Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM

Weekend Watch

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Dear Commish, Can We Change Leagues?

It's no surprise that the Boston Red Sox are tied for the best winning percentage in interleague play with the surging Pittsburgh Pirates. The Red Sox have been beating everyone's brains in. However, the third-place Colorado Rockies and last-place Cincinnati Reds have really excelled against the boys from the junior circuit. The good news for bettors is that the Red Sox have 10 more games remaining against the NL, as every club plays 20 total games against the opposite league. There is plenty of money to be had in the final two months of the regular season finding small trends like these and taking advantage. In addition, the Padres have been woeful to this point, posting a 43-69 (.384) record to date. They're even worse against the AL, winning just two of their 10 games with still 10 more games to play. The next time to fade the Padres against an AL side is a three-game set from Aug. 13-15 against the visiting Angels. They'll also play host to the Mariners from Aug. 28-29 for two, see the M's two more times in Seattle from Sept. 11-12 and host the Rangers for three from Sept. 14-16. Take advantage, and circle those dates!

2018 Interleague Records (through 8/2)
Team Record (Winning Pct. - Games Remaining) Team Record (Winning Pct - Games Remaining)
Boston 8-2 (.800 - 10) San Diego 2-8 (.200 - 10)
Pittsburgh 12-3 (.800 - 5) Detroit 3-9 (.250 - 8)
Colorado 11-5 (.688 - 4) Chicago White Sox 5-12 (.294 - 3)
Cincinnati 10-5 (.667 - 5) Minnesota 6-12 (.333 - 2)
Philadelphia 10-5 (.667 - 5) Tampa Bay 6-12 (.333 - 2)

Looking Ahead

Saturday, Aug. 4

The Red Sox traded for RHP Nathan Eovaldi to bolster their rotation heading down the stretch. They didn't likely add him to beat the Yankees, as he has scuffled against his former employer recently. He was tuned up for five earned runs, eight hits and a walk over 7 1/3 innings in a loss at the Stadium back on June 15. While the innings pitched is a season high, it was just the third time this season he allowed eight or more hits in a single outing. The five earned runs were also the second most he has allowed in 2018. The good news for Eovaldi is that he'll be up against the unproven Chance Adams, and the Pinstripers are just 1-4 over the past five road games and 1-4 in their past five against teams with a winning record. Boston has won 39 of the past 54 at Fenway Park, and they're 44-18 in their past 62 inside the division while going 4-1 in their past five at home against the rival Yanks heading into play Friday.

RHP Zach Eflin and the Phillies will host the Marlins on Saturday night at 'The Vault'. The 24-year-old right-hander for the Phillies is an impressive 4-1 with a 3.18 ERA in six home outings, posting 38 strikeouts in just 34 innings while the opponent is hitting just .229 against him during the six-game stretch. Overall he has lost just one time in nine starts dating back to May 30, and he hasn't lost in front of the home folks since May 25 in an interleague battle against the Toronto Blue Jays. The last time the home crowd saw him fall to an NL side was Aug. 13, 2017 when the Mets topped him. Miami counters with RHP Jose Urena, who has had a lot of bad luck this season. He was super last time out, allowing just one hit and four walks over six scoreless innings against Washington at Marlins Park on July 29. He coughed up five runs in just four innings with four walks in a no-decision against Philly on July 15. The good news for Urena is that he has allowed just two homers in 41 innings away from home over seven starts, while serving up 10 homers at home across 77 2/3 innings in 14 home outings.

In late-night action, the Blue Jays travel to meet LHP James Paxton and the Mariners. The good news for bettors is that the M's are using a pair of a pair of southpaws on Friday (Marco Gonzalez) and Saturday (Paxton) against the Jays. Toronto has been brutal trying to figure out left-handed starting pitchers, going 5-16 in their past 21 on the road against lefties, and 7-25 in their past 32 overall vs. LHP. They haven't been very good with Marco Estrada toeing the slab, either. The Jays are 3-8 in his past 11 starts overall, while going 1-8 in his past nine against teams with a winning overall record, 0-4 in his past four on the road and 0-5 in his past five vs. AL West foes. The M's are 26-12 in their past 38 at Safeco Field entering Friday's outing, and 5-1 in Paxton's past six against AL East sides, 5-2 in his past seven at home and 13-6 in his past 19 overall.

