Houston.. We Have a Problem!
The Astros are now 2.5 games out of first place after losing four straight to the Rangers in Texas. The good news is that they are still 1.5 games ahead of the Twins for the final Wild Card spot, and they play their next nine games at home at Minute Maid Park. Houston will host the last-place A’s in a three-game series over the weekend, and the odds are in their favor. The Astros have been a good bet at home, going 40-15 in their last 55 games in Houston.
The Nationals have fallen apart in the second half of the season, while the Marlins are enjoying their role as spoiler. Miami has won 12 of it’s last 16 overall, including taking 2-of-3 in a home series versus Washington last week. After upsetting the Nats in the series opener on Thursday, they will finish out a four-game set at Nationals Park over the weekend. Jose Fernandez will get the nod for the Fish on Friday, and he’s 2-0 with an 0.82 ERA against the Nats this season.
Battle of the Bottom Feeders
Things have gotten ugly in Atlanta, as the Braves have not been at all competitive in the second half of the season. They’ve really struggled at home, losing 14 of their last 15 at Turner Field. They host Philadelphia this weekend, and the Phillies have lost 11 of their last 14 overall. The Phillies hand the ball to rookie Adam Morgan in Game 1, and he’s 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA against Atlanta.
WAG of the Day
Kevin Pillar’s wife Amanda.
* The Boston Red Sox lead the major leagues batting .288 in day games in 2015, and they will play matinees at Toronto on Saturday and Sunday. Boston has won three of it’s last four versus Toronto, scoring in double digits in all three wins.
* Nobody has been swinging a hotter bat than Joey Votto in the second half of the season. Votto is batting .374 with a dozen home runs and 31 RBIs since the All Star break.
* Jake Arrieta failed to record his 20th win of the season despite tossing a gem at Pittsburgh his last time out. Arrieta went eight innings, allowing one earned run and striking out five, but the Cubs needed extra-innings to get by the Pirates and Jake got the no-decision. He’ll get another chance on Tuesday against the Brewers.
* Cole Hamels is enjoying a six game unbeaten streak, and he’s set to make his next start at home against Seattle on Saturday. He’s 4-1 with a 3.99 ERA in his last 10 starts.
* The Detroit Tigers will host the Royals at Comerica Park over the weekend, and these teams have pushed the total over the number in each of the last four head to head meetings. Detroit has been one of the best bets to go over all season long, and the over is 6-2-1 in the Tigers last nine overall.
* Pirates SS Jung Ho Kang suffered a gruesome injury when Chris Coghlan came in for a hard slide at second base in yesterday’s game. He’s out for the season with a torn MCL and a broken fibula.
* Joe Kelly will miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, and he had been pitching well for the Red Sox. He was 8-1 with a 3.77 ERA in his last 11 starts.
* The Under has gone 7-1 in the last eight ball games that umpire Chris Conroy has worked behind home plate. He’ll be calling balls and strikes in Washington when the Marlins visit the Nats Friday.
* Wind will be blowing in from right field at roughly 11 miles per hour at Rangers Ballpark when the Texas Rangers host the Seattle Mariners Friday evening.
* It could also be windy in Cleveland Saturday as forecasts predict winds of up to 18 miles per hour blowing in from left field when the Indians host the Chicago White Sox.