Into the Gray
After 13 starts only one team has scored more than three runs off Oakland Athletics’ right-hander Sonny Gray (7-3, 1.74 ERA). Just two have crossed the plate more than twice. Gray has been especially dominant in day games, with a 0.69 ERA in four outings. His next start will come on Sunday afternoon at the Los Angeles Angels, against whom Gray is already 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA this season.
Cameron going crazy
Atlanta Braves’ center fielder Cameron Maybin is on a seven-game hitting streak and he is hitting .483 in June. The first-year Brave has a ridiculous nine multi-hit performances in his last 12 contests. Atlanta is 8-2-1 O/U in its last 11 overall.
Houston, we have a problem
The Houston Astros get a much-needed day off on Thursday in advance of a three-game home series against the Seattle Mariners. Houston’s 4-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday completed a stretch of seven losses in seven days. In this current seven-game skid, the Astros have scored two runs or fewer on six occasions.
WAG of the Day
Shelbi Alyssa, girlfriend of Texas Rangers rookie Joey Gallo
* Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers is coming off the disabled list and will make his first start of the season on Saturday against the visiting Cleveland Indians. Since being sidelined by a triceps injury, Verlander has made two rehab starts for Triple-A Toledo. He surrendered just one run on four hits and no walks in 5.2 innings in a 93-pitch appearance last weekend.
* Pittsburgh Pirates’ ace Gerrit Cole is positively on fire, to the tune of three scoreless efforts in his last four starts (all featuring at least seven innings of work). Cole’s steadily-improving season statistics currently stand at 9-2, a 1.37 ERA, and 86 strikeouts in 78 innings. The 24-year-old righty will take the mound at home against the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.
* The Toronto Blue Jays are on an eight-game winning streak (4-2-2 O/U) thanks in part to some outstanding work at the plate. They have scored at least four runs in all eight contests and at least six runs in six of the eight. Designated hitter Jose Bautista (.254, 11 HR, 37 RBI) has hit safely in 12 of his last 14 games and he has four homers in his last seven outings.
* One man cannot be the reason for a team to be so inept as the Phillies, but second baseman Chase Utley certainly is not helping right now. The 36-year-old does not have a single hit in his last six games and he is zero for his last 21 at-bats. Philadelphia, not coincidentally, is 1-6 in its last seven overall.
* The Baltimore Orioles are 6-0 in their last six ball games when Lazaro Diaz is umpiring behind home plate. He’ll be working the dish Thursday evening when the Boston Red Sox visit Camden Yards.
* There is a 53 percent chance of thunderstorms in Chicago as the Cubs host the Reds Thursday evening.
* Forecasts are calling for wind blowing in directly from centerfield at Globe Life Park in Arlington when the Texas Rangers host the Minnesota Twins Friday.
Baltimore Orioles (23-32-3 O/U): Two games in a row have gone under the total for the Orioles, which means they are now 1-6 O/U in their last seven overall. They have not allowed more than three runs in any of their last seven games.
* Cincinnati Reds’ shortstop Zack Cozart (.258, 9 HR, 28 RBI) sustained a knee injury while trying to beat out a throw at first base during Wednesday’s contest against the Phillies. Cozart had to be helped from the field without putting any weight on his right leg. The Reds assured that a DL stint is likely, and it could be extensive.
* New York Yankees’ closer Andrew Miller is going on the 15-day disabled list due to a forearm strain and he is expected to miss at least three weeks. Miller is tied for second in the American League with 17 saves and his ERA is 1.03. The Yankees used a less experienced bullpen on Wednesday and blew a lead in the eighth inning before giving up a winning run to the Washington Nationals in the 11th. That ended a seven-game winning steak.