Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:03 PM
Thursday's Diamond Notes
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Hottest team: Reds (9-1, +1010 last 10)
Cincinnati used a three-run seventh inning in yesterday's 6-5 win over Atlanta, capitalizing on a huge error and going ahead on a huge 2-run single from Adam Duvall to win a third consecutive series. No team has more wins than Cincinnati over their last 10 games and
Jim Riggleman has managed the Reds to a 31-31 mark since taking over for Bryan Price and has seen his offense score at least five runs in every one of their victories on this run. Cincy hasn't been shut out since May 19. The Brewers come into Great American Ballpark on top of the Central Division and have won five straight in this series after losing the first meeting of the season. Anthony DeSclafani, who has won three straight starts and helped his own cause with a grand slam against the Cubs will be opposed by Milwaukee's Junior Guerra. C
Coldest team: Tigers (0-8 last 8)
After squandering a 6-0 lead against the A's in a 9-7 loss on Tuesday, Detroit failed to even score in managing just three hits against Chris Bassitt and two relievers. The Tigers have been outscored 57-21 during this season-long stretch of defeats.
The Tigers hit lefties pretty well and will look to spoil a nice run from Oakland southpaw Sean Manaea, who is 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA this month. Ace Michael Fulmer has Detroit as a pick'em (+100) and has a rested arm after getting seven days of rest since his last start. He's 2-0 against the A's in his career, allowing a single run in 15.2 innings. Each of the Tigers' losses has come as an underdog. They fired pitching coach Chris Bosio on Wednesday as their nightmare of a season continued.
Hottest pitcher: Aaron Nola, Phillies (9-2, 2.58 ERA)
The Phillies took two of three in D.C. over the weekend and will look for more success against the NL East rival Nats as they send their ace to the hill. He allowed just two runs in six innings against Washington on Saturday and is 8-1 since mid-April. Nola has been fantastic at home, sporting a 6-0 record with a 1.86 ERA at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies are a -145 favorite in Game 1 of this four-game series.
Coldest pitcher: Jake Odorizzi, Twins (3-5, 4.97 ERA)
Although the over didn't get there for the Twins and White Sox on Wednesday, look for Chicago to snap out of its funk. Odorizzi has an ERA near 5.00 and often loses focus. He'll be matched up with a resurgent Lucas Giolito, who will hope to keep the slumping Twins bats silent. Minnesota has scored two or fewer runs in four of its last six, so Odorizzi may have his work cut out for him..
Biggest OVER run: Cubs (5-1 last six)
Catcher Willson Contreras homered and drove in three runs, but the early lead he helped the Cubs gain didn't hold up as L.A. used the long ball to pull away for a 7-5 win. Chicago pitching has allowed six or more runs in five of seven games, a run they're hoping Jose Quintana can end. The Colombian lefty has history on his side, having allowed no runs in 14 career innings against the Dodgers. Clayton Kershaw, who returned from the DL on Saturday, will pitch for L.A. This total has been set at 7.5.
Biggest UNDER run: Rays (11-3 last 14)
Following a day off to prepare for the defending champs, the Rays (5-0, +750 last 5, 7-2, +980 last 9) will look for a third straight shutout as they said Ryne Stanek out to open another game they plan on tackling with a bullpen-by-committee approach. Tampa Bay pitching has allowed one or fewer runs in eight of its last 14 games, fueling a profitable run if you've been riding the low-side in Rays games. Tampa native Lance McCullers, Jr. will pitch for the Astros and is in great form but is 0-2 with an ERA of 6.00 at Tropicana Field. This total has been set at 7.5.
Matchup to watch: Red Sox vs. Angels
Only Detroit has a longer losing streak than the Halos, who gave up a six-run second inning on Wednesday, tied things up in the seventh and immediately fell behind Boston again. If they're swept here, the Angels will fall back to .500 and reach a new season-low in losing a sixth straight. L.A. is 4-12 over its last 16 games.
The Red Sox moved back ahead of the Yankees by a half-game in the AL East and tied Houston atop baseball with 54 wins. A sweep would be their first since May 28-30 and be the perfect springboard entering this weekend's huge three-game set in the Bronx against the idle Yankees, who are hoping an Angels assist will help even up the division entering Friday night's series opener.
Boston will send lefty reliever Brian Johnson (1-2, 4.50) out there for his second start of the season due to knuckleballer Stephen Wright landing on the disabled list. Johnson, a former first-round pick, has a 3-1 mark as a major league starter in seven outings. Angels hitters are just 2-for-15 against him. He should get run support given that J.D. Martinez has been so hot this month, batting .356 with seven of his 25 homers and 17 of his 64 RBI.
Angels rookie Jaime Barria (5-3, 3.40) will be squaring off against Boston for the first time and is looking to snap a personal two-game losing streak after walking a career-worst four hitters in Saturday's 4-1 loss to Toronto. Following Boston's 9-6 win, the Sox have won all five meetings against the Angels this season, outscoring them 45-10.
Betcha didn’t know: The Orioles send Jimmy Yacabonis (0-0, 15.34) to the mound in place of the injured Dylan Bundy. It will be his first major league start after surrendering four runs in two relief appearances this season. Although he came up last month and made 14 career appearances out of the 'pen last season, he's been working as a starter after serving as a closer in the minors in the past. Yacobonis has only pitched more than two innings once in the bigs but is 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA over his last six starts with Triple-A Norfolk, emerging as an International League All-Star. He's only faced one current Mariners hitter, Denard Span, who drew a walk.
Biggest public favorite: Mariners (-140) at Orioles
Biggest public underdog: Rockies (+100) vs. Giants
Biggest line move: Angels (+138 to +115) at Red Sox
Follow Tony Mejia on Twitter at @TonyMejiaNBA or e-mail him at [email protected]