Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:04 AM

Friday's Diamond Notes

Hottest team: Yankees (12-1 last 13)

New York finished off an incredible road trip by posting a 6-1 record against the Angels and Astros. The Yankees had their nine-game winning streak snapped in Monday’s 2-1 defeat at Houston, but rebounded with consecutive shutouts and wrapped up the series by rallying for a 6-5 triumph on Thursday. The Bronx Bombers overcame a 5-3 ninth inning deficit to pick up the series victory and pull within 1 ½ games of first-place Boston in the AL East.

The Yankees return home to face the Indians in an AL Wild Card rematch as New York erased a 2-0 series deficit to advance to the American League Championship Series last October. CC Sabathia squares off against his former team in the series opener as the veteran southpaw is fresh off victories against Twins and Angels. In Sabathia’s last eight home starts dating back to last August, the Yankees own a 7-1 record.

Coldest team: Padres (4-11 last 15)

Since taking three of four from the Giants in mid-April, the Padres has lost five consecutive series. San Francisco picked up revenge on San Diego by capturing two of three matchups at AT&T Park this week, including Wednesday’s 9-4 victory by the Giants in the series finale. The Padres travel to Monterrey, Mexico to battle the Dodgers, who swept San Diego at Chavez Ravine last month, while Los Angeles racked up 30 runs.

San Diego sends out its best pitcher as Joey Lucchesi seeks his fourth victory. The left-hander owns a 3-1 record in his last four starts, including home blowout wins over the Mets and Giants. The Padres will look to turn around an 0-5 record in home series openers in 2018, while scoring three runs or less four times in this span.

Hottest pitcher: J.A. Happ, Blue Jays (4-1, 3.50 ERA)

Since losing his season opening start to the Yankees, Happ has performed well on the mound with Toronto posting a 5-0 record in his last five starts. The southpaw has struck out at least nine batters in four of his past five outings, while allowing a total of three earned runs in his last two starts against the Red Sox and Rangers. Toronto travels to Tampa Bay on Friday as Happ didn’t face the Rays last season, but the left-hander struggled in 2016 against their division rivals as the Jays went 2-3 in those games.

Coldest pitcher: Jose Berrios, Twins (2-3, 3.63 ERA)

Berrios turned in two terrific outings against the White Sox and Indians in mid-April by tossing identical lines of seven scoreless innings and allowing three hits. However, the Minnesota right-hander has been knocked around in his last two starts against the Yankees and Reds by yielding nine earned runs in 11 hits in a pair of losses. Berrios gets another crack at the White Sox on Friday, who he beat 4-0 on April 12 and struck out a season-high 11 batters.

Biggest OVER run: Indians (8-0 last eight)

Cleveland began the season by cashing six consecutive home UNDERS, but the Indians have hit the OVER in nine of the past 10 games at Progressive Field. The Indians lost the front end of a make-up double-header with the Blue Jays on Thursday, 13-11 in 11 innings as Cleveland has allowed at least 10 runs four times on its homestand. Josh Tomlin has sailed OVER the total in three of four starts for the Indians this season as the right-hander has given up at least five earned runs three times.

Biggest UNDER run: Tigers (6-2 last eight)

Although Detroit and Kansas City easily cashed the OVER on Thursday, the Tigers have put together a solid UNDER run. Prior to allowing 10 runs to the Royals in the series opener, Detroit pitching had given up six runs in the previous three games against the Rays. Francisco Liriano is making his third start against the Royals this season, as the southpaw has allowed four earned runs in 12 innings of work.

Matchup to watch: Cubs vs. Cardinals

The NL Central race is tight through one month as four teams are separated by two games. The Brewers are the leaders by one-half game over the Cardinals and a one-game edge over the Cubs in spite of losing seven of eight matchups to Chicago.

The Cardinals bounced back from getting swept by the Pirates last weekend to grab a pair of one-run victories over the White Sox. St. Louis continues its homestand against the other Chicago squad as the two teams split a pair of matchups at Wrigley Field in mid-April, while two other contests were postponed due to bad weather.

Miles Mikolas takes the mound for the Cardinals as the right-hander has been a hidden gem for St. Louis. Mikolas owns a 27/2 strikeout to walk ratio, while he has tossed seven innings in three straight outings. Unfortunately, Mikolas was staked to a 5-0 lead against the Pirates last Friday before the bullpen melted down and Pittsburgh rallied for a 6-5 win in extra innings.

The Cubs began their seven-game homestand with five consecutive victories before dropping the final two games to the Rockies. Jose Quintana turned in his best start of the season against Milwaukee last Saturday in a 3-0 home win by scattering two hits in seven scoreless innings. The Cubs own a 4-1 record in Quintana’s five starts this season, while Chicago beat St. Louis in both of the southpaw’s starts last season.

Betcha didn’t know: The Diamondbacks and Astros hook up for an intriguing interleague series in Phoenix this weekend. It’s premature to call this a World Series preview although both squads have reached the 20-win plateau along with the Red Sox and Yankees. Arizona has done most of its damage in series openers by putting together a remarkable 9-1 record in Game 1’s, although the D-backs are huge underdogs against Astros' ace Gerrit Cole.

Biggest public favorite: Astros (-190) at Diamondbacks

Biggest public underdog: Rockies (+115) at Mets

Biggest line move: Mariners (+120 to +112) vs. Angels

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

We may be compensated by the company links provided on this page. Read more

MLB News