The Boston Red Sox have some ground to make up atop the American League East – and they’ll look to do just that as they embark on a weekend series against the Athletics at Oakland’s O.co Coliseum. The Red Sox face an uphill climb – they enter the weekend two games back of Toronto for top spot in the East, and they’ll play 19 of their final 29 games away from Fenway Park. But it isn’t all doom and gloom for Boston, which enters this three-game set with a sparkling 19-11 record versus AL West foes.
Race to the Bottom
We have ourselves a tie in the battle for the worst money team in the majors. The Tampa Bay Rays and Minnesota Twins are deadlocked with the worst units total in the majors through Wednesday’s action at -$2,556. Both teams are in tough to improve their fortunes this weekend. The Rays host the East-leading Toronto Blue Jays, who roll into Tropicana Field having won five of their last six games. The Twins have the worst record in the majors and carry a 25-40 home mark into their series with the visiting White Sox.
Cy vs. Cy
Two of the National League’s top Cy Young candidates square off Saturday as Jake Arrieta and the Chicago Cubs host Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants. Both pitchers have faced the opposing team once this season – and both pitchers dominated. Arrieta limited the Giants to a run on four hits while striking out eight over seven sensational innings in a May 20 win. Bumgarner did one better, blanking the Cubs over 7 2/3 innings in a 1-0 San Francisco victory two days later.
WAG of the Week:
Ariana Aubert is the girlfriend of J.D. Martinez of the Detroit Tigers.
Ariana is a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader and now just lives the
life of a baseball WAG. (WAG courtesy of PSD RedZone)
* The Baltimore Orioles haven’t been the same team with outfielder Adam Jones (hamstring) out of the lineup – at least from a runs perspective. While Baltimore is 6-4 SU and +$253 without Jones this season, they’re an eye-popping 1-8-1 O/U in his absence.
* The Miami Marlins are struggling without Giancarlo Stanton, but the absence of third baseman Derek Dietrich (knee) has been just as damaging. The Marlins are 4-7 SU, a whopping -$413 and 2-9 O/U in the 11 games Dietrich has missed so far in 2016.
* Defending American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson is heating up, having belted six home runs and driven in 11 over his past seven games. The Blue Jays love watching him go deep; they’re 24-5 in games in which Donaldson has homered this season.
* It has been a rough week for Milwaukee Brewers slugger Chris Carter, who is a dismal 4-for-24 with 12 Ks – including a pair of three-strikeout days – in the past week. Not surprisingly, the Brewers as a team have faltered during that span, losing six of those seven contests.
* Michael Fulmer has pleased Tigers fans and bettors alike as he continues his run toward the AL Rookie of the Year award. Fuller comes into the weekend ranked fifth in units won at +$1,192; he’ll look to add to that total Saturday as he faces the host Kansas City Royals.
* On the opposite end of the spectrum – at least from a Detroit perspective – is Anibal Sanchez, who will look to climb out of the money basement Friday night against Royals ace Danny Duffy. Sanchez has amassed a -$1,264 total through 22 starts, with Detroit going 5-17 in those games.
It has been a tale of two seasons for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are an outstanding Under play at home (25-43 O/U) and one of the league’s top Over plays away from Dodger Stadium (35-25-5 O/U).
Umpire Stat of the Day
The home team is hot when Dana Demuth is calling balls ans strikes in a game where the White Sox are involved. The home team is 6-0 in DeMuth’s last six games behind home plate versus Chicago. The White Sox visit the Twins in Minnesota Friday night. Both are currently on the board at an even -104.
Friday’s Weather Report
Friday looks like a beautiful night for baseball all across the country, with minimal weather in the forecast.