Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:58 AM

Friday's Diamond Notes

Hottest team: Cubs (10-1 last 11)

Following a rough start to the season, Chicago has captured seven consecutive series, including posting a 6-1 record on its current homestand against St. Louis and Miami. The Cubs lost the opener to the Marlins, 6-5, but allowed a total of five runs in the final three victories, while improving to 5-1 in the past six series finales.

Chicago hooks up with rival Milwaukee on Friday afternoon as the Brewers took two of the first three meetings at Miller Park last month. In Milwaukee’s previous trip to Wrigley Field, the Brewers knocked off the Cubs to clinch the NL Central title in Game #163 by a 3-1 score last October. Jose Quintana leads the Cubs with four victories, while allowing seven runs in his last five starts since getting knocked around for eight runs in a 13-10 defeat at Milwaukee on April 5.

Coldest team: Blue Jays (2-8 last 10)

Toronto has been by far the most inconsistent team in Major League Baseball this season. The Jays started 5-11, but won nine of the next 12 games, which included a pair of sweeps against Oakland. However, Toronto is back to its early season woes by dropping eight of its past nine games, including getting swept at home by Minnesota as the Twins outscored the Jays, 20-1.

The Blue Jays will try to atone for that sweep as they face another AL Central squad with the White Sox traveling north of the border this weekend. Clay Buchholz has yet to register a victory in five starts for Toronto, while the Jays are 0-3 in his past three trips to the mound. In the right-hander’s last start, Buchholz was tagged for seven runs in four innings of a 10-2 loss at Texas this past Sunday.

Hottest pitcher: Tyler Glasnow, Rays (6-0, 1.47 ERA)

Blake Snell captured the AL Cy Young award last season, but another member of the Rays’ rotation is the early leader for the honor in 2019. Glasnow owns underdog victories against the Astros and Red Sox, while Tampa Bay is 4-0 in his four road outings this season. The most recent win came last Friday at Baltimore as Glasnow tossed seven scoreless innings in a 7-0 shutout as a -230 favorite. Glasnow has seen the UNDER cash in four straight outings, as he faces the Yankees for the first time since getting dealt from Pittsburgh last season.

Coldest pitcher: Anibal Sanchez, Nationals (0-5, 5.15 ERA)

Washington won two of Sanchez’s first three starts this season, but the Nationals are 0-4 in his past four trips to the mound. Sanchez has not pitched past the fifth inning in any of his last three starts, but did strike out a season-high nine batters in a 7-1 loss at Philadelphia last Sunday. Washington is 5-1 to the UNDER in Sanchez’s past six starts, as the Nationals have put up three runs or fewer five times in this span. The Nationals continue their series with the Dodgers in Los Angeles, looking to hand L.A. its second loss in the last six Game 2’s at Chavez Ravine this season.

Biggest OVER run: Rockies (7-0 last seven)

Colorado is returning to its old ways of high-scoring affairs at Coors Field. The Rockies have drilled the OVER in all five games on their current homestand against the Diamondbacks and Giants, while outlasting San Francisco, 12-11 on Thursday. Granted, the pitching hasn’t been great lately as the Rockies have allowed 51 runs in the last five games, including 25 in the past two contests against the Giants. Colorado welcomes in its third consecutive NL West foe as the Padres invade Denver this weekend. German Marquez may be able to keep this OVER streak going as the Rockies’ right-hander owns a 5.87 ERA at Coors Field this season, while giving up five earned runs in six innings of an 8-7 win over Arizona last Sunday.

Biggest UNDER run: Phillies (6-3 last nine)

Philadelphia travels west in the Show-Me-State after grabbing two of three at St. Louis. The Phillies head to Kansas City for the lone interleague series this weekend following two terrific pitching performances by Aaron Nola and Jerad Eickhoff. The two right-handers allowed a total of one run in the final two games following a 6-0 blowout loss to the Cardinals in the series opener. In the last six victories for Philadelphia, the pitching staff has yielded three runs or less, while hitting the UNDER in six straight series openers. Jake Arrieta takes the mound in the series opener as he is coming off a pair of high-scoring games in his past two outings, while giving up 12 runs in his last three starts.

Matchup to watch: Mariners vs. Red Sox

Defending champion Boston has not owned a winning record this season nearly 40 games in. The Red Sox currently sit at 19-19 after capturing five of seven games on their road trip at Chicago and Baltimore. Boston outlasted Baltimore in 12 innings on Wednesday, 2-1 to win its third straight series as the Sox return home for an eight-game homestand featuring the Mariners, Rockies, and Astros.

The Mariners are also at .500, but Seattle once sat at 13-2 before posting a 7-18 record the last 25 contests. Seattle continues its difficult 10-game eastern swing against three playoff teams from 2018 as the Mariners dropped five of seven at Cleveland and New York. In the two wins, the M’s were fantastic offensively by scoring 21 runs, but lost three times by one run, while scoring only one run in the series finale in the Bronx on Thursday.

Seattle stunned Boston the first weekend of the season by stealing three of four from the Red Sox, while the M’s plated 28 runs in the three victories. Erik Swanson picked up his first career win his last time out in a 10-0 shutout of the Indians as the right-hander tossed six innings of one-hit ball. Southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez counters for Boston, as the Sox are 5-0 in his last five trips to the mound. Rodriguez lost to the Mariners at T-Mobile Park on March 30 as he allowed six runs in 4.1 innings of a 6-5 defeat.

Betcha didn’t know: Cincinnati remains in the Bay Area after blanking Oakland on Thursday to avoid a three-game sweep. The Reds face the Giants in a series for the second time in a week as all four matchups at Great American Ballpark sailed OVER the total. Giants’ right-hander Dereck Rodriguez takes the mound in the series opener as he is 0-3 at home this season, while getting knocked around by the Reds last Saturday in a 9-2 loss by allowing a season-high eight runs.

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

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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