Wednesday’s Diamond Notes

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Hottest team: Astros (12-1 last 13)

In spite of Houston having its 12-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday by Tampa Bay, the Astros are still the hottest squad in the game. Houston was listed as a favorite of at least -200 for the fifth straight game but couldn’t produce enough offense in a 2-1 defeat on Tuesday, while scoring below four runs for the first time in 13 games. The Astros also saw their eight-game OVER streak come to an end as Justin Verlander was denied his 10th win of the season.

Houston still has an opportunity to post another lengthy winning streak when it concludes its series with Tampa Bay, followed by home series against Kansas City and Toronto. Charlie Morton heads to the mound in Wednesday’s rubber match, seeking his ninth win of the season for Houston. The right-hander is coming off a 7-3 road victory over Kansas City his last time out, as the Astros own a 4-1 mark when Morton takes the mound as a favorite of -200 or higher.

Coldest team: Royals (0-8 last eight)

Kansas City is riding an eight-game losing streak following Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to Texas. What’s even more amazing is that seven of those defeats have come at home, including four to last-place squads like the Rangers and Reds. If it wasn’t for Baltimore’s disastrous campaign at 20-51, Kansas City would own the worst record in baseball, as the Royals have been outscored on this homestand, 46-14.

The Royals look to avoid another home sweep as Jakob Junis heads to the hill against the Rangers. Junis hasn’t won a start in his last four appearances, while getting lit up in his past two outings against Oakland and Houston by allowing 12 earned runs and 17 hits in 10.2 innings of work. To make matters worse, Kansas City has compiled a dreadful 3-16 record in Game 3’s this season, including a 1-11 mark off a loss.

Hottest pitcher: Brent Suter, Brewers (7-4, 4.30 ERA)

Milwaukee snapped a three-game skid on Tuesday by holding off Pittsburgh, 3-2. Suter has been on fire over the last month as the Brewers have won five of his previous six starts, while coming off back-to-back blowouts of the Phillies. Suter delivered a season-high seven innings and allowed one run in a 13-2 home rout of Philadelphia last Friday, but it was only the second time in his career that he tossed seven innings. The Brewers won two of Suter’s three starts against the Pirates last season, including a 3-0 shutout last September.

Coldest pitcher: Andrew Cashner, Orioles (2-8, 4.98 ERA)

Baltimore built a 5-1 lead over rival Washington on Tuesday only to see that advantage disappear in a 9-7 setback. The Orioles dropped their fourth game in four tries to the Nationals this season, while stumbling to 9-27 on the road. Cashner will try to turn around his recent misfortune as the Orioles are winless in his past three starts, while scoring a total of three runs in those contests. The right-hander hasn’t pitched too poorly by putting together nearly identical stat-lines against the Blue Jays and Yankees as he allowed nine hits and three earned runs in six innings each time. Also noteworthy is the 6-0 UNDER streak Cashner is riding in his past six trips to the mound.

Biggest OVER run: Phillies (9-2 last 11)

Philadelphia has been involved in a pair of wild games with St. Louis so far in its three-game series. The Phillies squandered a 4-0 lead on Monday only to rally past the Cardinals in 10 innings, 6-5 and cash the OVER of 8 ½. Philadelphia couldn’t hold onto another two-run advantage on Tuesday as St. Louis came back for a 7-6 win, as the Phillies have allowed 21 runs in the last three games. Jake Arrieta hits the hill this afternoon in the rubber match, looking for a better performance after getting tagged for eight runs in 3.1 innings of a 13-2 setback at Milwaukee.

Biggest UNDER run: Yankees (14-0 last 14)

(Double-dose of Yankees alert) The Bronx Bombers unloaded on the Mariners last night, 7-2, thanks to four home runs. However, New York maintained its incredible UNDER run as the total of 9 ½ was threatened, but never busted. The pitching staff has allowed eight runs in the past five games, while the lineup reached the seven-run mark for the first time in 12 games. The last time the Yankees cashed an OVER came back on June 4 at Detroit in the first game of a doubleheader.

Matchup to watch: Mariners vs. Yankees

The Yankees and Red Sox continue to be a two-horse race atop the American League East and will be for the next three months. New York sits alone atop the division after Tuesday’s victory over Seattle and Boston’s loss at Minnesota. The Bronx Bombers improved to 15-4 over the last 19 games, while Giancarlo Stanton was one of four Yankees to go deep in Tuesday’s win.

The Mariners are facing their third straight potential playoff opponent after a 5-2 homestand against the Angels and Red Sox. Seattle suffered its second loss in the last seven road series openers, but remained two games behind Houston in the AL West after the Astros were tripped up by the Rays.

Felix Hernandez tries to fix his road woes as the Seattle right-hander owns a bloated 7.71 ERA away from Safeco Field this season. Hernandez hasn’t had much luck with the Yankees the last few seasons the Mariners have lost three of his past four starts against New York.

Rookie Jonathan Loaisiga makes his second career start for New York, as he tossed five scoreless innings in his Major League debut against Tampa Bay last Friday in a 5-0 shutout. The Yankees look to continue their recent ownership of the Mariners as they have won seven of the past nine meetings dating back to 2016.

Betcha didn’t know: The Rockies held off the Mets on Tuesday, 10-8 to snap an eight-game losing streak at Coors Field. Colorado has won two consecutive home games against an opponent only twice this season, coming against San Francisco in late May and San Diego in late April.

Biggest public favorite: Indians (-290) vs. White Sox

Biggest public underdog: Braves (+130) at Blue Jays

Biggest line move: Reds (-120 to -128) vs. Tigers

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