career. If he had opted in, it would have likely meant the Cavs had worked out a trade for James.
And while the Cavs remain hopeful he’ll stay, there are other teams in the mix for the 33-year-old – and the Los Angeles Lakers appear to be at the top of the list.
With the ability to sign two maximum-contract players, the Lakers can build a ”Super Team” with James if they are able to also land George or work out a trade with San Antonio for Kawhi Leonard. On Thursday, George told the Oklahoma City Thunder he’s declining his $20.7 million option for next season.
James already has some shallow roots on the West Coast with two homes in the Los Angeles area and a film production company.
The chance to join one of the league’s most iconic franchises has an appeal to James and he said following this year’s Finals that he remains in ”championship mode.”
The Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets are also believed to covet the four-time league MVP Rick Nash Jersey , who just played in his eighth straight Finals.
James will factor family – he has three children, and his oldest son is a rising hoops star – into the choice of where he plays next.
James just completed his 15th NBA season, and it may have been his best yet.
He played all 82 regular-season games for the first time, averaging 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and a career-high 9.1 assists per game. He showed no signs of slowing down, if anything he had found a new gear.
James then carried the Cavs, with their flawed roster after a massive trading deadline turnover, through the Eastern Conference playoffs – they survived two Game 7s and swept the top-seeded Toronto Raptors – to the NBA Finals for a fourth straight meeting with the Golden State Warriors.
It was James’ eighth consecutive Finals appearance, a remarkable feat not matched since Hall of Famer Bill Russell and a handful of Celtics did it in the 1960s. Cleveland was overmatched but James had the Cavs in position to steal Game 1 before a late-game missed free throw by George Hill and mental meltdown by Cavs forward J.R. Smith, who dribbled out the final seconds of regulation thinking his team was leading, led to an overtime loss.
With MVP Kevin Durant heading the charge, the Warriors completed a sweep of the Cavs and James, who revealed following the series that he had broken his right hand in a fit of frustration following Game 1.
James had numerous reasons to be upset. He had done everything possible, and as he left Quicken Loans Arena following Game 4 along with his sons, there was an air of uncertainty heading into this summer.
Those unknowns remain, but James is closer to solving them.