There is no question as to what the biggest series is this week in baseball. The Cubs host the Dodgers for a four-game set and they get a big break in avoiding Clayton Kershaw altogether. Meanwhile, Jason Hammel, Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester are scheduled to start for the home team in the first three games.
Save for the Arrieta start, it looks like prices will be relatively cheap on the Cubbies here. Note that the Dodgers are just 9-21 as a road underdog of +125 or less the last three seasons including 0-5 so far in 2016. The Under was a perfect 7-0 in last season’s head to meetings, which saw the Dodgers come out ahead with a 4-3 advantage.
A Week to Forget
In the last “Cheat Sheet,” I wrote about the potential for the White Sox recent slide to continue. Well, they were swept over the weekend in Kansas City and have now fallen into third in the division, behind both the Royals and Indians. Now they’ll lose the DH from the lineup this week w/ a trip to Queens to play the Mets.
This is Chicago’s first Interleague series of the year and they won’t have Chris Sale at their disposal.
It should be noted that the White Sox bullpen blew multiple-run leads in every game of the series vs. the Royals.
The Longest Win Streak in MLB Belongs To…
The Twins? Yes, winners of four straight, Minnesota comes off – by far – its most successful series of the season as they swept the Mariners up in Seattle.
Now they travel down the West Coast to face Oakland. Interestingly, when the Twins are off a win this year, they are 8-6. In all other games, they are 7-28!
The A’s have won two in a row themselves as they beat the Tigers both Saturday and Sunday. This will be a matchup of the teams with the worst two run differentials in the American League as Oakland is -50 while Minnesota is -74.
MLB WAG of the Week
Like a match made in heaven – baseball and beers. Of course we’re talking about David Wright’s wife Molly Beers.
* While Ryan Braun has been out for the past two days (stiff neck), Jonathan Villar has been one leading the Milwaukee offense. In fact, the team’s leadoff man is now batting .373 since May 9th after going 9 for 19 (with seven runs scored) the last five games. Villar went 2 for 2 with three runs scored in Sunday’s win over Cincinnati.
* Dustin Pedroia has come around lately for the Red Sox as he’s 10 of 24 at the plate his last six games with five doubles. He had four RBI’s over the weekend against Toronto.
* I talked about the White Sox earlier, but Chris Sale has now seen the team lose his last two starts after he’d opened the year a perfect 9-0. The first loss was definitely Sale’s fault, but on Sunday was one of the aforementioned bullpen meltdowns.
* The team with arguably the hottest pitching staff in all of MLB right now is the Giants, whose rotation has posted a 1.53 ERA the last 17 games. A big key is that the team has been able to use the same five starters all year – Johnny Cueto, Madison Bumgarner, Jeff Samardzija, Jake Peavy and Matt Cain. But note they are only a combined 7-13 when either Peavy or Cain starts.
For the second time this month, the Royals are working on a streak of at least five consecutive games going Over the total. The current one has seen them go Over in six straight games.
Monday’s Weather Report
* There is a 90 percent chance of rain throughout the game tonight between the Nationals and the Phillies in “The City Of Brotherly Love”. There will also be a very slight breeze (5 mph) blowing out to center field. The total for tonight is set at 7.5.
* There will be thunderstorms in the area of Kansas City tonight for the game between the Royals and the Tampa Bay Rays. They are also forecasting a 30 percent chance of rain and a 5-10 mph wind blowing out to left field. The total for tonight is 8.0.
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