Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:58 AM

Friday's Diamond Notes

Editor's Note: Kevin Rogers is the MLB money leader at +3,290 units and is coming off a 2-0 Thursday. He is locked and loaded with a pair of Friday night games. Click to win!

Hottest team: Rangers (6-1 last seven)

The Rangers may not be the top team in their own state, but Texas has impressed so far this season by posting a 45-36 mark, which is good for second in the American League West. Texas is fresh off its first road sweep of the season after downing Detroit in three straight games at Comerica Park, while limiting the Tigers to five runs. Since allowing 10 runs in back-to-back losses to Cleveland, the Rangers have won six of their last seven games, even though the past five victories have come against teams with losing records.

Texas will be tested this weekend as the Rangers head to Tropicana Field to face the Rays. Tampa Bay is basically off a double-header on Thursday after outlasting Minnesota in 18 innings, 5-2 to avoid the three-game sweep. Lance Lynn is seeking his 10th victory of the season for Texas, as the right-hander has tossed at least six innings in 11 consecutive starts, but the Rangers are 1-3 in his past four road outings.

Coldest team: Mets (3-9 last 12)

New York has figured out new ways to lose just this week as the Mets led the Phillies in all four games of their series at Citizens Bank Park. Somehow, the Mets couldn’t hold onto any of those leads, as they dropped the final two games in walk-off fashion. After New York squandered a 4-0 advantage in Wednesday’s 5-4 setback in extra innings, the Mets scored three runs in the top of the ninth to overcome a 1-0 deficit on Thursday. The final three outs were impossible to record for Mets’ closer Edwin Diaz, who allowed a pair of homers as Philadelphia stunned New York, 6-3 to send the Mets to their fourth straight loss.

The Mets will turn to last season’s Cy Young winner to stop the bleeding as Jacob deGrom faces a talented Braves’ lineup. deGrom shut down Atlanta at SunTrust Park on June 18 by tossing 8.1 innings and striking out 10 batters in a 10-2 blowout of the Braves. The Mets couldn’t hold on in deGrom’s last appearance against the Cubs this past Sunday in a 5-3 defeat in spite of the right-hander striking out nine in six innings of work.

Hottest pitcher: Cole Hamels, Cubs (6-2, 2.92 ERA)

It’s been a month to remember for Hamels, who has yielded four earned runs in five starts in June, while pitching at least seven innings in each outing. Chicago has won three of the left-hander’s last four starts, including home victories over the Mets and Cardinals. Hamels has drilled the UNDER in all five June appearances, as he looks for his fifth road victory of the season. The Cubs square off with the struggling Reds at Great American Ballpark as Hamels has not faced Cincinnati this season. Last season, the Cubs defeated the Reds twice with Hamels on the bump, but both victories at Wrigley Field.

Coldest pitcher: Danny Duffy, Royals (3-3, 4.48 ERA)

In late May, the Royals knocked off the Angels and Yankees as underdogs of +150 with Duffy on the mound. However, Kansas City has slumped to a 1-4 record the last five starts made by the left-hander, as Duffy has given up 19 earned runs in this stretch. In spite of Duffy’s 5.09 road ERA, the Royals have won three of his four starts away from Kansas City, as the Royals and Blue Jays begin a four-game series at Rogers Center tonight.

Biggest OVER run: Orioles (7-1 last eight)

Baltimore has dropped 13 of its past 14 games after losing a pair of interleague contests to San Diego. The Padres lit up the Orioles in the two-game set at Camden Yards by scoring 18 runs, as Baltimore’s pitching has allowed 10 runs in three of the past five contests. In the last nine games, the O’s have been limited three runs or fewer six times, as Baltimore last won a game by scoring three runs or less on May 4 against Tampa Bay in a 3-0 shutout. The Orioles welcome in the Indians tonight as John Means takes the mound for Baltimore. Means has pitched well since entering the rotation as Baltimore has cashed the UNDER in eight of his last 10 starts.

Biggest UNDER run: Giants (4-1 last five)

San Francisco’s offense busted out in the first two games at Arizona last weekend by scoring 18 runs in a pair of wins over the Diamondbacks. In the last five contests, the Giants have posted a total of 10 runs, while putting up one run in Thursday’s 5-1 home defeat to the D-backs. San Francisco sends out Shaun Anderson to the mound tonight as the right-hander limited the D-backs to two runs in six innings of a 3-2 setback last Sunday at Chase Field.

Matchup to watch: Pirates vs. Brewers

Pittsburgh has rebounded from a seven-game skid by winning eight of its past 11 contests. The Pirates swept the Padres last weekend at home and followed that up with a series victory at Houston the last two days. Pittsburgh outscored Houston, 24-2 in a pair of blowouts at Minute Maid Park as an underdog of +215 and +180, while first baseman Josh Bell hit homers 21 and 22 for the Pirates.

The Brewers have slumped of late by losing nine of 12 games, including a series loss to the surging Mariners. Milwaukee avoided the sweep to Seattle in Thursday’s 4-2 victory, marking the eighth straight win by the Brewers in a home series finale. The Brewers have owned the Pirates this season by winning six of seven meetings, including a three-game sweep at Miller Park earlier this month.

Chris Archer takes the mound for Pittsburgh as the Pirates are 4-1 in his past five outings since a 1-7 start. Archer defeated the Brewers at PNC Park on May 31 as a +120 underdog, 9-4, while tossing seven innings and striking out seven. However, Pittsburgh has lost four of Archer’s five starts on the highway, while going 0-2 at Miller Park last season.

Jhoulys Chacin counters for Milwaukee, as the Brewers ended a five-start skid with the right-hander on the mound in last Saturday’s 6-5 win over the Reds. Chacin fell behind, 3-0 early before the Brewers rallied for four runs in the bottom of the first inning. The veteran was knocked around by Pittsburgh the last time he faced the Bucs on May 31 by allowing seven runs in less than three innings of a 9-4 setback.

Betcha didn’t know: The Padres return home from a five-game road swing as San Diego plays host to St. Louis. San Diego seeks its ninth consecutive home series opening win as the Padres last dropped a Game 1 at Petco Park on May 3 against the Dodgers. The Cardinals have won four straight games off a three-game skid as St. Louis looks to avenge a home series loss to San Diego from April.

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

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

We may be compensated by the company links provided on this page. Read more

MLB News