Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:04 AM

Friday's Diamond Notes

Hottest team: Astros (9-2 last 11)

Houston improved to 3-1 against Cleveland this season (and in the last week) following Thursday’s 8-2 blowout of the Indians at Progressive Field. Charlie Morton topped Mike Clevinger for the second time in less than a week as the Astros’ right-hander tossed six innings to cash as a short road favorite. Houston’s pitching continues to dominate as the Astros’ staff has yielded two runs or less in six of the past seven games, while improving to 6-1 in the previous seven contests away from Minute Maid Park.

It’s a matchup of Cy Young winners on Friday as Dallas Keuchel opposes Corey Kluber on the mound. Keuchel lost to Kluber last Saturday in Houston, 5-4 as the Houston southpaw was tagged for three runs in the first inning. Keuchel struggled on the road to begin the season by losing his first three away starts, but is coming off wins against the White Sox and A’s, while Houston outscored those opponents, 26-3.

Coldest team: Diamondbacks (1-13 last 14)

Time flies in a Major League Baseball season as Arizona was cruising atop the NL West by starting 24-11. The D-backs reached that mark on May 8 with an extra innings win against the Dodgers, but have won only once since and have fallen out of first place. Arizona has been swept in three of the past four series, including dropping all three games at Milwaukee and scoring a total of four runs.

During their current seven-game losing streak, the D-backs have scored more than two runs once, while topping the two-run mark three times in the last 14 games. Arizona continues its disastrous road trip by traveling out west to face Oakland as Patrick Corbin hopes to get the D-backs on track. Corbin is winless in his last four starts since Arizona began the season at 5-1 in his six trips to the mound.

Hottest pitcher: Luis Severino, Yankees (7-1, 2.35 ERA)

New York returns home after dropping two of three at Texas, while blowing a four-run lead in Wednesday’s 12-10 loss. The Yankees host the Angels on Friday as New York looks to improve to 10-1 this season when Severino takes the mound. Severino has compiled seven consecutive quality starts, while being listed as a favorite of -200 or more in each of his past three outings. The right-hander picked up a no-decision against the Angels in Anaheim last month in a 4-3 win as Severino yielded five hits and three earned runs in seven innings.

Coldest pitcher: Jose Urena, Marlins (0-7, 4.55 ERA)

Urena is the only pitcher in baseball that has made at least 10 starts and his team has yet to win when he heads to the hill. Miami owns an 0-10 record in Urena’s 10 outings, including an 0-7 mark at Marlins Park. Urena hasn’t been terrible in spite of his overall numbers, as he has allowed three earned runs or less in four of his past five starts. However, the run support has been horrible for Urena, as the Marlins have scored three runs or less in eight of his 10 outings. Urena and the Marlins host the Nationals as the right-hander was winless in a pair of starts against Washington last season.

Biggest OVER run: Yankees (7-2 last nine)

New York’s offense showed up in Arlington by scoring 10 runs in two of the three games. However, the Yankees’ pitching let them down by allowing 18 runs in the final two losses as New York dropped its first series since mid-April at Boston. The Yankees fell to 21-2 this season when scoring at least six runs in a game, as New York will try to get on track against the Angels. Andrew Heaney takes the ball for the Halos as he has allowed five earned runs in his last five starts.

Biggest UNDER run: Twins (8-3 last 11)

Minnesota’s three-game winning streak came to a halt in Wednesday’s 4-1 home setback to Detroit. However, the Twins extended their UNDER stretch to four consecutive games as they have allowed seven runs during this span. Minnesota travels to Seattle as two of their first three meetings this season have finished UNDER the total. Rookie Fernando Romero makes his fifth start for Minnesota as the right-hander has seen the UNDER cash in three of his first four outings. Romero didn’t allow a run in his first two starts, while giving up five runs in his past two trips to the mound.

Matchup to watch: Braves vs. Red Sox

Both Atlanta and Boston own slight edges at the top of their respective divisions as the two squads hook up at Fenway Park this weekend for an interleague series. The Red Sox failed to pull off a sweep of the Rays by falling at Tampa Bay on Thursday, 6-3. However, Boston has won six of its past eight games to jump New York for first place in the AL East.

Atlanta continues its road trip after dropping two of three at Philadelphia as the Braves were shut out in both losses. Julio Teheran heads to the hill for the Braves in the series opener at Boston as the right-hander has been knocked around in his last two starts. Teheran began May by tossing consecutive scoreless outings, but has allowed 10 earned runs in 11 innings of work against the Cubs and Marlins. Atlanta has posted an impressive 8-2 record with Teheran on the bump this season, including three consecutive wins away from SunTrust Park.

Eduardo Rodriguez counters for Boston, as he gone through plenty of ups and downs this season. Currently, Rodriguez is on the uptick by putting together two scoreless starts in his past three outings, while Boston has managed an 8-1 record with the southpaw on the mound this season. The Red Sox have won five of seven home series openers in 2018, while going 18-4 since the start of last season in interleague play.

Betcha didn’t know: The Rockies have vaulted to the top of the NL West in spite of losing four of the last five games. Thanks to Arizona’s recent meltdown, Colorado owns a half-game lead over the Diamondbacks heading into the weekend. The Rockies host the Reds, as Colorado looks to improve on a 6-2 record in its last eight series openers. However, the Rockies have compiled the least amount of home wins in the National League with seven victories at Coors Field compared to 11 defeats.

Biggest public favorite: Nationals (-250) at Marlins

Biggest public underdog: Royals (+135) at Rangers

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

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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