Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:58 AM
Friday's Diamond Notes
Editor's Note: Kevin Rogers ranks second on VI in units (+1,836) and is currently on a 10-0 guarantee run. He is locked and loaded with a trio of Friday night games. Click to win!
Hottest team: Twins (10-3 last 13)
Believe it or not, Minnesota owns the top record in Major League Baseball at 19-10 after capturing three of four home games from Houston. Forgiving an 11-0 defeat on Tuesday night, the Twins limited the Astros to a total of four runs in the three wins, while blowing out the defending AL West champions, 8-2 on Thursday to finish their homestand at 6-1.
The Twins travel to the Bronx tonight to face the Yankees, who return home from a 6-3 west coast road swing. Kyle Gibson looks to remain hot on the mound for Minnesota as the right-hander is coming off a pair of victories over Baltimore in which he allowed three earned runs in 13 innings of work. The Twins have won four of Gibson’s five starts this season, while giving up one earned run in 11.2 innings in two starts against New York in 2018, although Minnesota lost both games.
Coldest team: Athletics (0-6 last six)
Oakland traveled out east last weekend owning a winning record at 14-13, but back-to-back sweeps at the hands of Toronto and Boston have put the A’s under .500. The offense hasn’t done much on this trip by not scoring more than four runs in any of the six losses, while giving up at least five runs in each of the past five defeats.
The A’s remain on the road for an interleague series with the Pirates at PNC Park this weekend. Pittsburgh is riding a brief two-game winning streak following an eight-game skid after grabbing a pair of games at Texas. Brett Anderson started the season with three straight wins for Oakland, but the southpaw is winless in his past three appearances, while suffering his worst outing of the season at Toronto his last time out by getting tagged for six runs and 10 hits in 4.1 innings of work.
Hottest pitcher: Tyler Glasnow, Rays (5-0, 1.75 ERA)
The Pirates traded Glasnow last season to Tampa Bay in exchange for Chris Archer and it seemed to be deal that would favor Pittsburgh in the short term. However, the Rays are the ones in the driver’s seat of this trade as the right-hander hasn’t yielded more than two earned runs in any of his six starts, while Tampa Bay is 5-1 in his appearances. Glasnow is 3-0 away from Tropicana Field, including a victory at Fenway Park over the Red Sox his last time out. Tampa Bay travels to Baltimore to face the Orioles as Glasnow tossed seven innings in a 4-2 triumph over the O’s as a -235 favorite in mid-April.
Coldest pitcher: Chris Sale, Red Sox (0-5, 6.30 ERA)
Amazingly, Boston is winless in six starts made by Sale in 2019, including three defeats as a favorite of -200 or higher. The numbers have actually improved for the lanky left-hander as Sale has given up four earned runs and struck out 18 in his last two starts, although the Sox lost at home to the Tigers and Rays. Sale heads back to Chicago to face his former team, the White Sox trying to break through the win column. Boston lost on a walk-off homer on Thursday to drop to 3-8 in series openers, while the Red Sox haven’t been much better in Game 2’s of a series off a loss by going 2-5.
Biggest OVER run: Mariners (8-1-1 last 10)
Don’t look at the scoreboard if you’re a fan of the Mariners recently as Seattle’s pitching has allowed 46 runs in the last four games. The M’s lost all four of those home contests to the Rangers and Cubs, including three defeats by 11 runs or more. Prior to this cold spell offensively, Seattle plated 19 runs in the first two games of its series against Texas. The M’s own a 9-2-1 mark to the OVER in the last 12 games away from T-Mobile Park as Seattle heads to Cleveland for a weekend series. Southpaw Yusei Kikuchi has drilled the OVER in three straight road starts, as the Mariners scored five runs or more in those contests.
Biggest UNDER run: Reds (13-3-1 last 17)
Cincinnati is by far the top UNDER team in baseball as the Reds have cashed only seven OVERS on the season. The Reds exchanged a pair of 1-0 contests against the Mets the last two days, while scoring three runs or less in five of the past six games. Cincinnati’s offense hasn’t been great this season, but the Reds have received quality pitching since a shaky start the opening week. Sonny Gray heads to the hill for Cincinnati against San Francisco as the Reds are 5-1 to the UNDER in the right-hander’s six starts. The offense has been inconsistent when Gray takes the ball as the Reds have scored five and seven runs in two wins, but have posted two runs or less in four losses.
Matchup to watch: Dodgers vs. Padres
It’s not a surprise that Los Angeles sits atop the NL West at 20-13, but San Diego is making a threat towards the top spot in the division at 18-14. The Padres started their road swing strong with a pair of victories at Washington, but blew a 6-0 lead in the finale in an extra innings loss and went on to lose two of the first three games at Atlanta. San Diego’s bats woke up on Thursday afternoon as the Padres scored five runs each in consecutive innings of an 11-2 rout of the Braves.
The storyline heading into tonight’s contest is Manny Machado facing his former team (albeit for the second half of 2018) for the first time since signing his mega-deal with the Padres. Southpaw Eric Lauer began the season with a masterful start against the Giants by tossing six scoreless innings, but he is winless in his past three outings. Lauer was sharp in his previous start against the Dodgers last September as a +240 underdog in L.A. by posting five innings and allowing one run in a 5-3 win.
The Dodgers lost two of three to the rival Giants earlier this week, including a pair of low-scoring one-run defeats. Los Angeles turns to Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, who is unbeaten in three starts after beating Pittsburgh his last time out, 3-1. The Dodgers have won all seven starts made by Kershaw against the Padres dating back to the start of the 2016 season, including four wins at Petco Park.
Betcha didn’t know: The Braves were embarrassed on Thursday by the Padres (you probably knew that). Atlanta heads to Miami as Kevin Gausman has dominated the Marlins in two starts since getting traded from the Orioles last season. The Braves’ right-hander hasn’t given up a run in 12 innings against Miami, while the Marlins are 1-6 in their last seven games off a win after beating Cleveland on Wednesday.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.