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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:58 PM

Ballpark Figures - Week 18

Editor's Note: Don't miss out on 30 days of Winning Baseball Picks from Joe Williams for the 2018-19 MLB regular season. Click to win! 

Bring Their 'A' Game
The Oakland Athletics hit the road for the Gulf Coast to battle the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. The A's enter the series 6 1/2 games back of the Astros for first place in the American League West Division, so they'll need to bring their 'A' game (yep, said it again!). 

The A's have been red-hot lately, winning 21 of their past 29 games on the road, while going 38-18 across the past 56 outings to get themselves right back into the hunt for a playoff spot as we wrap up the month of July. A good reason for their resurgence has been their ability to hit right-handed pitchers, as they're 20-7 in the past 27 vs. RHP, and 8-3 in the past 11 on the road against righties. They are also 7-1 in the past eight games inside the division, while going 12-1 in the past 13 games following a loss. Oakland has also won four of the past five in Game 1 of a new series.

 Houston has won five straight, and they're 5-0 in the past five games against teams with a winning overall record while winning four straight against right-handed starting pitchers, too. Like the A's, the Astros have also been hot inside the division, winning 39 of the past 52 (.750 winning percentage) against AL West foes. The Astros turn to RHP Gerrit Cole, and that usually ends up favorably. The Astros are 22-5 in the past 27 starts by Cole, while going 5-1 in his past six against winning teams and 4-1 in his past six inside the division, too. Meanwhile, Houston is also 49-20 in their past 69 games at 'The Juice Box', while going 16-5 across Cole's past 21 in Game 1 of a new series.

In this series, the Astros are 5-1 in the past six starts by Cole against the A's. Oakland has also dropped four in a row in Houston, while winning just 15 of the past 53 against the Astros overall. As such, the A's are probably left saying, "Houston, we have a..." Yeah, nevermind.

Looking Ahead

Monday, July 22
The Cardinals wheel out RHP Daniel Ponce De Leon against Pirates RHP Trevor Williams, who was pushed back a couple of days due to illness. St. Louis definitely doesn't have a case of the Mondays, as they have won six in a row on the day. They're also 4-1 in the past five overall, 4-1 in the past five vs. RHP and 4-1 in Ponce De Leon's past five outings, too. For the Bucs, they're 10-4 in the past 14 home outings, but they have won just twice in the past nine contests. They are 10-2 in the past 12 at home vs. RHP, and 6-1 in the past seven starts by Williams.

It's a battle of lefties at Target Field when LHP CC Sabathia toes the slab against LHP Martin Perez in a key American League series opener. The Yankees have won seven of the past 10 on the road, and they're 8-3 in the past 11 vs. LHP. While they're 9-4 in Sabathia's past 13 on a grass surface, New York is 1-5 in the past six road outings by CC, and 0-4 in his past four on the road against winning teams. The Twins are 0-4 in the past four vs. LHP, and 1-4 in the past five at home against southpaws. The Twins have also won just two of the past seven overall, and they're 2-6 in the past eight following a victory. In this series, the Yankees are 12-2 in CC's past 14 against the Twins, and 7-0 in his past seven starts at Target Field. The Yankees have won 27 of the past 37 trips to the Twin Cities, too.

Weather Report
There is a 40 percent chance of showers for the Rockies-Nationals series opener, picking up as the evening progresses. A day-night doubleheader on Tuesday might be needed. If they do get this one in, the winds will be blowing 10-13 mph out to the right-center field power alley.

On the south side of Chicago, the Marlins and White Sox will face a jetsteam of 12-15 mph out to right field. Other than that, the weather looks good across MLB.

Tuesday, July 23
RHPs Domingo German and Kyle Gibson lock horns in Game 2 of the series at Target Field. The Yankees have won seven of the past nine road outings by German, and 18 of his past 24 starts overall. The Yankees are also an impressive 42-14 in the past 56  against right-handed starters (.750 winning percentage), while going 5-0 in German's past five against winning teams. The Twins are 47-21 in the past 68 at home vs. RHP, and 4-1 in Gibson's past five starts overall. They're also 6-2 in Gibson's past eight at home. However, Minnesota is 0-7 in Gibson's past seven tries against the Bronx Bombers, and 0-5 in his past five starts at home. The over is also 7-2 in Gibson's past nine against New York, and 4-1 in his past five home outings against the Yanks.

The Royals and Braves start an interleague series at SunTrust Park on Tuesday, and LHP Danny Duffy will work against LHP Dallas Keuchel. The Royals have won five of the past seven overall, but they're just 1-4 in the past five against the NL East. They're also 6-18 in Duffy's past 24 against winning teams, and 0-5 in his past five working on five days of rest. The Braves are 9-2 in the past 11 vs. LHP, while going 4-1 in their past five at home against southpaws. They're also 16-6 in the past 22 at home.

The Angels and Dodgers kick off the latest installment of the Freeway Series, this time in Chavez Ravine. RHP Felix Pena goes for the Halos, while RHP Kenta Maeda works for Dodger Blue. The Angels have won seven of the past 10 games overall, and five of their past seven interleague battles. However, they're just 2-6 in the past eight interleague games on the road, while going 1-4 in Pena's past five tries on the road. The Dodgers have won 40 of their past 52 games at home, and they're 27-8 in the past 35 games against winning teams. They have also won six of Maeda's past eight home outings while going 6-1 in his past seven against winning teams. The under is 7-1 in the past eight meetings, while going 5-1 in the past six battles in L.A. The Angels have won just three of their past 11 trips to Dodger Stadium, too.

Weather Report
There is only one trouble spot as far as the elements. The Cubs and Giants will see a 10-13 mph wind blowing out to straightaway center field, but there is no precipitation in the forecast across all MLB venues.

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