Birds of a Different Feather
The Toronto Blue Jays may not have the best record in baseball, but they are without a doubt the team that nobody wants to play in the playoffs. The Jays have won 24 of their last 29 overall, and they lead the majors in runs scored by a country mile. While it was their offense that carried them in the first half of the season, in recent weeks their defense and pitching staff have been equal to the task. The Jays host Cleveland this week, and they’ll be heavy favorites in all three games.
Cincinnati has lost 14 of it’s last 16 overall, and they have a tough series on the road in Chicago this week. The Reds have lost 12 of their last 16 versus the Cubs, and eight of their last 10 at Wrigley. Chicago has won 14 of it’s last 17 home games.
The Halos are batting a major league worst .228 since the All Start break, and they’ve lost eight of their last 10 overall. They are on the road in Oakland this week, and then they play the Rangers at home this weekend. They trail the Rangers by 3.5 games in the Wild Card race, and if they fail to gain ground now, the playoffs will likely be out of reach.
WAG of the Day
Brad Boxberger’s wife Anna Boxberger
* Edwin Encarnacion owns the major league’s longest active hitting streak at 25 games, and he’s batting .409 with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs during that span. The Jays host the Indians in a three game series this week, and Danny Salazar will start Game 1 for Cleveland. Encarnacion is 2-for-5 with a home run lifetime versus Salazar.
* Josh Donaldson was 6-for-13 with two home runs and five RBIs in a three game sweep of the Tigers this weekend. He leads the major leagues with 106 RBIs, and his 36 home runs are just three fewer than major league leader Nelson Cruz.
* Mad Max Scherzer has now lost his last four starts, putting his record at 11-11, 2.88 ERA on the season. He’s 1-4 with a 5.09 ERA in eight starts since the All Star break, and his next start comes on Wednesday on the road in St. Louis. He lost his only previous start versus the Cardinals, allowing a pair of runs on six hits over seven innings.
* Mark Buehrle is quietly in second place in the American League with 14 wins, one fewer than Dallas Keuchel and Felix Hernandez. Buehrle is 4-1 with a 3.99 ERA in his last eight starts.
Over the last few years, we’ve come to think of San Diego’s PETCO Park as one of the most pitcher friendly in the majors. That’s quickly becoming a myth here in 2015. According to ESPN Park Factors, PETCO ranks in the top 10 in home runs. They host the Texas Rangers this week, and the Padres have seen the total go over in seven of their last eight home games.
* Wind is expected blow out to dead-center field at around 13 miles per hour in Denver when the Colorado Rockies host the Los Angeles Angels Monday.
* Yasiel Puig is sidelined for at least two weeks with a hamstring strain, and that’s not good news for a Dodgers team that has struggled at the plate of late.
* Mark Teixeira has not played since August 26 due to a bruised shin. He will not be available for Game 1 at Boston, but could return at some point in the series.