Wednesday's Diamond Notes
July 11, 2018
By Kevin Rogers
Editor's Note: Kevin Rogers is currently on a 5-2 run in MLB and is fresh off a perfect 2-0 night on Tuesday. He is locked and loaded with a pair of Wednesday night winners. Click to win!
Hottest team: Red Sox (8-0 last eight)
Boston has started to open things up atop the American League East over New York following its eighth consecutive win. The Sox doubled up the Rangers, 8-4 on Tuesday night as Boston has won each of its past seven games on the run-line. Following a three-game road sweep of the Nationals, the Red Sox have cleaned up on a pair of last-place teams by destroying the Royals in Kansas City and taking the first two games against Texas.
Chris Sale is listed as a favorite of over -350 for the second straight start as several sports books showcase the southpaw as high as a -400 favorite against Texas tonight. Sale has won three straight starts, while allowing one run in this span and striking out 36 batters in 19 innings of work. The last time Sale faced the Rangers in May, he struck out 12 batters in seven innings of a 6-1 rout as a hefty -230 favorite.
Coldest team: White Sox (2-8 last 10)
Chicago fell to 0-3 against St. Louis this season following Tuesday’s 14-2 drubbing at the hands of the Cardinals. In three of the last four losses overall, the White Sox have allowed double-digit runs, while winning only two games in the month of July. Interestingly enough, Chicago has scored at least 10 runs in each of those two victories, so the formula is scoring a bunch of runs, as the Sox have plated six runs or more in their past six wins since mid-June.
The White Sox will try to avoid the series sweep to the Cardinals as Carlos Rodon heads to the mound. The southpaw is winless in five of his past six starts, while almost shocking the Astros as a +275 underdog in his last outing. Chicago led Houston, 3-2 headed to the ninth inning before the Astros scored two late runs to win it even though Rodon scattered five hits and allowed two runs in six innings of work.
Hottest pitcher: Tyler Mahle, Reds (7-6, 3.66 ERA)
Cincinnati still sits in last place of the NL Central in spite of winning 16 of the past 22 games. The Reds rallied past the Indians on Tuesday, 7-4 by scoring seven runs in the ninth inning as Cincinnati seeks the road sweep tonight. Since May 26, the Reds own a solid 7-1 mark in Mahle’s last eight starts, including a 4-1 record away from Great American Ballpark in this stretch. Mahle tossed 6.2 innings and yielded one run in a 3-2 victory over the Cubs in his last start as a +150 underdog, as Cincinnati seeks its second road sweep this season over a playoff team from 2017 (Dodgers in May).
Coldest pitcher: Shelby Miller, Diamondbacks (0-3, 9.00 ERA)
Arizona knocked off Colorado for the fourth straight time at Coors Field in Tuesday’s 5-3 comeback victory. It’s been a tough stretch for Miller, who has lost all three starts since entering the Arizona rotation in late June. The right-hander has given up 14 earned runs in 14 innings of work, while coming off consecutive losses as a home favorite to the Giants and Padres. Miller faced the Rockies four times in 2016 and allowed 22 runs as the D-backs posted a 2-2 record in those games.
Biggest OVER run: Orioles (4-1 last five)
Baltimore sits 40 games below .500 in spite of beating the Yankees in two of the last three games. The Orioles walked-off past the Yankees on Tuesday, 6-5 to cash the OVER of 9 ½, while hitting as a +200 underdog for the second time in the series. Baltimore’s pitching staff has been tagged for at least four runs in eight straight games as Dylan Bundy takes the hill tonight. Bundy has gone through plenty of ups and downs this season as he allowed six runs in less than four innings of a 6-2 loss at Minnesota last Friday. In two of Bundy’s three starts against the Yankees last season, the OVER hit, while six of the past eight meetings between these division rivals have sailed OVER the total.
Biggest UNDER run: Cubs (5-2 last seven)
Chicago and San Francisco have exchanged a pair of low-scoring affairs at AT&T Park as the Giants won the opener, 2-1, followed by a 2-0 victory by the Cubs last night. Four of five matchups between these squads have gone UNDER the total this season as Mike Montgomery takes the mound this afternoon for Chicago. Montgomery is coming off a 3-2 home loss to the Reds his last time out, as the Cubs are 4-2 to the UNDER in his past six starts. Johnny Cueto counters for the Giants in this matinee, as the OVER has hit in all three of his home outings this season.
Matchup to watch: Phillies vs. Mets
Philadelphia’s terrific season under first-year manager Gabe Kapler continues as the Phillies jumped the Braves for first place in the NL East. The Phillies lost the opener of their series to the Mets, 4-3 in Monday’s Game 1 of a double-header, but rebounded behind ace Aaron Nola for a 3-1 win in the nightcap. On Tuesday, the Phillies cruised past the Mets, 7-3 as a short favorite and with Atlanta’s loss to Toronto, Philadelphia sits atop the division less than a week prior to the All-Star break.
The task won’t be easy tonight for the Phillies as they face New York’s ace, Jacob deGrom. The right-hander owns a 5-4 record, but has posted a fantastic 1.79 ERA as the Mets have lost five of his starts this season when he allowed one earned run or less. Not included in those five outings is the one inning deGrom lasted at Philadelphia on May 13 when he labored through 45 pitches for three outs (the Mets lost, 4-2).
Opposing deGrom is Philadelphia’s Vince Velasquez, who hasn’t been sharp recently. The Phillies have put together a 2-6 record in his last eight starts, as the right-hander lasted two innings in a 3-2 win over Washington back on June 30. In three outings against New York last season, Velasquez failed to pick up a victory, while allowing 11 earned runs in 12 innings of work. The Phillies have struggled in road series finales since early May by going 2-6 in this situation in the last eight tries.
Betcha didn’t know: Have the Brewers found their next ace? Right-hander Freddy Peralta has been sharp for Milwaukee this season as the Brewers have won five of his six starts since getting called up from the minors, including a 3-1 mark away from Miller Park. Peralta faces the Marlins tonight in Miami as the Brewers have lost five of their past six road series finales dating back to May.
Biggest public favorite: Red Sox (-380) vs. Rangers
Biggest public underdog: Mariners (+104) at Angels
Biggest line move: Cardinals (-135 to -155) at White Sox
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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