The 2019 draft is over and the All-Star break is a mere four weeks away. Make sure you get your votes in. As usual, Friday brings us a full 15-game slate of big league action. Here’s what you need to know going into Friday’s contests:

• The Cubs and Cardinals open a three-game series at Wrigley Field. The first place Cubbies are 2 1/2 games up on the third place Cardinals. The Cardinals swept three games from the Cubs in St. Louis last weekend

• The Rays and Red Sox begin a four games in three days weekend series at Fenway Park. (They have a doubleheader Saturday). Boston has won four straight games, but they’re still five games behind second place Tampa.

• The Rangers and Athletics are separated by two games in the standings and they’ll open a four games in three days series Friday night. (They also have a doubleheader Saturday.) Texas is entering an important stretch of the season.

• Didi Gregorius is back. The Yankees shortstop has not played this season after having Tommy John surgery last October. He’s been activated off the injured list and will play in Friday night’s series opener in Cleveland.

Select games can be streamed regionally via fuboTV (Try for free). For more on what channel each game is on, click here.

Who wins every MLB game? And what underdogs can give you a huge victory tonight? Visit SportsLine now to see the exact score of every MLB game, plus get full player stat projections, all from the model that simulates every game 10,000 times.

Baseball schedule/scores for Friday, June 7

Baez hits third homer in five days

May was not too kind to Javier Baez. While dealing with a nagging heel issue, Baez went 8 for 42 (.190) with 19 strikeouts in his final 12 games of the month. He’s been on a tear in June though, going 7 for 20 (.450) with two homers in five games.

Thursday afternoon, Baez made it three homers in six games. It’s three homers in the last five days, technically. His first inning opposite field shot against Miles Mikolas gave the Cubbies an early 2-0 lead in their series opener with the Cardinals.

Baez came into the weekend 4 for 19 (.211) with one home run and seven strikeouts in five games against the Cardinals this season. He didn’t wait too long to make his presence felt this weekend though.

Last weekend the Cardinals swept three games from the Cubs in St. Louis. They enter this weekend’s series 2 1/2 games behind Chicago in the NL Central, so this is an important weekend.  

Quick hits

  • The Cubs officially announced the RHP Craig Kimbrel signing and introduced him at a press conference at Wrigley Field on Friday morning.
  • After missing out on LHP Dallas Keuchel, the Yankees will have to turn to the trade market for rotation help. Here are some potential targets for the trade deadline. More names will of course surface in the coming weeks.
  • The Rangers are entering a difficult and important stretch of their schedule. They’ll play 21 games in 20 days, many of them against contenders. These next three weeks could determine whether the team buys or sells at the trade deadline.
  • The Blue Jays recently signed GM Ross Atkins to an extension through at least 2020, reports Sportsnet. The exact contract terms are unknown. Atkins spent 15 years with the Indians before joining the Blue Jays in 2016.
  • The Yankees activated SS Didi Gregorius (Tommy John surgery) off the injured list, the team announced. IF Thairo Estrada was sent down and SS Troy Tulowitzki was transferred to the 60-day injured lists in corresponding moves.
  • Cardinals C Yadier Molina (thumb) is not yet ready to return, reports Fox Sports Midwest. He is eligible to be activated Saturday, though there is no timetable for his return. Molina has been dealing with lingering thumb issue.
  • The Red Sox activated 1B Mitch Moreland off the 10-day injured list, the team announced. Moreland missed roughly two weeks with a back problem. RHP Ryan Weber was optioned to Triple-A to clear a roster spot.
  • The Twins activated RHP Michael Pineda (knee) off the injured list, the club announced. Pineda missed the minimum 10 days with tendinitis. LHP Devin Smeltzer was optioned to Triple-A in a corresponding move.
  • The Orioles have placed OF Dwight Smith Jr. on the 7-day concussion injured list, the team announced. He crashed into the outfield fence making a catch Thursday. OF Anthony Santander has been called up in a corresponding move.