Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:57 PM
Friday's Diamond Notes
Hottest team: Braves (8-2 last 10)
Unfortunately for Atlanta, it doesn’t get to play Miami for the rest of the regular season. The Braves knocked off the Marlins for the 15th time in 19 meetings in Thursday’s 3-2 walk-off victory at SunTrust Park to pull off the three-game sweep. Atlanta finished off its homestand at 8-2, while the Braves picked up their first home sweep since mid-June against the Pirates.
The Braves travel to New York for the weekend to face off with the Mets at Citi Field, as Atlanta took two of three from its division rival last week. Atlanta has won six consecutive starts made by Mike Foltynewicz, as the right-hander takes the mound in the series opener. Foltynewicz is unbeaten in his last three road starts, as he squares off with the Mets for the first time this season after the Braves beat New York twice in his two starts against them in 2018.
Coldest team: Blue Jays (1-6 last seven)
Although Toronto lost all three games at Los Angeles, the Blue Jays hung around in the final two defeats as a heavy underdog. The Dodgers topped the Jays in extra innings on Wednesday, while Toronto squandered a 2-0 lead in the ninth inning as Los Angeles scored three runs to walk it off to send the Jays to their fifth consecutive defeat. Toronto’s offense has not been able to come through during this skid by scoring only nine runs in the past five games since posting seven runs against Seattle last Friday.
The Jays will battle the Mariners for the second consecutive weekend as Toronto invades T-Mobile Park. Toronto has lost six of its past eight road games since a five-game away winning streak in late July into early August. Trent Thornton takes the mound for the Blue Jays, as the right-hander is winless in his past three outings although all three losses came by one run each. Thornton faces the Mariners for the second consecutive weekend after picking up a no-decision in a 4-3 defeat last Saturday as he allowed three runs in six innings of work.
Hottest pitcher: Jack Flaherty, Cardinals (7-6, 3.46 ERA)
Dating back to July 7, Flaherty has allowed a total of five runs in eight starts, while posting four scoreless outings in this stretch. St. Louis has won five of Flaherty’s last six starts, including home victories over the Cubs and Astros. The lone loss during this span came at Los Angeles on August 7 as the Dodgers scored two runs in the ninth inning for a 2-1 victory, erasing a 10-strikeout effort from Flaherty. The Cardinals had cashed seven consecutive UNDERS prior to a PUSH against Cincinnati his last time out, as Flaherty is facing the Rockies for the second time in his career after losing to Colorado in 2018.
Coldest pitcher: Dylan Cease, White Sox (2-6, 5.93 ERA)
Chicago has won only two of Cease’s eight starts since he entered the rotation in July, as both victories came against last-place Detroit. Cease was knocked around in his last start against the Angels by allowing five runs in five innings of a 9-2 defeat this past Sunday. The run support has not been good for Cease as the White Sox have scored two runs or fewer in all six of his losses, while the UNDER has hit in his past three home outings. Cease squares off with the Rangers on Friday as Texas is 0-5 in its past five Game 2’s of a series.
Biggest OVER run: Rays (7-3 last 10)
Tampa Bay’s four-game OVER streak came to an end in last night’s 5-2 victory at Baltimore that included a lengthy rain delay. The total stayed UNDER 10 as the O’s scored two runs in the first inning before not scoring again, while Tampa Bay trotted out seven pitchers in the win. Thursday’s win marked the 14th time in the last 16 victories that the Rays have scored at least five runs, while the OVER has hit 12 times in this span. Trevor Richards makes his second start for Tampa Bay after getting dealt from Miami as the right-hander lasted 3.1 innings his last time out in a 5-4 comeback win over Detroit.
Biggest UNDER run: Padres (5-0 last five)
San Diego returns home following a 3-3 road trip at Philadelphia and Cincinnati that saw the Padres score three runs or fewer in the last four games. After holding off the Reds, 3-2 in the series opener at Cincinnati on Monday, San Diego’s offense couldn’t get going in the final two losses at Great American Ballpark in which it scored two runs each. The Padres welcome in the Red Sox for an interleague series at Petco Park as Chris Paddack starts the opener. Paddack owns a 5-2 record and 2.53 home ERA this season, while the OVER has hit in his previous four starts at Petco Park.
Matchup to watch: Yankees vs. Dodgers
A potential World Series preview takes place this weekend at Chavez Ravine between a couple of old rivals who matched up in the Fall Classic in the 50’s and 70’s. The Yankees haven’t looked like World Series material of late after getting swept in the Bay Area by the Athletics to start their road trip, while scoring just nine runs in the three losses. The Bronx Bombers have dropped five of their past seven games, but New York remains eight games ahead of Tampa Bay in the American League East race.
Los Angeles swept Toronto in a hard-fought series at home, which included consecutive walk-off victories. Since dropped a pair of games to the Angels in late July at Dodger Stadium, the NL West leaders have won 12 of their past 14 contests at Chavez Ravine, including posting a 3-1 mark in home series openers.
It's a battle of southpaws on the mound tonight as Hyun-Jin Ryu squares off with James Paxton in the opener. Ryu (12-3, 1.64 ERA) is in the middle of the Cy Young discussion in the National League, although the Dodgers’ left-hander is coming off his first loss since late June in a 4-3 setback at Atlanta last Saturday. Ryu had allowed four runs combined in his previous six starts (all Dodger wins) before getting tagged for four runs in 5.2 innings. The Dodgers own a perfect 11-0 record in Ryu’s 11 home starts this season, while not giving up a run in three of his past four home outings.
Paxton (9-6, 4.53 ERA) was 0-for-July as the Yankees lost all five of his starts, but the former Mariners’ hurler has rebounded nicely in August. New York has won all four of his outings this month, including three victories at home. The road hasn’t been kind to Paxton this season as the Yankees are 4-5 in his nine starts away from the Bronx, while the OVER has cashed seven times.
Betcha didn’t know: Jose Berrios has not won at home since May 24 as the Twins’ right-hander heads to the mound against the Tigers on Friday. Minnesota owns an 0-5 record in Berrios’ last five starts at Target Field, all as a favorite of -140 or higher.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.