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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:58 PM

Thursday's Tip Sheet

Editor's Note: Kevin Rogers has caught fire of late by winning five consecutive MLB plays and sits at +2,255 units on the season. He is locked and loaded with a trio of Thursday night games. Click to win!

Athletics at Twins (-130, 10 ½) – 8:10 PM EST

The two hottest teams in the league both reside in the Bay Area as Oakland has won six straight games, while San Francisco is riding a five-game hot streak. The A’s (54-41) have picked up victories in 14 of their last 17 contests, while sweeping a five-game homestand against the White Sox and Mariners. Oakland ripped Seattle in a pair of home victories the last two days by outscoring the M’s, 19-4, while routing their AL West counterparts in Wednesday’s 10-2 behind Homer Bailey’s six innings in his Athletics’ debut.

Minnesota (58-35) did not lost three consecutive games in the first half of the season, but the Twins are finally experiencing their first rough patch. The Twins still own the top spot in the AL Central, but they were swept in a two-game home series by the inconsistent Mets, while coming off a 14-4 drubbing on Wednesday. That loss marked the third setback in a row for Minnesota, as the first two defeats came by one run apiece before its second-worst home rout of the season (dropped 11-0 decision to Houston on April 30).

Oakland has gone through a heavy home stretch since June 14 by playing 18 of the past 27 contests at the Coliseum. The A’s embark on a difficult seven-game road trip with four at Target Field this weekend, followed by a three-game set with AL West-leading Houston starting Monday. Oakland will be tested over the following three weeks as the A’s welcome in the Rangers, Brewers, and Cardinals on their next homestand.

Mike Fiers (9-3, 3.61 ERA) continues to put together a solid campaign for Oakland as the A’s own a 6-1 record in his last seven outings. Of course the lone defeat came to the Twins at home on July 3 as Fiers allowed two runs in six innings of work of a 4-3 setback in 12 innings. Fiers can’t take the blame as Oakland built an early 3-0 advantage before Minnesota strung together one run in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings to tie the game before scoring the go-ahead run in the 12th. The A’s have won each of Fiers’ past three road starts, while the right-hander has given up one earned run or fewer in five straight outings.

The Twins counter with Kyle Gibson (8-4, 4.03 ERA), who is unbeaten in each of his last two away outings. Gibson started opposite Fiers in that July 3 extra-innings affair and completed six innings, while yielding three runs. The right-hander couldn’t escape the fourth inning in his last start at Cleveland, but the Twins erased a 3-1 deficit by scoring four unanswered runs in a 5-3 triumph. The Twins have won five of Gibson’s last seven home starts, but the A’s picked up three victories in four tries at Target Field in their previous visit to Minneapolis last September.

Brewers at Diamondbacks (-110, 9) – 9:40 PM EST

The race for the two NL Wild Card spots is heating up as five teams are within two games of each other heading into Thursday’s action. Washington and Milwaukee currently hold the Wild Card positions, while Arizona is in the mix one-half game behind the Brewers going into their important series this weekend at Chase Field.

The D-backs (48-47) forged above the .500 mark following an impressive two-game road sweep of the Rangers in Arlington. Arizona dominated Texas in the opener, 9-2, but outdid itself last night by plating seven runs in the first inning of a 19-4 rout of the Rangers, highlighted by a 21-hit effort to finish its away swing at 3-2. The D-backs enter tonight’s action in the desert looking to improve on a 5-1 record in their past six series openers, while scoring at least four runs in each of those games.

The Brewers (49-47) slumped through a 3-8 stretch to begin July before capturing back-to-back wins against NL East-leading Atlanta at Miller Park. Milwaukee dominated Atlanta, 13-1 on Tuesday night with a six-run outburst in the seventh inning, as 2018 MVP Christian Yelich drilled his 33rd home run of the season. Yelich knocked out his 34th round-tripper in Wednesday’s 5-4 triumph over the Braves as Milwaukee jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Atlanta scored four runs in the final two innings.

