Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM

Friday's Diamond Notes

Editor's Note: Antony Dinero went 5-1 ATS on Thursday. He has hit three consecutive guaranteed winners and is +786 on MLB Underdog picks in 2018. Don't miss out on more winners from him this baseball season on Click to win!

Hottest team: Rangers (5-0 last five)

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that this is the first time all season that Texas has taken up residence in this spot. The Rangers hadn't even won four straight games until earlier this week, registering their first three-game sweep in taking down Kansas City.

Following a day off, the Rangers open a series against the Twins, making their lone stop of the season in Minneapolis. The Rangers went 3-4 against Minnesota last season and are an underdog against rookie Fernando Romero. Lefty Mike Minor was on the mound to open Texas' winning streak against Colorado on Saturday, snapping a seven-game skid. He's never started against Minnesota but has an 8.14 road ERA.

Coldest team: Royals (0-9 last nine, 1-15 last 16)

In addition to being swept by lowly Texas, Kansas City has also had the brooms broken out against it by the Astros and Reds. After completing a winless homestand, the Royals hit the road to face Houston. They were outscored 24-9 by the Astros over the weekend.

Kansas City also dropped nine straight in April, opening 3-14. It also lost nine games last season but hasn't had a skid reach double-digits since losing 12 in a row in 2012. Danny Duffy will attempt to stop the bleeding against fellow lefty Dallas Keuchel, who picked up his first victory since May 13 last time out with 10-2 win on Saturday in K.C. Royals catcher Salvador Perez is just 2-for-21 against him in career meetings.

Hottest pitcher: Clayton Richard (6-6, 4.31 ERA)

Over his last seven starts, Richard is 5-1 with a 2.98 ERA and a WHIP of 0.95. He flirted with a no-hitter in Miami and comes off a road win in Atlanta to move his June record to 3-0. Be warned, however, that Richard had his shortest start of the season against the Giants, surrendering a season-worst seven runs and eight hits in just four innings. He's 0-3 against San Francisco since returning to San Diego for this second stint with the team, so there are eight Giants batting .400 or better against him over their careers.

Coldest pitcher: Alex Cobb, Orioles (2-9, 7.14 ERA)

This weekend's lone interleague series begins in Atlanta with Cobb looking to avoid becoming the first pitcher to lose 10 games on the season. After allowing just two hits over six innings in a win over the Mets to open June in building off a decent May, Cobb has surrendered 14 runs and four homers in 10.2 innings, suffering losses against the Jays and Marlins as his ERA crept back up over 7.00. He closed April with the number at 13.11. The Braves will send lefty Sean Newcomb (8-2, 2.70) to the mound and are heavily favored (-190).

Biggest OVER run: Rockies (16-3-1 last 20)

The Mets brought the tying run to the plate after pulling within 6-4 of Colorado in Thursday's ninth inning. They failed to do any more damage, so the game stayed 'under' the posted total of 11.5. The low side has not prevailed in consecutive games involving the Rockies since May 26-27. There has only been one instance in a 24-game span where Colorado and its opponent failed to combine for at least nine runs, which doesn't bode well for tonight's starters, Miami's Wei-Yin Chen and Jon Gray. The total has been set at 11.5.

Biggest UNDER run: Yankees (15-1 last 16)

New York's 'under' run has been a reliable money maker in June and prevailed yesterday despite four first-inning runs when the Mariners failed to rally in the late innings. The lone 'over' in the run came as a result of New York's comeback from a 5-0 deficit on Wednesday, a game the Bombers won 7-5 on a Giancarlo Stanton walk-off blast. The Yankees are 7-1 over their last eight and 17-4 since May 31, holding teams to four or fewer runs in all but three of those contests. The Rays managed just seven runs over four games against the Yanks last weekend, winning only the series finale to avoid being swept. Tampa Bay has seen the 'under' prevail in eight of its last nine and will use its bullpen approach here, sending out Ryne Stanek as the opener. C.C. Sabathia (4-2, 3.30) is coming off his longest outing of the season, striking out 10 Rays in a tough-luck 3-1 loss. Tonight's total opened at 8 but is down to 7.5 at a few shops.

Matchup to watch: Mariners at Red Sox

This would be your AL Wild Card game if the season ended today. Obviously, there are still nearly 90 games left, but given that the teams just split a four-game set at Safeco Field just last week in a series that featured three one-run games, this is by the most compelling show the American League is offering up over the next few days.

Knuckleballer Steven Wright and soft-tossing lefty Wade LeBlanc hooked up last Saturday night in a 1-0 game that Mariners captured. LeBlanc, a pitch-to-contact guy, struck out nine and walked none, while Wright worked seven innings in suffering a hard-luck loss.

Boston avoided being swept by the Twins on Thursday afternoon, breaking open a tight game late before cruising to a 9-2 win to end a 10-game road trip at 6-4. Seattle was swept for the first time all season in the Bronx, failing to rally after ace James Paxton surrendered all the runs New York would score in the first inning of a 4-3 afternoon loss.

These teams split last season's six meetings, but Seattle won two of three at Fenway. The 'under' is 7-3 in their last 10 head-to-head matchups.

Betcha didn’t know: The A's will be playing their first doubleheader of 2018, while the host White Sox will be playing their third. Based on the pitching matchups, Oakland is likely to be favored in both games. The A's haven't played in many twinbills this decade but are coming off a sweep in their most recent one. Last September, Oakland routed Houston at home by a combined margin of 22-5.

Oakland is looking to set a franchise record in Game 1, having hit home runs in 21 straight road games to even a mark set back in July-Sept of 2013. Meanwhile, Chicago has played at least one doubleheader per season since 2007 but have dropped seven in a row overall. Check the weather forecast since more showers are a possibility.

Biggest public favorite: Cubs (-130) at Reds

Biggest public underdog: Royals (+270) at Astros

Biggest line move: Reds (+138 to +115) vs. Cubs

Follow Tony Mejia on Twitter at @TonyMejiaNBA or e-mail him at [email protected]

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