Thursday Matinee Action
August 21, 2013
By Kevin Rogers
Diamondbacks at Reds - 12:35 PM EST
Probables: T. Cahill (4-10, 4.78 ERA) vs. M. Latos (12-4, 3.02 ERA)
Series recap: Cincinnati captured the series opener, 5-3 on Monday, but Arizona bounced back with a 5-2 victory on Tuesday. The Reds outlasted the D-Backs last night, 10-7, as Cincinnati built an 8-0 lead before Arizona closed the gap to one run headed to the bottom of the eighth.
Pitching notes: Trevor Cahill's return off the disabled list wasn't spectacular, but Arizona's offense provided the right-hander with 15 runs of support in a 15-5 blowout of Pittsburgh. Cahill lasted only five innings, while allowing four earned runs, as the veteran hasn't put together a quality start since May 27 against Texas. The D-backs are just 1-5 in Cahill's last six starts as a road underdog.
Mat Latos has turned in five consecutive quality outings, in spite of a loss in his last start at Milwaukee, a 2-0 defeat as $1.55 road favorite. The Reds have won seven of Latos' last eight home starts, while the righty struck out a season-high 13 batters in 4-2 road victory at Arizona in June.
Dodgers at Marlins - 12:40 PM EST
Probables: C. Kershaw (12-7, 1.80 ERA) vs. H. Alvarez (2-2, 3.41 ERA)
Series recap: The Marlins held off the Dodgers in Monday's series opener, but Los Angeles has won each of the last two nights. Zack Greinke picked up his 12th win of the season in a 4-1 road triumph as $1.80 'chalk,' whiel the 'under' cashed for the first time in the series.
Pitching notes: The Dodgers own a 15-11 record when Clayton Kershaw takes the mound this season, even though he is the front-runner to win the NL Cy Young Award. Kershaw has been magnificent in his last two outings, tossing eight innings in victories over the Rays and Phillies as heavy favorites. The Dodgers are riding an 8-2 'under' run in Kershaw's last 10 starts, while the southpaw beat the Marlins twice last season.
The Marlins have dropped six of Henderson Alvarez's last eight starts, including a home defeat to the Giants his past time out. Alvarez is just 1-3 as a home underdog, with the lone victory coming against the Pirates last month in a 2-0 shutout. Miami has compiled a 4-1 mark to the 'over' the last five games against left-handed starting pitchers, including three straight 'overs' in this role at home.
Blue Jays at Yankees - 1:05 PM EST
Probables: J.A. Happ (3-2, 4.93 ERA) vs. A. Pettitte (8-9, 4.39 ERA)
Series recap: New York continued it dominance of Toronto in the Bronx by winning each of the first three games of this series. The Yankees swept a doubleheader on Tuesday, while New York doubled up Toronto, 4-2 last night as $1.20 favorites. The Bombers improved to 9-0 at home against the Blue Jays this season.
Pitching notes: Following nearly a three-month stint away from the mound after getting drilled in the head by a line-drive, J.A. Happ picked up a victory over the Rays in his last trip to the hill. The Toronto southpaw scattered five hits and allowed two earned runs in 5.1 innings to cash as a $1.40 road underdog, just the second win by the Jays in Happ's last eight starts.
Andy Pettitte cashed as a hefty $1.65 road underdog in his last outing at Boston, a 10-3 blowout at Fenway Park as the veteran lefty allowed three runs (all unearned) in 6.2 innings. The Yankees have won each of his last three home starts, while New York owns a strong 4-1 mark in his five matinee starts this season.
Twins at Tigers - 1:08 PM EST
Probables: A. Albers (2-1, 1.85 ERA) vs. J. Verlander (12-9, 3.51 ERA)
Series recap: Minnesota snapped a four-game skid by shocking Detroit on Tuesday, 6-3 as $1.80 road underdogs. The Tigers rebounded last night with a 7-1 blowout of the Twins, as Detroit's offense scored all seven runs in its final two at-bats.
Pitching notes: Andrew Albers was handed his first loss in three career starts as the Twins' left-hander allowed five earned runs in an 8-5 home defeat to the White Sox. Albers dominated in his first two outings, tossing scoreless efforts against the Royals and Indians as an underdog. The Tigers have won just two of their last six games against southpaw starters, including three losses as a favorite of at least $1.60.
Justin Verlander has been hit-or-miss this season with the Tigers splitting his 26 starts. The former Cy Young Award winner dropped nearly 3.8 units in his last two outings in losses to the Royals and Yankees. Verlander has dominated the Twins in two starts this season, limiting Minnesota to one earned run in 12 innings, while Detroit won both games on the run-line.
Nationals at Cubs - 2:20 PM EST
Probables: S. Strasburg (6-9, 2.93 ERA) vs. T. Wood (7-10, 3.13 ERA)
Series recap: The Cubs dominated the Nationals in the series opener, 11-1 as home 'dogs. Washington came back strong to win each of the last two games, including Wednesday's 11-6 triumph as the Nats scored five late runs to break a 6-6 tie.
Pitching notes: Stephen Strasburg lasted only 26 pitches in his last start after getting ejected for throwing two pitches behind Atlanta's Andrelton Simmons. The Nationals ended up winning the game in 15 innings, while snapping a five-game 'under' streak in Strasburg's starts. Washington has been abysmal in Strasburg's road starts, losing seven of 11 outings on the highway, while last putting up a quality start on the road on May 21 at San Francisco.
The Cubs have cashed the 'under' in each of Travis Wood's last five starts, as the southpaw has lost each of his past four home outings. Wood has won just one start at Wrigley Field since the start of June, a stretch of eight outings. The lefty is facing Washington for the first time in his career, while the Cubs enter Thursday's action 1-5 the last six finales of a home series.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.
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