Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM

Friday's Diamond Notes

Hottest team: Rockies (8-2 last 10)

The only division in baseball that showcases four teams with at least 50 wins at the All-Star break is the National League West. Arizona and Colorado hook up at Chase Field for a weekend set after the Rockies won the final five contests of a six-game homestand. Following a loss to the Diamondbacks in the opener, the Rockies captured the last two games, including a 19-2 blowout in Game 2 of that set. Colorado swept Seattle to finish 5-1 on the season against the Mariners, while owning a 5-2 mark in its past seven road contests.

In Friday’s opener, right-hander German Marquez will look to keep Colorado’s win streak alive. Marquez owns a 3-0 record in his last three starts, including an easy victory in that 17-run blowout of Arizona last Wednesday. The Rockies have won six of Marquez’s nine road assignments this season, including a victory at Chase Field as a +130 underdog on March 31.

Coldest team: Brewers (0-6 last six)

It’s a bitter taste in the mouths of the Brewers, who finished a promising first half with a thud. Milwaukee put together a successful 6-1 homestand to start July, but lost two of three at Miami, followed by getting swept in a rare five-game series at Pittsburgh. In the finale of the Pirates’ series, the Brewers squandered a late three-run lead in an extra-innings setback as Milwaukee has dropped into second place of the NL Central behind surging Chicago.

The task doesn’t get easier for the Brew Crew, who welcome in another hot squad in the Dodgers to Miller Park this weekend. Manny Machado is set to make his Dodgers’ debut after getting acquired by the Orioles on Thursday and he will help lead a lineup against Milwaukee southpaw Wade Miley. In three starts this season, the Brewers are 2-1 with Miley on the bump, while coming off a loss at Pittsburgh last Thursday in his previous outing.

Hottest pitcher: Dallas Keuchel, Astros (7-8, 3.75 ERA)

Three seasons removed from claiming the AL Cy Young award, Keuchel owns a 30-25 record since 2016. Following a rocky start to this season, Keuchel is returning to ace form by winning three consecutive starts. Even though those victories came against below .500 squads in the White Sox, Rangers, and Tigers, Keuchel has allowed three earned runs in the last 19 innings of work, while Houston has compiled a 6-1 mark in his past seven starts. Keuchel will be tested by a tough Angels’ club on Friday in Anaheim, as he has not faced L.A. this season, but Houston won both his starts against the Halos in 2017.

Coldest pitcher: Clayton Richard, Padres (7-8, 4.43 ERA)

San Diego won five consecutive starts made by the left-hander from late May through June. However, the Padres have dropped three of Richard’s last four starts, while allowing 15 runs in the past 24 innings of work. Richard had the unfortunate task of taking the mound for six consecutive road starts prior to a no-decision in a home defeat to the Cubs last weekend. The good news for Richard is the Padres won both of his starts against the Phillies last season, including a complete-game shutout at Petco Park last August.

Biggest OVER run: Reds (8-0 last eight)

Cincinnati returns home for the first time since July 4 as the Reds are coming off eight consecutive OVERS to finish off a nine-game road swing. Cincinnati’s offense continues to put up strong numbers since June as the Reds have scored four runs or more in 13 of the past 14 games. The Reds welcome in the rival Pirates on Friday as right-hander Tyler Mahle looks to bounce back after getting tagged for seven runs in 2.1 innings of a 19-4 drubbing at Cleveland last Wednesday.

Biggest UNDER run: Diamondbacks (6-1 last seven)

Arizona’s offense busted out for a 20-run performance against San Diego on July 7. In the last seven games combined, the D-backs have plated a total of 17 runs, including only six runs in a series victory at Atlanta prior to the All-Star break. The D-backs received a pair of terrific pitching performances in the first two wins over the Braves behind the Zack G connection of Zack Godley and Zack Greinke as they limited Atlanta to one run. Arizona has lost three consecutive home openers, while scoring three runs or less in each of those contests as the D-backs host the Rockies.

Matchup to watch: Giants vs. Athletics

The Bay Bridge Series continues in the East Bay after Oakland captured two of the first three matchups at San Francisco prior to the All-Star break. After getting blown out in the opener, 7-1, the A’s outscored the Giants, 10-5 in the final two games to close the first half with an incredible 15-4 record in their last 19 contests.

With the venue shifting to the Oakland Coliseum, rookie right-hander Dereck Rodriguez tries to stay on fire for San Francisco. Rodriguez is unbeaten in his last five starts, while tossing three scoreless innings in a 5-4 extra-innings triumph over the Cubs on July 11. Rodriguez is making his first start since July 6, as he has allowed three earned runs in his last three starts (20 innings pitched).

Edwin Jackson is pitching for his 14th team in his 16th season as the veteran right-hander was on the losing end of a 7-1 defeat to Madison Bumgarner and the Giants last Friday night. Jackson wasn’t bad as he yielded two earned runs for the third straight start, but the offense couldn’t get going against Bumgarner. The A’s look to improve on a 6-1 record in their past seven home contests, while splitting a pair of home matchups with the Giants last season.

Betcha didn’t know: The Yankees have grabbed six of the last seven matchups with the Mets in the “Subway Series” since the start of 2017. Granted, the Bronx Bombers didn’t face Noah Syndergaard in any of those games, as the Mets’ right-hander heads to the mound on Friday night at Yankee Stadium. Syndergaard hasn’t seen the Yankees since a 5-0 home loss in 2015, while “Thor” last won as a road underdog in 2016 against the Cubs.

Biggest public favorite: Mariners (-205) vs. White Sox

Biggest public underdog: Angels (+115) vs. Astros

Biggest line move: Indians (-175 to -190) at Rangers

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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