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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:58 PM

Wednesday's Diamond Notes

Hottest team: Rangers (9-3 last 12)

The Major League Baseball season is reaching mid-June and the Rangers currently own a better record than the World Series champion Red Sox. Texas captured the first two games with Boston at Fenway Park, including Tuesday’s 9-5 triumph as a +165 underdog. Hunter Pence continued a solid comeback season with his 14th home run (an inside-the-park job), while right-hander Ariel Jurado picked up his third consecutive win on the mound.

The Rangers take on the Red Sox for the third game of the four-game set on Wednesday afternoon, as the contest was moved up in the day due to the Bruins playing in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. Lance Lynn takes the mound for Texas as the right-hander is fresh off six consecutive quality starts, although the Rangers lost his last outing to the A’s, 5-3. The positive for Lynn in today’s matchup is the 4-0 record the Rangers own in his four daytime starts.

Coldest team: Marlins (0-6 last six)

Miami started June like gang-busters by winning four consecutive games at San Diego and Milwaukee, while scoring 42 runs in those victories. However, the Marlins have reverted back to the early-season Marlins by dropping six in a row, while plating a total of 10 runs, including one each in the past two losses to the Cardinals. For the exception of putting up six runs in Sunday’s extra-innings meltdown loss to the Braves, Miami has put up four runs in the other five games during this skid.

The Marlins turn to rookie Jordan Yamamoto tonight to end this cold streak, as the right-hander is making his first Major League start. Yamamoto takes the place of the injured Jose Urena, as the Hawaiian native came to Miami from Milwaukee as part of the trade for 2018 MVP Christian Yelich. Yamamoto posted a 3.28 ERA in Double-A ball this season, as he faces a Cardinals’ team seeking its second three-game road winning streak of 2019.

Hottest pitcher: Mike Soroka, Braves (7-1, 1.38 ERA)

Only one pitcher in the National League that has posted at least 60 innings of work owns a better ERA than Soroka and that’s Dodgers’ southpaw Hyun-Jin Ryu at 1.36. Soroka has allowed multiple earned runs only once in 10 starts, while coming off a terrific outing at Miami in which he tossed eight innings and gave up one run in a 7-1 blowout. Since losing his first start of the season to Arizona, Soroka is unbeaten in his past three home outings, while facing the Pirates for the first time as Atlanta has captured the first two meetings with Pittsburgh in this series.

Coldest pitcher: Edwin Jackson, Blue Jays (0-4, 11.90 ERA)

Toronto needed another arm in its depleted starting rotation and turned to the veteran Jackson back in May. It hasn’t worked out well for either party as the Blue Jays are 0-5 in Jackson’s five starts, including three losses by seven runs or more. Jackson didn’t escape the fourth inning in last Thursday’s 6-2 home defeat to the Yankees as he yielded six runs and a pair of homers as a +190 underdog. The right-hander is listed in his shortest underdog number tonight against the Orioles as Toronto looks to snap a seven-game road losing streak.

Biggest OVER run: Twins (7-1-1 last nine)

Minnesota improved to 4-1 against Seattle this season following Tuesday’s 6-5 comeback victory at Target Field. The Twins erased an early 3-0 deficit to beat the M’s as Minnesota eclipsed the five-run mark for the eighth time in 10 games. Minnesota has put up at least four runs in nine consecutive home games as the Twins try to keep that streak going tonight. Jose Berrios has seen the OVER hit in eight of 13 starts for Minnesota, while going 4-0-1 to the OVER in his past five home outings.

Biggest UNDER run: Reds (8-0 last eight)

Cincinnati became the first team to reach 40 UNDERS on the season following Tuesday’s 2-1 extra innings defeat to rival Cleveland. The Reds haven’t been able to get their offense going of late by scoring two runs or fewer in six of the past eight games, but Cincinnati’s pitching staff hasn’t given up more than four runs in seven consecutive contests. Cincinnati closes out its quick two-game set at Progressive Field with Anthony DeSclafaini on the mound, who has seen the UNDER cash in three of his past four outings.

Matchup to watch: Brewers vs. Astros

The opener between these powers was a slugfest at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday as Houston outlasted Milwaukee, 10-8 as -115 favorites. The Astros scored multiple runs in four innings, highlighted by four home runs, including the second in as many games for rookie Yordan Alvarez. Houston improved to 12-0 in its past 12 series openers, while dropping its last Game 1 at home to Cleveland back on April 25.

It’s a terrific matchup on the mound tonight as Justin Verlander opposes Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff. Verlander continues to be a dominant force on the mound by owning a 9-2 record and 2.31 ERA, in spite of picking up a no-decision in his past outing at Seattle. The former Cy Young winner and MVP exiting with a 5-1 lead before the Mariners rallied back to force extra innings. Houston eventually won, 8-7 in 14 innings, as the Astros hit an OVER with Verlander starting for the first time in seven starts.

Woodruff is putting together a career season at 8-1 in 13 starts and 90 strikeouts to go along with a 3.87 ERA. The Brewers have won eight consecutive starts made by the former Mississippi State standout, including four straight wins away from Miller Park. Milwaukee has lost three of four Game 2’s on the road after dropping the series opener this season, while going 2-6 after allowing 10 or more runs.

Betcha didn’t know: The Royals rallied past the Tigers, 3-2 to pick up only their eighth win in their past 10 games. Kansas City has not put together great offensive performances in games following a win, posting a 7-2-1 mark to the UNDER in the last 10 games of this situation, while the Royals have scored two runs or less eight times in this span.

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

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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