Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:58 AM
Wednesday's Diamond Notes
Hottest team: Athletics (10-1 last 11)
In spite of having its 10-game winning streak snapped by the Angels on Tuesday, the A’s remain red-hot as they sit in second place of the AL West at 29-26. Prior to last night’s 6-4 defeat to the Halos, Oakland swept three consecutive series and topped Los Angeles on Monday, 8-5. The offense has been clicking well by scoring at least five runs in nine wins during that hot streak, which doesn’t include the five runs scored at Detroit on May 19 in a suspended contest.
The A’s go for the series victory against the Angels this afternoon at the Coliseum as Daniel Mengden takes the mound. The Oakland right-hander has allowed one earned run in each of his past two starts, as the A’s defeated the Mariners and Tigers in those contests. The A’s are looking to avoid consecutive home losses for the first time since dropping three straight to the Blue Jays in late April.
Coldest team: Giants (0-6 last six)
The other Bay Area squad has gone backwards recently as San Francisco has failed to plate more than four runs in nine consecutive contests. The Giants’ pitching staff has been knocked around lately by giving up double-digit runs in three of the past four defeats, including allowing 11 runs to the Marlins in Tuesday’s eight-run road loss.
San Francisco tries to turn things around with its ace on the mound tonight as Madison Bumgarner has tossed at least six innings in five consecutive starts. Bumgarner has picked up victories in each of his last two road outings at Colorado and Arizona, but lost in his last start at Miami last season, 7-5.
Hottest pitcher: Wade Miley, Astros (5-2, 3.32 ERA)
For all the aces in the Houston rotation, Miley has turned into the most reliable southpaw after Dallas Keuchel didn’t return this season. The Astros are 6-1 in Miley’s past seven outings, while the veteran has yielded two earned runs or less in five of the last six trips to the mound. Houston has won all five of Miley’s starts at Minute Maid Park, with four of those games finishing UNDER the total. The Astros seek the sweep of the Cubs tonight, although Miley is listed at several sports books as a slight underdog.
Coldest pitcher: Pablo Lopez, Marlins (3-5, 5.40 ERA)
Just breaking down two of Lopez’s last three starts at the Mets and Nationals and one would think the right-hander has put together a dreadful season. Lopez was knocked around for 10 hits and 10 runs in three innings of an 11-2 loss at New York on May 10, while lasting less than four innings and giving up seven hits and four earned runs in a 12-10 setback at Washington last Friday. However, Lopez put together his best start of the season in between those two terrible outings by allowing one hit in seven scoreless innings of a 2-0 home win over the Mets on May 18. The question heading into tonight’s contest with San Francisco is which Lopez are you going to see. At Marlins Park, Lopez owns a solid 1.93 ERA, but Miami is 2-2 in his four home outings.
Biggest OVER run: Cubs (9-1 last 10)
Chicago remains atop the NL Central in spite of dropping the first two games at Houston in a battle of heavyweights. The Cubs scored 11 runs on Monday and Tuesday at Minute Maid Park, but Chicago allowed 15 runs to mark its seventh consecutive OVER. In the last six games, the Cubs have allowed 9, 6, 6, 10, 6, and 9 runs, while giving up less than three runs once in the past 14 contests. Kyle Hendricks began May with three terrific starts by allowing two runs in 25 innings of work, but the Cubs’ right-hander has seen the OVER hit his last two outings by yielding seven runs in the last 11.2 innings.
Biggest UNDER run: Cardinals (7-2 last nine)
St. Louis scored three first inning runs with a pair of home runs on Tuesday night, but the Cardinals failed to cross home plate the rest of the evening in a 4-3 defeat at Philadelphia. The Redbirds have scored four runs or less in their past eight losses, while posting at least six runs in the last six wins, so this team isn’t winning low-scoring contests. St. Louis turns to southpaw Genesis Cabrera, who is making his Major League debut tonight after getting acquired from Tampa Bay last season. The Phillies send out ace Aaron Nola, who has hit the OVER in nine of 11 starts this season, including five of seven at Citizens Bank Park.
Matchup to watch: Mets vs. Dodgers
Los Angeles and New York have split the first two contests of their four-game series at Dodger Stadium in a pair of high-scoring affairs. The Dodgers won the opener, 9-5 on Monday, but the Mets rebounded with a 7-3 triumph last night as a +170 underdog. Michael Conforto’s seventh inning grand slam snapped a 2-2 tie as the Mets’ right fielder lifted New York to its seventh victory in the last nine games.
Noah Syndergaard heads to the mound for the Mets tonight looking to bounce back after getting tagged for 10 hits and six runs in 5.1 innings of a 9-8 setback to the Tigers last Friday. Although Syndergaard received a no-decision, the Mets lost as a hefty -280 favorite, while New York dropped a 3-0 decision at Miami on May 19 with the right-hander on the hill as a -190 favorite.
Walker Buehler counters for the Dodgers, as Los Angeles has won eight consecutive games off a loss since April 25. Buehler has caught fire of late by giving up two earned runs in his past three starts, while shutting down the Pirates last Friday in a 10-2 blowout as a nearly -200 road favorite. L.A. is also riding an eight-game OVER streak, as the Dodgers have allowed 19 runs in the past three contests.
Betcha didn’t know: Run support has been a problem for AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell, as he heads to the hill tonight when the Rays host the Blue Jays. Tampa Bay has lost four of Snell’s 10 starts this season, as the Rays have scored two runs or less in the six losses. One of Snell’s best outings came at Toronto on April 13 as he allowed one hit in six scoreless innings, but the Rays lost 3-1 as a -200 road favorite.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]
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