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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:04 PM

Weekend Watch

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Streaky Teams (entering play Friday)
Wins and Losses Streak Over/Under Streak
Baltimore 0-6 past six games overall Boston Over 9-1-1 past 11 games overall
Boston 16-2 past 18 games overall Cincinnati Under 5-1 past six games overall
Chicago White Sox 1-9 past 10 games overall Miami Over 4-0 past four games overall
Cincinnati 1-10 past 11 games overall Minnesota Under 5-1 past six games overall
Kansas City 0-9 past nine games overall N.Y. Yankees Over 11-2-1 past 14 games overall

Big Pitching
The defending World Champion Houston Astros sit atop the majors with a 2.45 ERA through 20 games, going 13-7 with 223 strikeouts over just 179 2/3 innings, and they're holding the opposition to a .211 batting average. So far the Astros and the Washington Nationals are the only teams to collectively reach 200 strikeouts as a staff. The average, by the way, is a 4.02 ERA, and the median for opponent batting average is .240. On the flip side of things, batters are teeing off on Chicago White Sox pitching, hitting them hard for a .264 average, while the Texas Rangers have allowed a .270 batting average, and the Oakland Athletics have a .272 opponent batting average. The worst during the early going has been in Baltimore, as hitters are humping up on O's pitching to the tune of a .283 average. They have already yielded 97 earned runs in just 19 games for a 5.11 ERA. The White Sox are worst in the majors with a 5.64 staff ERA.

SP Justin Verlander visits Chicago in a new uniform on Friday, but 1B Jose Abreu won't care. He has mashed against the righty regardless of what he is wearing. Abreu is 14-for-35 (.400) with two doubles, five homers and six RBI with a 1.361 OPS against Verlander all-time, as he is obviously not fooled. The same cannot be said for Tim Anderson. He has nothing when it comes to J.V., going 1-for-14 (.071) with no RBI, no walks and six strikeouts. Yolmer Sanchez is still trying to learn Verlander, as he is 1-for-11 (.091) with no RBI, two walks and five whiffs. More often than not Verlander has had his way with the Pale Hose, knowing them well from his days in Detroit. He is 3-0 with a 3.10 ERA in eight starts vs. Chicago since the start of 2015, posting 66 strikeouts in just 49 1/3 innings. Verlander hasn't lost to the White Sox since June 11, 2014 at Guaranteed Rate Field, and six of his past seven decisions against Chicago have been wins.

Capital Punishment
The Washington Nationals roll out Max Scherzer (3-1, 1.33 ERA), Stephen Strasburg (2-1, 3.08 ERA, 0.99 WHIP) and Jeremy Hellickson (0-0, 3.86 ERA) for their three-game set against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. Strasburg works on Saturday night and faces the erratic Hyun-Jin Ryu in perhaps the most winnable game of the series for the Nats. Strasburg carries a 1-2 record with a 3.50 ERA in three starts against L.A. since the start of 2015, but he has held them to a .174 opponent batting average with 26 strikeouts in just 18 innings. He avoids Clayton Kershaw and gets Ryu, who has been decent this season, but is rather erratic over the years. In fact, the Dodgers are just 2-6 in Ryu's past eight starts. The Nationals have posted a 55-16 in Strasburg's past 71 outings, including 37-18 over his past 55 on the road.


Looking Ahead

Saturday, April 21
Since the start of the 2015 season, Blue Jays SP Marcus Stroman has posted a 4-3 record with a 3.40 ERA in 10 starts against the Yankees. The four wins are tied for his most against any other club. Of course, he has faced them more, too. However, he has a sparkling .230 opponent batting average with 36 strikeouts over 55 2/3 innings with just six homers allowed. Aaron Judge has skewed those numbers in a bad way for Stroman, though. In their brief encounters he is 6-for-14 (.429) with three homers and four RBI while posting a 1.571 OPS against the Blue Jays hurler. Brett Gardner has also taken Stroman deep twice while posting five RBI over 37 at-bats.

The Mets have been red hot on the road, but Braves SP Julio Teheran could cool them off at SunTrust Park on Saturday night. Since the start of the 2015 season the righty is 5-3 with a 2.20 ERA across 12 starts, including one complete game. He has struck out 58 batters over 77 2/3 innings while yielding just three homers and holding New York batters to a .158 opponent batting average. Yoenis Cespedes is just 4-for-18 (.222) with no extra-base hits or RBI and six strikeouts. Jay Bruce and Jose Lobaton have each connected for two homers against him and represent the greatest power threats.

