Wednesday’s Diamond NotesHottest team: Diamondbacks (11-3 last 14)
After living in the “coldest team” category for most of May, Arizona has vaulted to the “hot” category in June. The D-backs’ offense has been the reason for this recent surge by scoring 51 runs in the last five victories, including 22 in the first two wins in their series against the Pirates. Arizona jumped out to a 6-0 lead over Pittsburgh in the first inning of Wednesday’s 13-8 triumph, while improving to 7-1 in the past eight games at Chase Field.
Zack Greinke takes the ball this afternoon as Arizona seeks the home sweep. Greinke continues to be dominant at Chase Field this season by posting a 3-0 record to go along with a 1.64 ERA at home, while the D-backs own 5-2 record in his home outings. Arizona can build upon its three-game advantage of Los Angeles in the NL West this weekend as the D-backs welcome in the struggling Mets.
Coldest team: Rockies (2-9 last 11)
It wasn’t long ago the Colorado sat atop the NL West race, but the Rockies have slipped of late by losing five straight games. The Rockies’ pitching has caused this descent after getting swept at home by both the Dodgers and Diamondbacks this month, while allowing double-digit runs four times. Colorado fell behind Philadelphia on Tuesday, 5-1 prior to rallying late in a 5-4 loss to the Phillies.
The Rockies send out Tyler Anderson to the mound tonight as the left-hander is winless in his last four starts. Anderson is coming off a quality outing in his previous start at Cincinnati by scattering five hits and allowing two earned runs in seven innings of an extra-innings walk-off loss. Anderson has fared well recently as a road underdog as the Rockies have won his last two starts as a heavy 'dog against the Cubs and Nationals.
Hottest pitcher: Jose Berrios, Twins (7-5, 3.66 ERA)
Berrios has rebounded since a rough first five weeks of the season as Minnesota has won four of his past five starts. The right-hander has yielded two earned runs or less in four of his previous five outings, while coming off a complete-game victory against the White Sox in his last trip to the mound. Granted, Minnesota’s last four wins that Berrios has taken the ball have all come at Target Field, as he faces the Tigers at Comerica Park tonight. Berrios shut down the Tigers the last time he saw them on May 21 in a 4-2 home victory by giving up three hits in eight innings and striking out nine batters.
Coldest pitcher: Nick Pivetta, Phillies (4-5, 3.76 ERA)
Pivetta was rolling along in May by winning three straight starts, while striking out 25 batters in this stretch. However, Pivetta has gone backwards of late by failing to win in his last three trips to the mound, including road losses to the Cubs and Giants. The right-hander hasn’t lasted past the fifth inning in any of these three starts, while the Phillies’ offense hasn’t provided much run support by scoring three runs or less in Pivetta’s past four outings. Pivetta will try to turn things around against the Rockies, who enter Wednesday’s action owning a 3-6 record in their last nine road games.
Biggest OVER run: Dodgers (9-1 last 10)
Since dropping six straight games to the Reds and Marlins in May, the Dodgers have picked things up and starting to look like the defending National League champions. Los Angeles is riding an 18-6 run over the last 24 games, while scoring at least five runs in each of its past 11 victories. The Dodgers crushed the Rangers on Tuesday, 12-5, marking the eighth time in 10 June games that Los Angeles has plated at least seven runs. Kenta Maeda takes the mound for the Dodgers tonight as he lasted less than two innings in a 6-1 loss to the Phillies his last time out. Maeda has seen the UNDER hit in five of his past seven starts, while the UNDER is 4-1-1 in his six home outings this season.
Biggest UNDER run: White Sox (10-1 last 11)
Chicago has showed some competitive juices of late by capturing two of three as heavy underdogs at Boston last weekend, while splitting the first two games against Cleveland. The White Sox went deep twice in the first inning of Tuesday’s 5-1 rout of the Indians, as Chicago has allowed four runs or less in nine of the past 10 games. Narrowing that number down in this stretch, Sox pitching has yielded two runs or fewer five times, but Chicago’s inconsistent offense has scored two runs or less five times in the last 10 contests. Dylan Covey has been solid of late for Chicago by allowing one run in his last two starts, while the Sox beat the Red Sox and Brewers in the underdog role.
Matchup to watch: Nationals vs. Yankees
Washington and New York are two teams that may see each other in October for the Fall Classic, as the two teams are hooking up in interleague action this season. However, the first matchup in D.C. back in May was suspended in the sixth inning due to massive rain, while the second game was washed out the following night. The first official matchup between these heavyweights took place in the Bronx on Tuesday as the Yankees blanked the Nationals, 3-0, highlighted by a pair of home runs from shortstop Didi Gregorious.
The Yankees are facing their third straight tough opponent at home after capturing series victories in late May against the Angels and Astros. Sonny Gray has been on fire of late for New York as the right-hander has allowed one earned run and six hits in his last two starts against the Orioles and Blue Jays on the road. The Yankees won each of those games, but Gray has been tagged for 10 runs in his last two home outings, losses to the Angels and Athletics.
The Nationals have been blanked in consecutive games, while right fielder Bryce Harper was plunked twice in last night’s loss. Harper looks to play tonight as Washington sends out right-hander Erick Fedde to the mound trying to slow down the Yankees. Fedde makes his second start of the season, as he lost to the Padres as a -145 home favorite last month, 3-1 in spite of striking out six batters in 5.2 innings of work.
Betcha didn’t know: It’s a special night for Giants’ left-hander Andrew Suarez, who makes his first start in his hometown of Miami in his short career. Suarez, who attended high school in Miami and pitched at the University of Miami, is seeking his third win of the season. The Giants have lost the first two games of their series with the Marlins, but San Francisco has won each of Suarez’s last two starts against Washington and Philadelphia.
Biggest public favorite: Cardinals (-200) vs. Padres
Biggest public underdog: Royals (+105) vs. Reds
Biggest line move: Indians (-173 to -180) at White Sox
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.
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