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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:03 PM

Wednesday's Diamond Notes

Hottest team: Red Sox (9-1 last 10)

Boston picked up its 80th (yes, 80th) victory of the season in Tuesday’s 10-7 extra-innings triumph at Toronto after erasing a 3-1 deficit in the eighth inning. The Red Sox improved to 11-3 this season against the Blue Jays, while extending its winning streak to five after their weekend sweep of the rival Yankees. Boston also compiled its fifth straight road series opening win, but the Sox have lost their last two away Game 2’s of a series at Detroit and Baltimore, while laying at least -145 in each defeat.

The Red Sox opened as a -140 favorite in tonight’s affair at Toronto as southpaw Brian Johnson heads to the hill. Johnson picked up his second win of the season as he struck out 11 in a 15-7 victory over the Yankees last Thursday. The left-hander received a no-decision the last time he faced the Blue Jays at Fenway Park on July 15 in a 5-2 win as he lasted one out shy of five innings to be eligible for the victory.

Coldest team: Tigers (3-7 last 10)

Detroit dropped its 40th road game of the season in Tuesday’s 11-5 setback to the Angels, while falling to 0-5 on its current California swing. The good news is the offense scored more runs last night than it did in its previous four losses combined, including two runs in the opening frame. However, the Angels rebounded by posting a seven-spot in the bottom of the first to cruise to the six-run win. Detroit owns a 3-4 record this season when looking to avoid the sweep in a road series of three games or more, as two of those wins came at Boston and Houston.

The Tigers send out left-hander Blaine Hardy to try and stop the bleeding this afternoon as he is coming off his best start of the season at Oakland. Hardy yielded one hit and struck out six in seven scoreless innings, but the A’s came up with the only run of the game in the 13th inning of a 1-0 victory last Friday.

Hottest pitcher: Jose Quintana, Cubs (10-7, 4.12 ERA)

The southpaw takes the mound tonight looking to finish off a three-game sweep of the hapless Royals. The Cubs have won five of Quintana’s last six starts, including a 5-4 victory in his past outing against the Padres last Friday in which he allowed four hits and one earned run in six innings. In two starts against the Royals last season as a member of the White Sox, Quintana beat Kansas City twice, while striking out 17 batters and yielding two runs in 14 innings.

Coldest pitcher: Luis Severino, Yankees (14-5, 3.08 ERA)

At the All-Star break, Severino was a prime candidate to capture the AL Cy Young award at 14-2 and an ERA below 3.00. Three starts later, the Yankees’ right-hander can’t pick up a victory to save himself as he owns an 0-3 mark and a bloated ERA of 9.60. Severino has allowed 17 runs in this span, while not lasting past the sixth inning in any start. To make matters worse, two of the losses came as a favorite of -270 against the Rays and -400 against the Royals, as Severino opened as a -250 favorite tonight at Chicago.

Biggest OVER run: Padres (8-3-1 last 11)

Who woke up San Diego’s offense the last few days? The usually dormant Padres’ lineup scored 10 runs in Sunday’s victory over the Cubs, then topped that by posting 11 runs in Tuesday’s comeback triumph at Milwaukee. Granted, this OVER run has also been aided by mediocre pitching by the Padres, who have given up five runs or more in four straight contests. However, San Diego has scored 35 runs in the first five games of its road trip as rookie Brett Kennedy makes his Major League debut tonight at Miller Park opposite Milwaukee veteran Jhoulys Chacin.

Biggest UNDER run: Phillies (9-1 last 10)

Philadelphia closes out its series with Arizona this afternoon at Chase Field following Tuesday’s 5-2 victory. This game barely finished UNDER the total of 7 ½, but UNDER bettors were on the right side all along as Philadelphia led 1-0 heading into the eighth inning before the Phillies busted out for four runs. Philadelphia’s pitching staff continues to impress by allowing three runs or fewer in eight consecutive games, as Vince Velasquez looks to keep that streak going. Velasquez has allowed two runs in his last four starts, while the Phillies are 6-0 to the UNDER in his past six starts.

Matchup to watch: Dodgers vs. Athletics

When you think of these two Golden State squads hooking up, the first image is always Dennis Eckersley serving up a home run to gimpy Kirk Gibson in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, eventually won by the Dodgers. Fast-forward 20 years and the Dodgers captured the opener of their mini two-game interleague set with the Athletics, 4-2 on Tuesday night behind three early runs off Oakland’s Sean Manaea.

The A’s had their six-game winning streak snapped following a pair of sweeps against below .500 teams in the Blue Jays and Tigers. Oakland will have step up its game in the series finale tonight against Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers own a 5-1 record in Kershaw’s last six outings, including a 21-5 drubbing of the Brewers his last time out. Kershaw has delivered six consecutive quality starts, while the Dodgers are 9-0 in his past nine interleague outings dating back to 2015.

Mike Fiers makes his Oakland debut after getting traded from Detroit last week. Fiers compiled a 7-6 record to go along with a 3.48 ERA with the Tigers this season, while giving up one earned run or less in five of his final seven starts. The right-hander performed well as a home underdog this season as Detroit won seven of his 10 starts at plus-money, including victories over Boston, Cleveland (twice), and New York.

Betcha didn’t know: The Braves and Nationals continue their chase of the Phillies for the top spot in the NL East race. Atlanta and Washington split a double-header on Tuesday as the two division rivals hook up again tonight in D.C. Mike Foltynewicz takes the mound for Atlanta as the Braves have won each of his two home starts against Washington this season, but Atlanta is 0-2 in his two starts at Nationals Park.

Biggest public favorite: Yankees (-265) at White Sox

Biggest public underdog: Braves (+105) at Nationals

Biggest line move: Diamondbacks (-145 to -155) vs. Phillies

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

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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