Advantage: Baltimore – Or Is It?
The Baltimore Orioles know they’ll need to outperform the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox the rest of the way to leapfrog both of them in the AL East standings – and that starts with a three-game series against the visiting Jays beginning Monday night. Toronto has a 7-6 edge in the season series to date, but Baltimore has the upper hand at home, winning four of six games at Camden Yards. The problem: All three Orioles starters – Wade Miley, Ubaldo Jimenez and Yovani Gallardo – have an ERA north of 5.50.
Home Field Put to the Test
The Kansas City Royals are in tough to defend their World Series title this season, but that’s in no way due to struggles at home. They’ll take a 40-21 record at Kauffman Stadium into an early-week series with the visiting New York Yankees. New York is also fighting for its playoff life, but has to like its chances this week; the Yankees are an impressive 19-11 against AL Central Division foes, and claimed three of four when the teams previously met at Yankee Stadium back in early May.
Clash of the Non-Titans
Two of the worst interleague teams in baseball do battle in Anaheim this week as the Los Angeles Angels entertain the Cincinnati Reds. Los Angeles has just six victories in 17 interleague games so far this season, including losses in three of their last four. The Reds are even worse off, sporting a dismal 5-12 interleague record. Cincinnati is one of the top Over plays in baseball, entering the week at 71-48-10 O/U. The Angels are 31-29-2 O/U at home, but have played to the Under in four of their last five at Anaheim.
WAG of the Week:
In honor of the Yankees getting back in the playoff hunt, here is WAG Hall-Of-Famer Hannah Davis. Derek Jeter must really be enjoying his retirement.
* A lost season continues for Twins outfielder Danny Santana, who has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder after running into teammate Robbie Grossman. The Twins are 10-20 SU and 19-9-2 O/U with Santana on the sidelines this season.
* Things have gone exactly as you’d figure they would after the Colorado Rockies lost sensational rookie shortstop Trevor Story to a season-ending thumb injury. The Rockies improved to 12-20 without Story in the lineup Sunday with a 5-3 win over Washington, and are down $584 in his absence.
* The Blue Jays sure do like seeing Josh Donaldson go deep – and he did so three times Sunday, helping Toronto rally for a 9-6 triumph over the visiting Minnesota Twins. The Blue Jays are a sizzling 9-1 SU in the last 10 games in which Donaldson has homered.
* The current members of the Seattle Mariners have never taken Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish deep in 96 at-bats, but third baseman Kyle Seager hasn’t had much trouble with him. Seeger is 9-for-25 all-time against Darvish, with four doubles and eight runs batted in.
* Can Kenta Maeda tame the powerhouse Colorado Rockies lineup at Coors Field? Maeda has held current members of the Rockies’ roster to a combined .177/.227/.258 slash line over 62 at-bats; Nolan Arenado is just 2-for-9 against him, while Carlos Gomez is 1-for-6 with four strikeouts.
* If the Royals make a run at the AL Central title, Ian Kennedy will probably be pivotal to their success. Kennedy has been red-hot of late, allowing just five earned runs over his previous six starts; the Royals are 4-2 SU and 1-4-1 O/U in those outings.
It’s typical to think of Oakland as a strong Under team, and it hasn’t disappointed. Sunday’s 7-4 win over visiting St. Louis was just the second Over play for the A’s in their previous 12 games.
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