Friday's Diamond Notes
April 21, 2017
By Kevin Rogers
Hottest team: Yankees (9-1 last 10) at Pirates
Following a 1-4 start to the season, the Bronx Bombers have lost once in their previous 10 contests. New York is one of three teams in the AL East alongside Boston and Baltimore that have won 10 games, as the Yankees finished off their recent homestand at 8-1 after taking two of three from the White Sox. The offense has been terrific for New York lately by scoring at least seven runs five times during this hot stretch.
New York heads to Pittsburgh for an interleague series as CC Sabathia takes the mound for the Yankees. Sabathia is returning to his former dominant self by owning an ERA of 1.47 through three starts as New York has won all three of the southpaw’s outings. However, the Yankees have lost each of their two road series openers this season.
Coldest team: Angels (2-8 last 10) vs. Blue Jays
Los Angeles stormed out of the gate with an impressive 6-2 record, which included consecutive massive comeback victories over Seattle and Texas. The Halos return home following a dreadful 1-5 road swing, capped off by dropping three of four at Houston. The early-season offensive success has disappeared, as the Angels have been limited to two runs or less in each of their last six losses.
All seven games on the road trip finished UNDER the total, but the Angels are 5-1 to the OVER in six home games as the Blue Jays invade Anaheim this weekend. Alex Meyer makes his first start of the season for Los Angeles, as the right-hander posted a 1-2 record and 4.57 ERA in five starts last season. Meyer and the Angels hope to turn around their luck as the Blue Jays own the worst record in baseball at 3-12.
Hottest pitcher: Wily Peralta, Brewers (3-0, 2.65 ERA)
Milwaukee has been a nice surprise in the NL Central through the first three weeks as the Brewers sit one-half game out of first place in the division at 9-8. The Brewers outlasted the Cardinals in the opener of their four-game set, 7-5 on Thursday at Miller Park. Peralta has won all three of his starts in the underdog role, while yielding 11 hits and five earned runs in 17 innings of work. However, the right-hander was winless in three starts against St. Louis last season, even though he struck out 10 in seven innings of a 2-1 home defeat to the Cardinals last August.
Coldest pitcher: Jose Quintana, White Sox (0-3, 6.75 ERA)
The Chicago southpaw started the season opener and was knocked around by Detroit in a 6-3 home defeat. Things haven’t improved for Quintana, who allowed five earned runs in a 6-0 shutout at Minnesota last Saturday to drop to 0-3 on the season. The good news for Quintana is he faces an Indians’ squad that he delivered five quality starts against in 2016, including a pair of 8-1 blowouts over Cleveland last September.
Biggest OVER run: Phillies (6-2 last eight)
Philadelphia finished off a series victory over New York by edging the Mets on Thursday, 6-4. The Phillies easily cashed their fourth straight OVER on a low total of 6 ½, while scoring at least four runs for the fifth consecutive contest. Philadelphia opens up a series with Atlanta as the Phillies has eclipsed the four-run threshold in five of six games at Citizens Bank Park, while four of the final six matchups last season between these NL East rivals finished OVER the total.
Biggest UNDER run: Royals (7-0 last seven)
Kansas City’s pitching has been outstanding of late by giving up a total of seven runs in the last seven games. Although the Royals lost in 13 innings to the Rangers last night, 1-0, Kansas City registered another UNDER, while allowing only one run in the past 22 innings. The Royals’ offense hasn’t done much by plating only four runs in the previous four games, as Kansas City will draw Texas ace Cole Hamels on Friday. The Rangers are 3-0 to the OVER in Hamels’ three starts this season, but he allowed three earned runs in two victories over the Royals in 2016.
Matchup to watch: Red Sox vs. Orioles
Both these AL East rivals are coming off road victories in extra innings on Thursday as Boston heads to Baltimore. The Red Sox staved off the Blue Jays, 4-1 in 10 innings to pick up their first road series victory of the season, while the Orioles edged the Reds, 2-1 in 10 to move to 4-0-1 in their five series this season.
The one split the Orioles picked up came against the Red Sox at Fenway Park earlier this month. Boston captured the opener of the two-game set, 8-1, while the Orioles rebounded the next night with a 12-5 blowout. Drew Pomeranz topped Dylan Bundy in Game 1 of that series as the two pitchers will get the ball on Friday at Camden Yards.
Pomeranz tossed six innings of four-hit ball, while allowing one earned run in his season debut. Bundy didn’t pitch poorly, giving up three earned runs in 6.1 innings, but the Orioles dropped to 1-3 in his four career starts against the Red Sox.
Betcha didn’t know: Rockies’ right-hander Tyler Chatwood dominated the Giants in his last start by delivering a complete-game, two-hitter in a 5-0 shutout last Saturday. Colorado improved to 4-0 in Chatwood’s past four starts against San Francisco since last May, as the right-hander allowed one earned run in each of those outings. Chatwood’s counterpart, Johnny Cueto, has dominated the Rockies since joining the Giants with San Francisco going 5-0 in the right-hander’s five starts against Colorado.
Biggest public favorite: Cubs (-175) at Reds
Biggest public underdog: Mariners (+125) at Athletics
Biggest line move: Rangers (-140 to -155) vs. Royals
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at email@example.com
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.
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