Reds SP Homer Bailey has not enjoyed facing the Cardinals over the years. He is 0-4 with a 9.90 ERA in four starts against the Redbirds since the start of the 2015 season, and they're hitting over .400 against him with 11 walks and just 10 strikeouts over 20 innings. He hasn't beat St. Louis since a home game back on May 23, 2014. Yadier Molina likes facing Bailey, as he carries a .405 career average (17-for-42) with three doubles, three homers and seven RBI into the contest. Matt Carpenter has also hit Bailey hard to the tune of a .500 average (18-for-36) with three doubles, four RBI and a 1.110 OPS.

Weather Report
For the early games, the weather looks to be a little crisp and cool, but without any threat of precipitation after a rough start to the season in the east. However, there is a very real threat of thunderstorms in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex on Saturday night, and it could end up sacking the game between the Mariners and Rangers. The forecast calls for a 65-70 percent of thunderstorms starting right around first pitch, tapering off sometime around 11pm CT. If that game does get underway, there could be starting and stopping, a long delay, etc. That's never good for the starting pitchers, and could mean more reliance on the bullpens. Texas entered play on Friday with a 4.76 ERA for their bullpen, ranked 28th in the majors. Seattle has been so-so with a 4.08 ERA.

Wind won't really be a factor in many parks, as forecasts are calling for 10 mph or less almost entirely across the board. However, the wind will be blowing out at O.co Coliseum in Oakland for the game between the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics. It won't be a stiff jetstream, but Oakland's winds are forecast to be highest at around 10-13 mph and blowing straight out to the power alley in right-center field.

Sunday, April 22
There are a lot of ugly career numbers from the Orioles when it comes to facing Indians SP Corey Kluber. The current roster is a collective 15-for-99 (.152) with two doubles, a home run, six RBI and 34 strikeouts vs. five walks. If you were wondering, it was IF Jonathan Schoop iwth the only homer, as he is actually 4-for-12 (.333) with a double and the solo homer against Klubot. 1B Chris Davis is a dismal 1-for-14 (.071) with one RBI and seven strikeouts against the righty, while OF Adam Jones is just 3-for-17 (.176) with no extra-base hits, no walks and no RBI while striking out seven times. However, Kluber is just 1-0 with a 2.35 ERA in three starts since April 2015 against the O's. He probably wishes he faced them more often. He hasn't lost to Baltimore since June 27, 2013 at Camden Yards.

Yankees SP Luis Severino opened his 2018 season with a win in Toronto back on March 29. He allowed just one hit with no runs, three walks and seven strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings in that one. It was a surprising result, as he entered the season with 0-3 with a 5.52 ERA in seven career appearances (six starts) against the Blue Jays. 1B Justin Smoak has the most experience against him, and the most success. He is 5-for-14 (.357) with two homers and five RBI with a 1.256 OPS against the Yankees righty.

Twins SP Jake Odorizzi will toe the slab in a familiar place on Sunday afternoon, as he makes his first appearance against his former team, the Tampa Bay Rays, at Tropicana Field. None of the current Rays have more than eight at-bats against the right-hander, but they obviously know him from his time in St. Petersburg. And he knows the park, too, so he'll have that to his advantage. From 2015-17, Odorizzi was 15-12 with a 3.57 ERA in 45 starts at Tropicana Field, holding the opposition to a minuscule .227 average with 241 strikeouts over 259 2/3 innings.

The Nationals and Dodgers close out the weekend on Sunday Night Baseball. Washington entered Saturday's game with eight victories over their past 11 road outings, and they're 1-4 in their past five against a left-handed starter. They haven't had a lot of luck closing out a series, going 1-4 in their past five in the third game of a series. For the Dodgers, they seem to enjoy playing on Sundays. L.A. has picked up wins in six of their past seven showings on Sunday, while going 7-2 in their past nine in Game 3 of a series. They're also 5-2 in Alex Wood's past seven against NL East foes, and 10-4 in his past 14 home starts. They're also 20-8 over Wood's past 28 outings overall.

Weather Report
The rains pop back up for Atlanta, as the series finale between the Mets and Braves could be rained out. The forecast shows a 35 percent chance of rain at first pitch and only getting stronger as the day progresses. A solid, area-covering shield of rain will engulf the Southeast for a good portion of Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, perhaps. The drought-stricken areas need this rain, but of course it's no good for baseball. By 3pm ET, the forecast calls for 65 percent and by 4pm ET, it is 80 percent. If they can get this game in, it might be official after five innings, but probably isn't going the distance.

The wind will be blowing strongly from left field to right field at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago for the battle between the Astros and the White Sox, but thankfully rain isn't in the forecast. Down in St. Louis, wind will also be a factor. The winds will be blowing in directly from center field to home plate at 11-14 mph with overcast conditions. The strong winds should keep the offense down, however.

The weather will play a factor in the Seattle-Texas series again, too, but this time it will be wind. There is a zero percent chance of rain for Sunday in Arlington, but winds will be howling from 14-17 mph and blowing directly out to right-center field. The 'over' could be a strong play in that one.

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