Arizona and Milwaukee haven’t squared off this season as the Brewers delivered a 5-1 record against the D-backs in 2018. The Brewers swept the three-game series at Miller Park, while taking two of three in Phoenix as Milwaukee tries to improve on a 3-10 record in its past 13 road contest since June 14.

Brewers’ right-hander Zach Davies (7-2, 2.89 ERA) has rebounded from a tough stretch in June as Milwaukee is 3-0 in his past three outings. Davies has yielded two runs in this last three trips to the mound, while scattering two hits in six innings of a 5-4 victory over San Francisco last Saturday. The UNDER hit in 11 of Davies’ first 13 starts this season, but the OVER is on a 3-1-1 run in his past five outings.

Merrill Kelly (7-9, 3.93 ERA) is winless in his past three starts for Arizona as the right-hander fell short on the road against San Francisco, Los Angeles, and St. Louis. Kelly has inconsistent all season long as Arizona has split his last six home starts, while starting June with three consecutive quality outings in wins over the Mets, Phillies, and Blue Jays. The former Arizona State standout has pitched at least six innings in seven of his last nine trips to the mound, but the D-backs have scored three runs or less for Kelly in five of his past six starts.

Mets at Giants (-110, 7) – 9:45 PM EST

Two teams with losing records but are currently playing well hook up for a four-game series at Oracle Park as New York and San Francisco try to keep their hot streaks alive. The Mets (43-51) have been difficult to figure out all season, but New York has won four consecutive games on its road trip, including a pair of impressive showings in a two-game sweep of AL Central-leading Minnesota. The Mets scored a season-high 14 runs in Wednesday’s 14-4 blowout of the Twins, while New York gained three units in the two wins as heavy underdogs at Target Field.

The Giants (46-49) have put together the most impressive stretch of any National League squad since June 30 by compiling a 12-2 mark, capped off a by a four-game sweep of the Rockies at Coors Field. San Francisco’s offense has been the biggest surprise by posting double-digit runs on six occasions, including 19-spot in the first game of Monday’s double-header sweep at Colorado. The Giants finished off the Rockies in Wednesday’s 11-8 victory as +190 underdogs behind 18 hits for their fourth straight road series win.

It’s a battle of aces on the mound by the Bay as Madison Bumgarner squares off with Noah Syndergaard in the opener. Bumgarner (5-7, 3.86 ERA) continues to be the subject of trade rumors nearing the deadline in spite of San Francisco’s recent success. The southpaw has allowed one run in each of his last three starts (although he pitched two innings against St. Louis on July 6), but picked up a no-decision in a 5-4 defeat at Milwaukee his last time out. Bumgarner left in a 1-1 game before the Giants took a 2-1 lead, but the Brewers won in walk-off fashion as San Francisco fell to 1-3 in his past four road starts.

However, the Giants are 4-0 in Bumgarner’s last four outings at Oracle Park, while the left-hander continued his domination of the Mets in his career by tossing six innings and allowing three runs in a 9-3 extra-innings victory at Citi Field on June 4 as a +135 underdog. Dating back to 2016, the Giants are 5-0 in Bumgarner’s last five outings against the Mets, although four of those victories came in New York.

Syndergaard (7-4, 4.55 ERA) is unbeaten in his last five starts, including a dominating effort against Miami in his past trip to the mound last Saturday. The Mets defeated Miami, 4-2 as a -130 favorite behind Syndergaard’s nine strikeouts in seven innings of work, as the right-hander picked up his first road victory since May 14 at Washington. Syndergaard opposed Bumgarner last month in that 10-inning defeat as the Giants scored six runs in the 10th to bust open a 3-3 game. The last time Syndergaard took the hill at Oracle Park back in September 2018, he posted a complete-game two-hitter with 11 strikeouts in a 4-1 triumph.

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

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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