New York Mets at Washington Nationals (115, 8)
Whether the best offense is a good defense or vice versa, the Nationals haven't had either working for them lately.
Despite getting solid pitching, the Nats have dropped 13 of their last 17, including a series sweep by the lowly Orioles in which defensive errors saw the Nats blow leads in all three games.
"The way we are playing in general - defensively - it isn't good enough," Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said. "It's an issue for them. They see the number of errors. They see the games get away from us because we are not making plays. We have to find a way to change that."
The Nats aren't likely to overcome the defensive miscues with their bats. They have batted just .203 against lefties in their last 10 meetings against southpaws.
They face a motivated lefty in Johan Santana, who has lost back-to-back starts in duels against CC Sabathia and Carl Pavano.
Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs (-140, Off)
Reds fans are wondering why the team didn't call up veteran Edinson Volquez to take the mound for the first time this season.
After all, the righty threw his fourth successful rehab start at Triple-A Louisville and the Reds are likely to call him up to the majors before the All-Star break.
Instead, the Reds called up unknown Travis Wood to make his big-league debut. The 23-year-old lefty is 5-6 with a 3.12 ERA this season at Louisville.
"He deserves an oportunity and we need him," Reds manager Dusty Baker said of Wood, who will stand in for demoted starter Sam LeCure.
That's good news for the Cubs, have been been batting a respectable .263 against lefties in their last 10 games and need some wins in the aftermath of Hurricane Z's erutpion last week.