Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:02 PM
Wednesday's Diamond Notes
Hottest team: Rockies (5-0 last five)
Colorado is heating up at the right time by grabbing five consecutive victories, including a pair of blowout wins against a disinteresting Philadelphia squad. The Rockies have pulled within one-half game of the Dodgers for the top spot in the NL West, while passing the Cardinals (for the moment) for the second Wild Card position in the National League. Colorado swept Arizona on the road this past weekend, followed up by outscoring Philadelphia, 20-4 in two blowout wins at Coors Field.
German Marquez has pitched well down the stretch for Colorado by allowing two earned runs or less in eight of his past 10 starts, while the Rockies are 6-2 in his last eight outings. The Rockies have won each of Marquez’s past three home starts, while Colorado has scored 28 runs in those victories. The Phillies have dropped six straight games overall and eight consecutive road contests since September 8.
Coldest team: Cubs (2-4 last six)
Chicago’s lead over Milwaukee atop the NL Central has shrunk to one-half game after losing the first two games of its series to Pittsburgh. Although this is not a dire losing stretch, the Cubs have been outscored, 11-1 in the two defeats to the Pirates, who have won 14 of their last 19 games. Chicago has cashed the UNDER in eight straight games at Wrigley Field, while failing to score more than three runs in 10 consecutive home contests.
Jose Quintana looks to stop the bleeding for the Cubs tonight as the southpaw is coming off a pair of losses as a heavy favorite to the Reds and White Sox. The Cubs own a 6-2 record in Quintana’s past eight appearances at home, but they lost in his only start against the Pirates this season in a 2-1 setback at PNC Park on August 19.
Hottest pitcher: Edwin Jackson, Athletics (6-3, 3.18 ERA)
It’s hard to believe that anyone (including Jackson) would have the journeyman pitcher in this category when he was picked by Oakland in June. The A’s own an incredible 12-3 record when Jackson takes the mound, including a perfect 4-0 record in September. Jackson has allowed two earned runs or less in three of four starts this month, including beating the Mariners, 8-2 at home on September 2. On the road, Jackson has taken care of business with Oakland posting a 6-1 mark, as he makes his first start at Safeco Field this season in tonight’s matchup with the Mariners.
Coldest pitcher: Sean Newcomb, Braves (12-9, 4.04 ERA)
Atlanta rallied off the New York bullpen in the final three innings of last night’s 7-3 victory over the Mets after getting shut down by Noah Syndergaard. Tonight, Newcomb sits in the underdog role opposite NL Cy Young candidate Jacob deGrom as the Braves’ southpaw tries to get on track before the postseason. Newcomb owns a 2-4 record in his past six starts, while not lasting past the fifth inning three times in the last four outings. The only good news for Newcomb is most of these struggles have come at home as the Braves are 4-0 in his last four away starts, while blanking the Mets at Citi Field in May.
Biggest OVER run: Cardinals (6-0 last six)
St. Louis rolled to a sweep of San Francisco this past weekend by scoring 19 runs in the three victories. However, the Cardinals are now looking up at the Rockies for the final Wild Card spot in the National League after losing a pair of games to the Brewers at home. Milwaukee has outscored St. Louis, 18-8 in the two wins, while the Cardinals have moved to 10-3 to the OVER in their previous 13 contests at Busch Stadium.
Biggest UNDER run: Reds (12-0-1 last 13)
Although Cincinnati and Kansas City isn’t must-watch baseball, the only thing to keep an eye on in this matchup is if the Reds can keep their long UNDER streak going. In 12 of the past 13 games, the Reds have been limited to three runs or less, including in Tuesday’s 4-3 home defeat to the Royals, the fourth straight loss for Cincinnati. Cody Reed heads to the mound for the Reds, coming off a pair of scoreless efforts in his last two outings, while giving up seven hits and striking out 16 against the Cubs and Marlins on the road.
Matchup to watch: Brewers vs. Cardinals
Milwaukee can take another step closer towards a playoff berth with a victory tonight at Busch Stadium, while attempting to pull off the three-game sweep of St. Louis. The Brewers pulled away from the Cardinals last night, 12-4 by scoring five runs in the final two innings, while MVP candidate Christian Yelich drove in six runs for Milwaukee.
The Brewers are breathing down the Cubs’ necks for the division lead, while owning a 3 ½-game edge over Colorado for home-field in the Wild Card game next week. Jhoulys Chacin heads to the hill tonight trying to slam the door on St. Louis’ playoff hopes as the right-hander has struggled of late. Chacin picked up a no-decision in his past outing at Pittsburgh due to a lengthy rain delay by lasting four innings, but the Brewers rallied for an 8-3 win. The Brewers are 2-2 in Chacin’s four starts against the Cardinals this season, but he tossed six scoreless innings in a 2-1 triumph at Busch Stadium last month.
John Gant has not been pitching his best for St. Louis down the stretch after allowing six earned runs in a 17-4 drubbing to the Dodgers on September 15, followed by lasting 2.2 innings in his last start against the Giants. Gant lost in his only start against Milwaukee this season in the 2-1 defeat opposite Chacin on August 19, as the Cardinals try to improve on a 4-1 record when trying to avoid a sweep at home in a series of at least three games.
Betcha didn’t know: Since the beginning of July, Felix Hernandez has made nine starts for Seattle. In this span, the M’s picked up only one win when the former Cy Young winner took the mound, as he starts tonight against the Athletics. This season, Seattle has won only one of Hernandez’s four starts against Oakland, while the A’s look to snap a three-game skid in road series finales.
Biggest public favorite: Rockies (-195) vs. Phillies
Biggest public underdog: Athletics (+105) at Mariners
Biggest line move: Cardinals (+102 to -105) vs. Brewers
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]
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