Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:58 AM

Wednesday's Diamond Notes

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Hottest team: Yankees (9-1 last 10)

New York continues to roll on its current homestand prior to embarking on a long road trip. The Yankees seek the sweep of the Blue Jays this afternoon before traveling to London for a pair of games with the rival Red Sox on Saturday and Sunday. Since losing the first two games of its series at Chicago in mid-June, the Bronx Bombers have lost once in the past 10 contests, while sweeping Tampa Bay and taking three of four from Houston.

The Yankees edged the Jays last night, 4-3 as they failed to cash the run-line as a heavy favorite when Toronto scored one run in the ninth inning. James Paxton takes the mound this afternoon in the Bronx as the southpaw has won his last two starts against the White Sox and Astros, while allowing three runs in 11 innings of work. The last time Paxton faced Toronto (who he no-hit last season with the Mariners) on June 5, the Blue Jays managed an 11-7 win over the Yankees to cash as +180 underdogs.

Coldest team: Orioles (1-12 last 13)

It seems like this category is reserved for Baltimore, but no other team in baseball is close to slumping like the O’s. Following Tuesday’s 8-3 setback to San Diego in Manny Machado’s return to Camden Yards, the Orioles dropped to 4-18 this month. Baltimore’s pitching staff has yielded at least eight runs in five of the past seven games, while falling to 2-5 in interleague play this season.

The Orioles last won at home on June 11 against Toronto as Dylan Bundy will try to end Baltimore’s woes tonight. Bundy is 0-3 in his past three starts, while the Orioles have lost seven of his eight outings at Camden Yards this season. The Padres own a solid 4-1 record in Game 2’s of a road series after winning the opener, as the Orioles will try to buck that trend this evening.

Hottest pitcher: Mike Minor, Rangers (7-4, 2.52 ERA)

Minor has been one of the most impressive pitchers in the American League this season for the surging Rangers, who held off the Tigers in the opener of their series in Detroit on Tuesday. The Texas southpaw is undefeated in his last four starts, while tossing a gem against Cleveland his last time out by allowing three hits and one run in eight innings of a 4-2 home victory. Minor has put together a solid 3.03 ERA away from Arlington this season, as the Rangers have won four of his past six road starts.

Coldest pitcher: Nick Pivetta, Phillies (4-2, 5.54 ERA)

Earlier this month, Pivetta put together two of the best starts in his career by tossing six scoreless innings against the Dodgers and posting a complete-game victory over the Reds. But the Phillies’ right-hander has gone backwards lately by yielding 15 hits and 10 runs in his past two outings on the road at Atlanta and Washington. The good news for Pivetta is he is pitching at Citizens Bank Park tonight, where the Phillies have won five of his six home starts. And the other piece of good news is he faces the Mets, who not only the Phillies have beaten twice in this series, but Pivetta held New York to three runs in a 14-3 blowout on April 16.

Biggest OVER run: Mariners (13-2-1 last 16)

Seattle may be sitting in last place of the AL West following a surprising start, but the Mariners’ bats have woken up recently. The M’s crushed the Brewers in the opener of their interleague set at Miller Park last night, 8-3 to barely cash the OVER of 10 ½. Seattle has won five of its past six games, while scoring at least eight runs in four of those victories. Although there have been a few bumps in the road pitching-wise during this OVER streak, the Mariners have allowed three runs or less in four of the last six contests, while improving to 4-2 in the past six series openers.

Biggest UNDER run: Braves (5-1 last six)

Atlanta rebounded from an 8-3 loss at Wrigley Field on Monday to edge Chicago last night, 3-2. The Braves’ offense has cooled off since a nine-game stretch in which they scored at least five runs, as Atlanta has plated four runs or fewer in four of the last five contests. Granted, Atlanta has hit the UNDER in the five of the last six games, but some of those totals are abnormally high. The first two games of this series in Chicago have seen totals hit 12, while the final game of the Washington series last weekend closed at 10 ½. Dallas Keuchel makes his second start as a Brave after giving up four runs in five innings of his Atlanta debut at Washington last week in a 4-3 setback.

Matchup to watch: Rays vs. Twins

Since dropping a 14-3 decision at Tropicana Field in late May, Minnesota has had its way with Tampa Bay by capturing the last four matchups. The Twins’ offense hasn’t struggled in these wins either by putting up 5, 6, 9, and 9 runs in these victories, including knocking around 2018 Cy Young winner Blake Snell in a 9-4 triumph at Target Field last night. Minnesota’s lineup was held to five runs or fewer in six of its previous seven games before busting out on Tuesday, while improving to 25-13 at home.

Former Rays’ right-hander Jake Odorizzi takes the mound against his old team in tonight’s affair in Minneapolis. Odorizzi never won more than 11 games in a season during his five-year tenure with Tampa Bay, but he has already racked up 10 victories in 2019, including six at home. Odorizzi went through an eight-start stretch in which he gave up one run or fewer before allowing four runs in each of his past two outings against Kansas City. The Twins’ hurler didn’t yield a run in six innings at Tampa Bay earlier this month as Minnesota held on for a 9-7 win after the Twins built a 7-0 lead.

Charlie Morton counters for Tampa Bay, as the right-hander has won 37 of his past 48 decisions since 2017. Morton was set for a no-decision in his last start at Oakland as the Rays and Athletics were tied at 1-1 headed to the ninth inning. Tampa Bay put up three runs in the top of the ninth before Oakland rallied for four runs in the bottom half of the frame to stun the Rays, 5-4. Tampa Bay is 0-2 in Morton’s last two outings since winning his previous four starts, which included the 14-3 rout in the series opener at the Trop last month as a -150 favorite.

Betcha didn’t know: Miami knocked off Washington in the first two matchups this season back in April, but the Nationals have captured five of the past six meetings. Max Scherzer shut down the Marlins in last night’s 6-1 blowout to drop Miami to 2-9 in its past 11 home contests. The last time Patrick Corbin faced the Marlins in D.C. last month, the southpaw tossed complete-game shutout in a 5-0 triumph as a -225 favorite.

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