Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:03 PM
Editor's Note: Don't miss out on 30 days of Winning Baseball Picks from Joe Williams for the 2017-18 MLB regular season. Click to win!
|Streaky Teams (before Friday evening games)|
Astros All-Star SP Justin Verlander takes the ball against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Saturday afternoon in Southern California. He enjoyed his previous visit to the Big A this season, blanking the Halos in a complete-game shutout on May 16, allowing just five hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in a strong 118-pitch effort. That outing kicked off a season-best three-game winning streak for Verlander. He is currently mired in a slump, dropping three straight decisions over six winless started dating back to June 14 in Oakland. Verlander has been untouchable against division foes this season, going 5-0 with a 1.65 ERA in seven outings, all quality starts. He has allowed just nine earned runs and 27 hits with seven walks and 54 strikeouts over 49 innings inside the division this season.
|2018 Records in Extra Innings|
Saturday, July 21
The Yankees host the Mets in the continuing of the Subway Series in the Bronx. The Yankees are second in the majors behind the archrival Red Sox for best day-game record in baseball. Boston is a whopping 24-5 when the sun is out, while the New York finds itself 21-9, the only two teams in baseball with single-digit losses totals in the first-half during day games. The Mets limped to the finish line in the first half, posting a 10-21 record in their past 31 vs. RHP, while going 1-8 in their past nine interleague road outings. They're also 0-4 in Steven Matz's past four against AL West foes, and 7-15 in his past 22 against teams with a winning overall mark. The Yankees have dusted losing teams from the NL, going 9-2 in their past 11 interleague games against teams with a losing record, while winning 52 of their past 68 overall at home. They're also 35-16 in their past 51 vs. LHP.
The Braves and Nationals continue their series on Saturday night. Atlanta entered Friday's game with a 5-1 mark in their past six inside the division, but just 1-5 in their past six on the road. While they're 4-0 in Sean Newcomb's past four outings inside the division, the Braves are just 1-4 over his past five road outings and 0-5 in his past five starts overall. The good news for Newcomb is that the Nationals haven't handled the twig very well against left-handed pitching, going 2-6 in their past eight overall vs. LHP, including 1-4 in their past five at home against southpaws. However, they have been money lately with Gio Gonzalez on the bump, going 6-1 in his past seven outings at home, 4-1 in his past five inside the division and 6-1 in his past seven against winning teams, too.
The Giants head across the Oakland Bay Bridge to battle the Athletics, and even though it's a short trip it is a road game. San Francisco is a dismal 10-21 over their past 31 games on the road this season, while going a surprisingly poor 2-10 over Madison Bumgarner's past 12 assignments away from home. The good news is that the Giants are facing a right-hander, and they entered the second half going 20-6 across their past 26 vs. RHP. The A's went 6-1 over their past seven at home, while going 7-2 in their past nine vs. LHP. In addition, Oakland finished up the first half strong, winning 21 of 27 before the break. While they're just 1-4 over Trevor Cahill's past five outings, they're 6-2 in his past eight against the National League.
The winds will be blowing fiercely on Saturday, affecting totals all over baseball. The wind will be blowing in from the right-center field power alley into the face of the batters in the Mets-Yankees game, anywhere from 11-14 mph to knock down balls by left-handed hitters.
The wind will be blowing in at the friendly confines, too, blowing 13-16 mph in from left field to home plate, and the day kicks off with a 30 percent chance of rain, dwindling down as the day goes on. The same situation will be happening in the Motor City, as the Red Sox and Tigers battle 11-14 mph winds blowing from left field to home plate with an early chance of rain, tapering off by 7pm ET.
In Philadelphia, a postponement seems likely, with rain chances at or near 100 percent for most of the day. If they are able to avoid the raindrops, winds are blowing from 17-20 mph from right field to home plate. There is a 50 percent chance of rain in D.C., as the Braves and Nationals could have their game start a bit late. It will likely get in, however, and the winds will be humming from 13-16 mph from straightaway center field to home plate.
Thunderstorms will affect the Pirates-Reds at GABP, and the chances of precipitation are over 40 percent for the entire day. In Arlington, the Indians and Rangers will not be battling winds or rain, but high temperatures. Gametime temperature was 107 at first pitch on Friday, and is forecast to be 106 on Saturday night.
Lastly, in Oakland, the hitters for the Giants and Athletics will see a jetstream gusting from 14-17 mph out to right-center field.
Sunday, July 22
The Red Sox put their impressive day-game record on display in Motown in the series finale. All-Star starter Chris Sale takes the ball, and he is 3-1 with a 2.29 ERA in six day games with a stellar .146 opponent batting average across 35 1/3 innings. During that time he has struck out an amazing 59 batters in the six outings. He has yet to face the Tigers this season, but he is 4-3 with a 3.33 ERA over 10 starts with one complete game against the Tigers since the start of the 2015 season, racking up 69 strikeouts over 70 1/3 innings. For what it's worth, he is 1-3 with a 3.00 ERA in five outings at Comerica Park during that span.
Blue Jays All-Star JA Happ takes the ball at home against the Orioles, but he has rather curious splits this season. Happ is 4-2 with a 2.60 ERA with a .208 opponent batting average over 45 innings across eight road outings this season. However, he has a dismal 5.48 ERA with 12 homers allowed across 64 innings in 11 outings at Rogers Centre this season. The Orioles should be the elixir to cure his ills, however, as he is 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in two outings against Baltimore in the first half, striking out 12 over 13 innings while limiting the Birds to a .156 opponent batting average. Happ does come with risk, however, despite the dominance against Baltimore, as he is 0-3 with a 9.75 ERA in three July outings with the opposition hitting a gaudy .352 against him.
Jacob deGrom and Masahiro Tanaka will square off against each other in the Sunday Night Baseball game from the Bronx. It has been a strange season for deGrom, who is just one game over .500 (5-4) despite an impressive 1.68 ERA nad 0.97 WHIP. The All-Star has also logged 149 strikeouts over just 123 1/3 innings while surrendering just seven homers over his 19 starts. He faced the Bronx Bombers earlier in the season at Citi Field, allowing three runs - two earned - over eight innings with eight strikeouts in his first loss of the season back on June 8. The Mets have provided him with three or fewer runs of support in eight of his past 10 outings. Tanaka allowed just one earned run, one hit and one walk with eight strikeouts across five innings in a no-decision against the Mets. He has won five straight decisions while failing to take a loss in 11 straight starts dating back to April 17 against the Marlins of all teams.
The weather isn't as tumultuous as Saturday, but there are plenty of trouble spots. The Bucs-Reds series finale will be facing a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms or greater for most of the afternoon. As such, since these are division rivals, it wouldn't be surprising to see a reschedule here. In D.C., the Braves and Nats will be looking to the sky, as there is a 40 percent or greater chance of thunderstorms all day long.
Winds will hound the Red Sox-Tigers battle again, blowing 11-14 mph from left to right. The winds will be howling on the north side, too, The Cardinals-Cubs will see the wind blowing in from left-center field to home plate at a brisk 13-16 mph clip, presumably keeping scores down. And in Oakland, the jetstream from Saturday night will be blowing out to right field at a 14-17 mph clip, perhaps affecting the scores for the Giants-A's.