Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM
Ballpark Figures - Week 21
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The Cleveland Indians were expected to be contenders in the American League Central Division, but they got off to an atrocious start and fellow double-digit games behind the Minnesota Twins in the month of June. However, the Indians have been the hottest team since just before the All-Star break, and they just won three of four games at Target Field to pull into a tie with the Twins. Many expected the Central to be one of the worst divisions in baseball, and it still might be with the sorry Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals, but it's also the only division sporting a pair of 70-win clubs.
The defending champion Boston Red Sox are not only expected to contend this season, they're expected to contend for championships every season now. That's why it's shocking that the defending champs, and a team with a sky-high payroll, sit just four games over .500 and 16 games back in the American League East. They're skidding, winning just three of the past 10 games overall, and they're a shocking 30-32 at Fenway Park this season. The Red Sox are still a solid 32-26 on the road, and they're where they'll be at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Monday night.
LHP Eduardo Rodriguez looks to snap the Red Sox back on track, while RHP Zach Plesac takes the ball from manager Terry Francona in the home debut for outfielder Yasiel Puig.
The Red Sox are 3-11 in the past 14 games overall, and 0-5 in the past five on the road, while going 0-8 in the past eight games against teams with a winning overall mark. They're 4-1 in the past five against American League Central foes, however, and 12-4 in the past 16 in Game 1 of a new series. They're also an impressive 11-1 in the past 12 starts by E-Rod against AL Central foes, and 14-2 in the past 16 in Game 1 of a new series. The Red Sox are also 4-1 in Rodriguez's past five outings on the road against a team with a winning overall mark.
The Indians counter with Plesac, and they're a perfect 6-0 in his past six outings. They're also 5-0 in his past five appearances at Progressive Field, while cashing in each of his past five against teams with a winning overall mark. The Indians are 37-15 across the past 52 games overall, and 22-7 in the past 29 games against a left-handed starting pitcher, while going 13-3 in the past 16 at home vs. LHP. They;re also 5-1 in the past six games at home, while connecting in six of the past eight in Game 1 of a new series.
Progressive Field has been a house of horrors for the Red Sox lately, and they're when they've had a lot more success. Boston is just 5-13 in the past 18 trips to Cleveland, and 1-4 in the past five meetings overall in this series.
Monday, Aug. 12
The Orioles and Yankees will battle in a day-night doubleheader in the Bronx on Monday. This will be the fifth doubleheader of the season for the O's, including the second against the Yankees. New York swept a double dipt in the Bronx back on May 15 against the O's, and the Orioles are 2-6 in their eight doubleheaders, getting swept twice and splitting the other two.
For the Yankees, besides the sweep of the Orioles on May 15, they're 9-1 with four sweeps in their five doubleheaders this season. Only the New York Mets, back on June 11, were able to beat the Yankees in Game 2 of their twin bill.
The O's use RHP Gabriel Ynoa in Game 1, and the O's are 0-6 in his past six road outings, and 0-7 in his past seven overall. They're also 0-4 in his past four on the road against teams with a winning record, while going 32-76 in their past 108 inside the division. Conversely, the Yankees are 40-12 in their past 52 games at home, and 43-14 in the past 57 games inside the AL East. New York is also 40-15 in the past 55 vs. RHP, while going 38-16 in the past 54 games in Game 1 of a new series.
The O's and Yankees will be facing an 8-11 mph wind blowing out to straightaway center field for their doubleheader. In Chicago, the Astros and White Sox won't be affected by wind, but the chance of light rain which stands at 35-40 percent during the game.
Tuesday, Aug. 13
LHP Clayton Kershaw takes the ball for the Dodgers in a battle with RHP Jordan Yamamoto of the Marlins in Miami. After a little bit of a slump, Kershaw is back. He has six consecutive quality starts, including six scoreless innings with just two hits allowed and 10 strikeouts in a no-decision against the Marlins at Dodger Stadium on July 20. Los Angeles has posted a 5-0 mark across his past five outings, including 2-0 over his past two starts on the road.
Astros RHP Gerrit Cole will square off against White Sox RHP Ivan Nova on the south side of Chicago in a rematch of the 2005 World Series. The ChiSox are far from a championship contender these days, going 2-10 across their past 12 games at home, including a pair of shutout loss over the weekend against the visiting Oakland Athletics. These teams previously met in Houston back on May 20-23, with the teams splitting a four-game set. However, Nova did outpitch Cole in a 9-4 victory on May 22, cashing as huge underdogs at +310.
Speaking of those A's, they'll host the Giants in an interleague battle with LHP Brett Anderson on the bump. The Giants pulled off a dramatic 9-6 win on national television over the Philadelphia Phillies, and they have won three of the past four. They're also an impressive 15-7 across the past 22 games on the road dating back to June 21. This is the first meeting of the season between these Bay Area rivals, with another two-game set coming in Oakland on Aug. 24-25. The A's won both three-game sets last season by two games to one. The Giants did outscore the A's 12-11 at Oracle Park from July 13-15.
The O's and Yankees will face each other in Game 3 of their set in New York after a make-up twin bill on Monday. However, rain might rear its ugly head again, with chances of rain forecast at 50 percent for Tuesday's battle. The Cubs and Phillies will face a 35 percent chance of rain at Citizens Bank Park. The Reds and Nationals will also face a 30 percent chance of light precipitation in the nation's capital.
For the Red Sox-Indians battle at Progressive Field, they'll see a 10-13 mph wind blowing in from right field into the face of the batters. That's the only wind trouble spot, and all of the games after 8 p.m. ET will go off without a hitch.