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What I’m Watching: Leody’s Leap?

Plus: The Stars look to even their series in Seattle, while FC Dallas hunts for a bit of playoff revenge in Austin.
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Leody Taveras has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball. Can that continue? Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Stars lost a heartbreaker against the Kraken in Game 1 of their second-round series, and currently trail 2-1 after taking a 7-2 shellacking Sunday night. (Here’s David Castillo and I on how, exactly, this happened). It was much better tidings for Dane Dunning on Friday night, as the 28-year-old threw five scoreless innings in his first start in place of injured ace Jacob deGrom.

Here’s what I’m watching this week:

Monday, 5/8—Rangers at Mariners8:40 p.m., Bally Sports Southwest

The other Dallas-Seattle series has more than a few storylines worth monitoring, and perhaps none more so than the Sahara Desert-level heat emanating from Leody Taveras’ bat. On April 19, Sean Bass wrote a piece titled “It’s Now or Never For Leody Taveras in Center Field,” which was about what you’d expect it to be about. Well, since that day, the 24-year-old is hitting a scorching .373/.448/.569, highlighted by a four-hit, four-RBI game to pace Texas’ 16-8 smackdown of the Angels on Sunday. Problem solved, right?

Maybe. True, Taveras has been one of the best hitters in baseball over the last three weeks. He’s also been among the luckiest, and that’s even more true over the course of the season, where his weighted on-base average of .364 is 60 points higher than expected, which is more than enough difference between a really good hitter and one struggling to get by. That said, both of those numbers have risen substantially over this run, so if nothing else, Taveras is doing the right kind of work to keep his spot in the lineup.

Will it hold? If not, how good is he, really? The next step toward finding answers begins tonight.

Tuesday, 5/9—Stars at Kraken, Game 48:30 p.m., ESPN

Thus far, the beats of this series are eerily similar to those from Dallas’ first-round triumph over Minnesota: a thrilling Game 1 overtime loss, a Game 2 bounce-back, a disastrous Game 3. So if the Stars stick to the script, expect Jake Oettinger to carry them to a Game 4, series-tying victory. If they don’t? The golf course will be beckoning.

Saturday, 5/13—FC Dallas at Austin FC7:30 p.m., Apple TV+

It’s the first meeting between these in-state rivals since Austin bounced Dallas from last year’s MLS playoffs. Need I say more?


Mike Piellucci

Mike Piellucci

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Mike Piellucci is D Magazine's sports editor. He is a former staffer at The Athletic and VICE, and his freelance…

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