Wednesday’s Diamond Notes

Hottest team: Mariners (8-0 last eight)

Seattle started its recent east coast road swing by dropping five of six games against New York and Boston. However, the Mariners found their footing against struggling Baltimore by sweeping the Orioles to conclude the trip. Seattle returned home and pulled out the brooms on Kansas City in a three-game sweep and followed that up with a 4-1 victory over the Angels on Tuesday to extend its winning streak to eight games.

The Mariners’ pitching staff has yielded two runs or less five times during this current hot streak as Mike Leake heads to the mound today. Seattle owns a terrific 9-1 record in Leake’s last 10 starts, although the only loss in this stretch came in his past home start against Boston on June 17 as he allowed five runs in a 9-3 defeat. The Mariners have had the Angels’ number this season by capturing five of seven matchups, although all seven games have been played at Safeco Field.

Coldest team: Twins (2-10 last 12)

Minnesota concludes a disastrous road trip this afternoon at Miller Park in Milwaukee as the Twins look to avoid the sweep against the Brewers. The Twins have posted a 1-7 record on their current away swing, including five straight losses to the NL Central opponents. After allowing 35 runs in a three-game sweep by the Cubs last weekend, the Twins jumped out to a 5-1 lead in Monday’s opener at Milwaukee before falling in extra innings, 6-5. Minnesota’s offense didn’t show up in Tuesday’s 2-0 shutout loss, as the Twins dropped to 5-16 in their past 21 games away from Target Field.

Staff ace Jose Berrios tries to turn things around for Minnesota as the right-hander is coming off a shaky performance in a 10-6 loss to the Cubs last Friday. Berrios was tagged for a season-high six runs in 4.1 innings, as the Twins fell to 1-5 in his past six road starts. Berrios is facing the Brewers for the first time in his career, as Minnesota owns a 4-2 record this season after he allowed four runs or more in his previous outing.

Hottest pitcher: Lance McCullers, Jr., Astros (9-3, 3.55 ERA)

Houston picked up its seventh consecutive win against Texas last night and the fifth straight victory in Arlington, 5-3. That win snapped a three-game skid as the Astros turn to McCullers, who is unbeaten in his last six trips to the mound. McCullers has put together six consecutive quality starts since allowing seven runs in an 8-6 loss at Cleveland in late May, including seven scoreless innings in a 1-0 victory at Tampa Bay his last time out. The right-hander faced the Rangers back on May 31 in Arlington, striking out 10 in a 9-3 win as a nearly -200 favorite.

Coldest pitcher: Dylan Covey, White Sox (3-3, 4.82 ERA)

Covey pulled off a pair of solid underdog victories over the Red Sox and Indians in early June, but has trended backwards recently. The Chicago right-hander has allowed 18 runs (16 earned) in his last three outings, while not lasting past the fifth inning in any of those starts. The Rangers knocked around Covey to the tune of nine runs and eight hits in 2.1 innings of an 11-3 blowout of the White Sox last Friday. Chicago finishes off its three-game series at Cincinnati as the White Sox rallied past the Reds on Tuesday in extra innings, 12-8.

Biggest OVER run: Dodgers (8-3 last 11)

The Dodgers have crushed the Pirates in each of the first two games of their series at Chavez Ravine by a combined score of 25-4. Los Angeles followed up a 17-1 rout on Monday by beating Pittsburgh, 8-3 on Tuesday, as the offense has woken up since plating a total of two runs in a pair of losses to Colorado last weekend. The Dodgers are in the midst of a 20-game stretch in which they don’t leave southern California as they face the rival Angels this weekend in Anaheim, followed by a four-game set at San Diego. Rich Hill heads to the mound against the Pirates seeking the three-game sweep tonight, as the Dodgers’ southpaw has hit the UNDER in two of his last three starts, while no-hitting Pittsburgh through nine innings last season before allowing a walk-off homer in the 10th inning of a 1-0 defeat at PNC Park.

Biggest UNDER run: Phillies (7-1 last eight)

Philadelphia’s pitching staff has stepped up of late by allowing three runs or fewer in five of the past six games. Yes, the Phillies yielded 17 runs to the Nationals last Friday, but Philadelphia has rebounded by giving up seven runs in the past three games combined. In this stretch, the offense hasn’t been spectacular by scoring four runs or fewer in seven of the previous eight contests, but the Phillies have managed to post a 5-1 record in the last six games. The Phillies turn to their ace on the mound this afternoon as Aaron Nola is unbeaten in eight home starts, while owning a 1.77 ERA at Citizens Bank Park. At home, the Phillies are 5-2-1 to the UNDER in Nola’s eight starts, including a 4-1 mark in the last five outings at Citizens Bank Park.

Matchup to watch: Giants vs. Rockies

The NL West race continues to be extremely competitive with the Diamondbacks owning a 1 ½-game edge over the Dodgers heading into Independence Day. The two teams sitting behind Arizona and Los Angeles are right in the mix as Colorado seeks a three-game sweep of San Francisco at Coors Field. The Rockies rallied past the Giants on Monday, 5-2, followed by an 8-1 pounding on Tuesday to improve to 5-2 in the past seven games.

Colorado sends out southpaw Tyler Anderson to the mound tonight as looks to fix his bloated 5.26 ERA at home this season. The Rockies own a dreadful 1-6 record in Anderson’s seven starts at Coors Field, but he was solid in his last appearance (on the road) against the Dodgers last Friday in a 3-1 victory as a nearly +150 underdog. Anderson didn’t fare well in his last start against San Francisco on May 20 as he allowed five runs in 5.1 innings of a 9-5 defeat.

Another left-hander heads to the hill as Andrew Suarez takes the ball for the Giants. Suarez has overcome a tough start to his rookie season by giving up two earned runs or less in four consecutive outings, while beating Arizona as a road underdog his last time out. The southpaw picked up a no-decision in a 6-5 loss at Coors Field on May 28, in spite of striking out seven in five innings of work.

Betcha didn’t know: The Mets have been terrible recently (Betcha did know that). New York squandered a 6-1 lead in Tuesday’s 8-6 loss at Toronto to fall to 2-11 in the last 13 games, while allowing at least five runs in each of their past six road defeats. The Mets have put together an 8-19 record in Game 2’s of a series this season, including a 1-9 mark in their last 10 in this situation on the road.

Biggest public favorite: Cubs (-225) vs. Tigers

Biggest public underdog: Giants (+115) at Rockies

Biggest line move: Twins (-105 to -112) at Brewers

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