Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:02 AM

Wednesday's Diamond Notes

Hottest team: Pirates (10-3 last 13)

Although Pittsburgh isn’t headed to the playoffs, the one positive the Pirates can take from the 2018 campaign is they cashed their season win total of 73. The Pirates currently sit at 76-74 with 12 games remaining after edging the Royals in a pair of exciting finishes at PNC Park. Pittsburgh has won seven consecutive home contests after getting swept by Atlanta last month, as the Pirates host the Brewers for their final series at PNC Park on Friday.

Prior to the Brew Crew invading the Steel City, the Pirates seek the sweep of Kansas City tonight. The trade for right-hander Chris Archer hasn’t worked out for the Bucs as the team is 1-5 in his past six starts. Archer owns a 5.49 ERA since arriving in Pittsburgh, but the Pirates have won two of his three starts at PNC Park.

Coldest team: Athletics (1-4 last five)

Although it’s a small sample size, Oakland has stumbled of late following a six-game winning streak. The A’s blew a 4-1 lead in Tuesday’s 9-7 home defeat to the Angels to slip 2 ½ games behind the Yankees for the top Wild Card position in the American League. During the four losses in this recent cold stretch, the A’s have allowed at least four runs in each setback, while suffering their first three-game skid since late July.

Oakland last lost consecutive home games in June as Brett Anderson tries to turn things around for the A’s tonight. Anderson has been knocked around in his last two starts by allowing 16 hits and nine earned runs in his last six innings of work in losses at Baltimore and Houston. However, Anderson has been remarkable at the Coliseum by not allowing a run in his previous three home starts.

Hottest pitcher: Noah Syndergaard, Mets (12-3, 3.26 ERA)

Although it has been a season to forget in Flushing, the Mets are playing well down the stretch by winning 11 of the past 17 games. Syndergaard is one reason behind that success as the Mets are 6-2 in his previous eight trips to the mound, including recent dominating road performances in victories at Boston and San Francisco. The Mets have won two of Syndergaard’s three starts against the Phillies this season, but Thor has allowed four runs in each of his past two outings versus their NL East rivals.

Coldest pitcher: Marco Estrada, Blue Jays (7-12, 5.75 ERA)

Toronto has owned Baltimore this season by posting a 14-4 record against the worst team in baseball. The Jays seek the sweep of the Orioles at Camden Yards tonight as Estrada looks to get on track. Estrada has been lit up of late by giving up five earned runs or more in three of his past four starts, while getting tagged for eight runs in an 11-0 rout by the Yankees last Friday. Toronto has dropped six of Estrada’s last seven road starts, but the Jays have won two of his three starts against Baltimore this season.

Biggest OVER run: Padres (7-3 last 10)

San Diego has won two home series since mid-June, as the Padres have dropped the first two games against the Giants. The Padres have allowed at least four runs in eight of the past 10 contests, including blowing a late lead in Tuesday’s 5-4 setback to San Francisco. Robbie Erlin heads to the hill for the Padres as the southpaw is winless in his past four starts. The Padres have finished UNDER the total in his past three home starts, while the offense has tallied two runs or fewer in each of his previous three outings.

Biggest UNDER run: Reds (6-0-1 last seven)

Cincinnati has dropped four of its past six games, but the Reds were able to knock off the Brewers on Tuesday, 3-1 as +170 road underdogs. The Reds have received solid pitching of late by allowing one run in three of the past four contests. On the flip side, the offense hasn’t been stellar as Cincinnati’s lineup has produced three runs or less in seven consecutive games. Matt Harvey has found new life since getting dealt to the Reds earlier this season by picking up seven wins, but Cincinnati is 1-4 in his previous five starts. Harvey was knocked around for 11 hits and five runs by the Brewers in a 13-12 thriller in late August, but the right-hander has rebounded by delivering three straight quality starts.

Matchup to watch: Rockies vs. Dodgers

Colorado began its crucial series with Los Angeles owning a slim half-game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West. Two days later and two Dodger victories later, the defending National League champions are back in the driver’s seat of the division with 10 games remaining. Following an 8-2 blowout on Monday, Chris Taylor lifted the Dodgers to an extra-inning triumph on Tuesday with a walk-off homer in a 3-2 win to send Los Angeles to its sixth win in the last seven games.

Since dropping three of four at Coors Field last month, the Dodgers have taken four of the past five matchups. Walker Buehler heads to the mound for L.A. tonight as the right-hander shut down the Cardinals in his past start by tossing eight scoreless innings and scattering two hits in a 3-0 shutout last Friday. The Dodgers have lost three of Buehler’s four starts against the Rockies this season, including a 4-2 defeat at Coors Field on September 8 as a -130 favorite.

It is not an easy road to the postseason for the Rockies, who not only begin Wednesday’s action 1 ½ games behind Los Angeles in the NL West, but 1 ½ games back of St. Louis for the second NL Wild Card spot. The final three series for the Rockies come against the Diamondbacks on the road, followed by home series with the Phillies and Nationals. Colorado has won five of its past six road series finales as Tyler Anderson tries to end his woes tonight. The Rockies are 1-9 in the southpaw’s past 10 starts, while Colorado is 1-3 against Los Angeles when Anderson takes the mound.

Betcha didn’t know: The Red Sox are playing the Yankees tonight (of course you knew that). Since David Price signed his megadeal with Boston in 2016, the Red Sox own a dreadful 0-5 record at Yankee Stadium when the former Cy Young pitcher takes the mound. Price opposes Luis Severino tonight as the Red Sox seek the AL East title with a win. The Yankees have split Severino’s four starts against Boston this season, but in both Bronx starts, New York has won.

Biggest public favorite: Indians (-300) vs. White Sox

Biggest pubic underdog: Giants (+130) at Padres

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

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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