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Saturday's Diamond Notes

Hottest team: Cardinals (7-0 past seven overall)

The Cardinals have ripped off seven consecutive games to rocket up the standings in the National League Central, sitting just one game back of the defending champion and archrival Cubs. St. Louis now owns the best home record in the NL Central at 34-26, and they also have the best run differential in the division at plus-57. The Cards continue their series against the Braves, a team which has dropped four in a row and six straight on the road. St. Louis has won four straight at home, they're 4-0 in their past four at home against right-handed starting pitchers and 6-0 in their past six overall vs. RHP. In addition, the Cardinals are 21-7 in their past 28 against NL East foes.

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Coldest team: Royals (0-5 past five games, 2-10 past 12 overall)

The Royals ripped off nine straight victories from July 19-28, but it has been a slow burn back down the American League Central standings since. They're a dismal 3-11 over the past 14 games since that lengthy winning streak, slipping into third place behind the first-place Indians and second-place Twins. The Royals have come up empty in each of the past six road outings, they're 0-6 in their past six road games vs. RHP and they're 0-5 in their past five vs. RHP overall. They turn to Ian Kennedy to stem the tide of losing. TheRoyals have won eight of his past 11 starts and they're 6-2 over his past eight tries on the road. It won't be easy, though, as K.C. has dropped four in a row at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Hottest pitcher: Luis Severino, Yankees (9-4, 2.91 ERA)

Severino has won four consecutive wins, going 4-0 with a 0.70 ERA, and he has rattled off five quality starts over his past six outings since his last setback on July 2 in Houston. He has been impressive at home, going 5-3 with a 3.29 ERA across 10 starts at home while the opponent is hitting just .209 against him over 63 innings at Yankee Stadium this season. The Yankees have won seven of their past 10 at home, and they're 6-1 over Severino's past seven at home. The Red Sox had won eight in a row, but they lost in Friday's series opener and they're just 1-7 over their past eight trips to the Bronx. New York is also an impressive 10-3 against the past 13 in this series. And if you like totals, the 'under' is 5-0 in Severino's past five assignments against the BoSox.

Coldest pitcherJordan Zimmermann, Tigers (7-9, 5.27 ERA)

It has been a trying season for Zimmermann in The D, as he has served up 24 homers while the opponent is hitting .295 against him over 126 1/3 innings across 22 starts. It's a tough assignment for Zimmermann on Saturday, as he tries to cool off the Twins. Minnesota has won six in a row, including four straight on the road, and they're 5-0 in their past five against a right-handed starter. The Tigers are just 3-8 over Zimmermann's past 11 starts, they're 3-8 in his past 11 against divisional foes and 1-7 in his past eight tries against teams with a winning overall record.

Biggest UNDER run: Indians (4-0 past four overall)

Total bettors have cashed in on the Indians, as the under is 4-0 in their past four outings and 4-1 across their past five on the road. In addition, the under is 4-1-1 in the past six against AL East foes. Mike Clevinger has seen the under cash frequently in his starts, too, going 4-1 over his past five on the road and 4-1 in his past five against teams with a winning overall mark. The under is also 15-5 in his past 20 overall, while the under is 13-3-1 across the past 17 against teams with a winning overall record. Tampa Bay has been an under team lately, too, especially at home. The under is 7-1 in Tampa's past eight at home, and 18-7-1 in their past 26 against winning teams.

Biggest OVER run: Tigers (4-0 past four overall)

The 'over' has cashed in four in a row for Detroit, and each of their past four against a right-handed starting pitcher. In addition, the over is an impressive 34-16-3 across the past 53 divisional games for the Tigers. The over has been even more prominent with Zimmermann on the hill, going 12-3-1 in his past 16 at home, 12-2 over his past 14 inside the division and 21-10-2 in his past 33 starts overall. The over is also an impressive 6-1-1 in the past eight meetings with the Twins overall.

Matchup to watch: Athletics vs. Orioles

The Orioles turn to Dylan Bundy to try and stay hot in Oakland. The O's are 6-1 over their past seven against left-handed starting pitching and 4-1 in their past five on the road against lefties. Bundy has been hot, too, going 4-0 in his past four starts against AL West foes and 6-1 in his past seven against teams with a losing overall record. The O's haven't had a lot of success in recent years in the Bay Area, however, as Baltimore is just 19-39 in their past 58 trips to Oakland. The A's haven't had much success with Sean Manaea on the hill, going 2-5 in his past seven starts and 1-5 over his past six against teams with a losing overall mark.

Betcha didn’t know: The Angels have gotten tremendous production from C.J. Cron lately, as he is 10-for-23 (.435) with a pair of home runs and seven RBI over his past six outings. He'll be looking to solve Erasmo Ramirez, who is not enjoying a revival in his second tour of duty in Seattle. Ramirez has been tagged for five home runs over 8 1/3 innings in a pair of outings since coming over from the Rays at the non-waiver trade deadline. However, he is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two outings against the Angels this season when he was a member of the Rays.

Biggest public favorite: Dodgers (-240) vs. Padres

Biggest public underdog: Twins (+110) at Tigers

Biggest line move: Padres (+300 to +240) at Dodgers

Joe Williams can be followed on Twitter at JoeWilliamsVI.



  
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