Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:04 AM
Wednesday's Diamond Notes
Hottest team: Marlins (6-1 last seven)
There was little faith that Miami would be featured in the top category this season, but the Marlins have strung together a nice winning stretch. The Marlins started this streak with a pair of impressive road underdog wins over the Dodgers, followed by a home series victory against the Rockies. Miami’s pitching yielded two runs to Colorado, while coming off a pair of wins over Philadelphia the last two nights.
The Marlins look to stay on fire with right-hander Jose Urena on the mound. Urena hasn’t owned great luck on the hill this season as Miami owns an 0-6 record with the right-hander taking the ball, including an 0-5 mark at Marlins Park. Urena faces a struggling Phillies’ offense that has scored one run in three of its last four games, all losses.
Coldest team: Twins (1-11 last 12)
Minnesota qualified for the postseason in 2017, but the Twins’ season is spinning out of control as May gets underway. The Twins were swept by the Rays to begin this miserable stretch, followed by a four-game sweep at the hands of the Yankees. Probably the biggest embarrassment was dropping two of three to the last-place Reds this past weekend, while losing the first two games of their home series to the Blue Jays.
Amazingly, Minnesota isn’t in last place of the AL Central in spite of this horrific last two weeks as Chicago and Kansas City are playing worse. The Twins try to avoid the sweep to the Jays this afternoon as right-hander Fernando Romero makes his Major League debut on the mound. Romero posted a 2.57 ERA in 21 innings of work at Triple-A Rochester, while the Jays send out Marcus Stroman, who has allowed 12 earned runs in his last two starts.
Hottest pitcher: Jacob deGrom, Mets (3-0, 2.06 ERA)
The Braves jumped out to an early 3-0 lead over the Mets on Tuesday and held off New York, 3-2 to capture the first game of their series at Citi Field. deGrom looks to get the Mets back on track as he is coming off three straight starts of tossing at least seven innings, including back-to-back scoreless performances. The right-hander received a no-decision the last time he faced the Braves in Atlanta on April 21, striking out 10 and allowing four hits in seven innings, but New York squandered a 3-0 lead in a 4-3 walk-off loss.
Coldest pitcher: Luis Castillo, Reds (1-3, 7.85 ERA)
Castillo lasted one inning in his previous outing at Minnesota, allowing five earned runs and six hits. Somehow, Castillo didn’t factor in the decision as the Reds rallied and busted out for 15 runs in a 15-9 triumph over the struggling Twins. The right-hander has yielded at least three earned runs in all six starts this season, although he is making his first home appearance since March 31 against Washington. Castillo’s top strikeout performance came against tonight’s opponent Milwaukee back on April 16 by sitting down eight Brewers in a 10-4 road victory.
Biggest OVER run: Indians (6-0 last six)
Cleveland overcame a 6-2 ninth inning deficit on Tuesday thanks to Michael Brantley’s grand slam. However, the Indians lost in extra innings to the Rangers, but the game hit the OVER, marking the sixth consecutive OVER for the Tribe. Cleveland’s pitching has been the reason for this OVER streak, allowing 45 runs in this stretch, including eight or more runs three times. Ace Corey Kluber looks to stop the bleeding for this Cleveland staff as he heads to the hill in the finale against the Rangers. Kluber has won four straight starts, but is coming off OVERS in his last two outings.
Biggest UNDER run: Cubs (7-0 last seven)
Chicago had its five-game winning streak snapped in Tuesday’s 3-1 setback to Colorado, but its pitching continued to thrive. The Cubs have allowed seven runs in the six games on their current homestand, including three shutouts. The offense has done enough to get by during this run, but hasn’t eclipsed the three-run mark in seven consecutive contests. Yu Darvish takes the hill for the Cubs in the finale against the Rockies, coming off four straight UNDERS in his past four appearances.
Matchup to watch: Yankees vs. Astros
New York and Houston reached Game 7 of the American League Championship Series last season before the Astros finished off the Yankees on the way to a World Series title. Both these teams have performed well lately as the Yankees entered this series on a nine-game winning streak, while the Astros had won three of their previous four series.
The Astros edged the Yankees in Monday’s series opener at Minute Maid Park, 2-1 as Charlie Morton yielded two hits in 7.2 innings and struck out 10 batters. Justin Verlander put together an outstanding outing on Tuesday by striking out 14 in eight scoreless innings, but left the game tied at 0-0 after eight. Yankees’ catcher Gary Sanchez knocked out a three-run homer in the ninth inning to lift New York to a 4-0 triumph as +160 underdogs to even the series.
The teams play the third of a four-game set tonight as Dallas Keuchel tries to turn around his luck for Houston. The former Cy Young winner has compiled a 1-4 record this season, as Houston’s offense hasn’t helped out the southpaw by scoring exactly one run in each of his four losses. Keuchel is coming off his worst start of the season by allowing six earned runs in an 8-1 home defeat to Oakland as a -180 favorite. Keuchel shut down the Yankees at home in the ALCS last October by tossing seven shutout innings in a 2-1 victory in the series opener.
Luis Severino counters for New York, who seeks its 11th win in 12 games. Severino has rebounded nicely since getting racked by the Red Sox in a 14-1 loss on April 10 by giving up four earned runs in his last three trips to the mound, all victories. Severino didn’t have much luck in two starts against the Astros in the 2017 ALCS by not lasting past the fifth inning, while the Yankees posted an 0-2 record.
Betcha didn’t know: If the Diamondbacks want to overtake the Dodgers for the NL West crown this season, Arizona needs to take care of its business against the defending NL champions. The D-backs have done just that by capturing seven of eight matchups, including a perfect 5-0 record at Chase Field against Los Angeles. The latest victory came in Tuesday’s comeback triumph against the Dodgers’ bullpen in a 4-3 win as +170 underdogs. Zack Godley heads to the hill for the D-backs tonight as Arizona owns a 4-1 record in his five starts this season.
Biggest public favorite: Indians (-300) vs. Mariners
Biggest public underdog: Brewers (+110) at Reds
Biggest line move: Angels (-135 to -145) vs. Orioles
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.