Weather Report

The Yankees and Red Sox might see the tarpaulin on Saturday afternoon, as there is an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms forecast for first pitch. The weather isn't expected to move out until 7pm ET, so a lengthy weather delay is likely. When they do get underway there will be a jetstream blowing out to left field at 10-13 mph.

The Royals and Twins will also be dodging raindrops, and the weather is forecast to move in during the middle innings. They might be able to resume later in the evening, but the starting pitchers could potentially have their outings curtailed. The winds will be howling from right to left field at a 15-18 mph clip, so an 'over' looks like an interesting play.

In Arlington, the O's and Rangers will have a stiff hot wind blowing right in the face of batters from straightaway center field to home plate. The opposite will be the case in Oakland, as a cool wind will be gusting from 14-17 mph from home plate to the right-center field power alley.

Sunday, Aug. 5

The Marlins and Phillies battle again in the City of Brotherly Love. LHP Wei-Yin Chen takes the mound, and he has been atrocious on the road. Miami is secretly cheering for rain in the series finale. Chen is 2-2 with a 2.18 ERA across eight home starts with a .209 opponent batting average. Pretty good, right? On the road he is 1-6 with a 10.27 ERA across nine starts over 37 2/3 innings with the opponent hitting .350 against him. Talk about stark splits. Fade Chen on the road, and enjoy good value when he is at home. The good news is that he has owned INF Asdrubal Cabrera, as Cabrera is just 3-for-24 (.125) with a home, two RBI and six strikeouts with no walks. He hasn't been as good against Maikel Franco, who is 7-for-18 (.389) with a double, two homers, six RBI and a 1.167 OPS. Those two are the only current Phillies who have taken Chen yard, however.

The Padres rank second-to-last in the majors with a .232 batting average, and they are also 29th in the majors and dead-last in the National League with only 415 runs scored. They'll be trying to sink LHP Jon Lester, who has posted an impressive 5-2 record, 2.97 ERA and .237 opponent batting average at Wrigley Field across 62 2/3 innings over 11 starts. If there was a time to catch Lester and deal him a loss, it might be right now, however. Cubs side bettors will have to eat a lot of chalk against the lowly Padres, but Lester is 0-2 with an 8.36 ERA with a .321 opponent batting average in three starts since the All-Star break. Be careful.

The Yankees and Red Sox will battle on Sunday Night Baseball, and it will be RHP Masahiro Tanaka taking the ball against LHP David Price. Tanaka was knocked around for six earned runs, seven hits and two walks over five innings on April 11 at Fenway Park, but he actually did earn the win in that 10-7 shootout. He also coughed up four runs at the Stadium on May 9, lasting just 5 1/3 innings in that one. Since the start of the 2015 season he is 7-2 with a 4.11 ERA in 13 starts against the Red Sox, and that includes a 3-1 record and 3.46 ERA across six starts at Fenway. The Red Sox counter with Price, but he has been smashed in two outings by the Yankees. He has allowed 12 earned runs, 12 hits and six homers in just 4 1/3 innings against New York, good for an 0-2 record and 24.92 ERA. The Yankees are roughing him up to the tune of a .480 opponent batting average this season.

Weather Report

Precipitation isn't expected to be a problem in the early portion of the slate, but winds will be howling. The Padres and Cubs will see the winds blowing out at Wrigley Field from 13-16 mph. The Tigers and A's will again be battling winds at 12-15 mph to the right-center field power alley.The good news is that precipitation won't be a problem anywhere on Sunday.

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