Beasts of the East
Excluding the hideous Atlanta Braves, the other four teams in the National League East all have winning records and are separated by just 2.5 games. These four will match up in a pair of series this week with Philadelphia hosting Miami (starting Monday) and the Mets hosting Washington (starting Tuesday).
Who would have guessed that the Phillies would have a better record than the Mets at this point? I talked about the Phils last week and two more one-run victories this weekend improves their record to 14-3 in such games. That’s how they have one more win overall than the reigning Senior Circuit champs despite being 67-runs worse in terms of scoring differential. I repeat – the Phillies winning ways will not continue.
Home not so sweet
Arizona just suffered the embarrassing fate of being swept in a four-game series at home (all losses by two runs or less to the Giants). Ironically, the Diamondbacks had swept a four-game set in San Francisco earlier this year. But this note is about the Diamondbacks and their awful 5-16 home record (Only Atlanta is worse at 2-17).
The last time this team won at Chase Field was April 28. This week sees them welcome in a Yankees team that has now won its last three series and is 7-3 its last 10 games overall. It will be the first Interleague series of the season for both teams.
City of Angels (or Dodgers)?
The longest active win streak in the American League is three games and that belongs to the Angels after they swept the Mariners over the weekend. But it’s going to be a tough assignment for the Halos having to head across town to Chavez Ravine to face Kenta Maeda and Clayton Kershaw on Monday and Tuesday. One benefit for Monday is that the Dodgers will be coming off the Sunday Night game. Will that be enough for the road team, however?
Wag of the Week
Chris Sale of the White Sox is 8-0 this season with a minuscule 1.67 ERA. However, Chris isn’t the only one in the family bringing the heat. Sale’s wife Brianne is a former model turned full-time mother and WAG – and that picture on the right is insanely awesome.
– For the first time all season, the Minnesota Twins have won a road series (took two of three over the weekend in Cleveland). But that’s no thanks to a couple of struggling hitters in the lineup. Joe Mauer went 0-for-4 Sunday and is now 6-for-37 (.162) his last 11 games. Then there’s Brian Dozier, who was given the day off yesterday because he’s batting only .218 for the season. Don’t be surprised if skipper Paul Molitor continues to employ some unique lineups moving forward.
– Minnesota will be in Detroit this week. The Tigers are coming off a 2-5 road trip, but have the top two hitters in the American League in their lineup: Victor Martinez (.352) and Nick Castellanos (.344). When the Tigers swept the Twins earlier this year, those two combined to go 15 of 24 at the plate.
– While Cleveland can’t seem to win much when Corey Kluber pitches (2-6 team start record), they have yet to win at all in Cody Anderson’s five starts. That’s all on the pitcher though as Anderson has a 7.56 ERA and 1.799 WHIP. He has allowed 19 runs in his last four starts, never making it through the sixth inning. Anderson starts against Cincinnati at home Monday.
– Another Monday starter to beware of is Oakland’s Sean Manaea. To say his three starts have not gone well would be putting it mildly. He’s allowed 16 runs in 12 2-3 innings with half of those coming in a disastrous outing last Tuesday which spanned only 2 2-3 innings. Manaea has allowed at least one home run in every start and has an 11.37 ERA and 2.052. Texas has to be chomping at the bit to face him.
There has been no easier bet over the past week than betting Boston Over the total. The Red Sox’s last seven games have all gone that way with the club scoring an incredible 73 runs themselves. Up next for the BoSox is Kansas City, which just faced the lowest-scoring team in all of baseball (Atlanta) and saw all three games stay Under the total.
* The Detroit Tigers activated outfielder Cameron Maybin from the 15-day DL in time for Monday’s game against the Twins. He has missed the entire season thus far after suffering a non-displaced fracture of his left wrist.
* A’s catcher Stephen Vogt is nursing a left thumb injury and is questionable to play Monday against the Rangers.
* Rangers’ second baseman Rougned Odor, Jays’ third baseman Josh Donaldson, Jays’ outfielder Jose Bautista, and Jays relief pitcher Jesse Chavez are all listed as questionable Monday due to the threat of possible suspension. All four were central figures in Sunday’s massive (but awesome) brawl in Texas.
* Ryan Braun of the Brewers has missed the last two games due to a sore right wrist and is questionable to suit up Tuesday against the Cubs.
Monday’s Weather Report
* There is a 90 percent chance of thunderstorms in Kansas City when the Royal and Red Sox will be attempting to kick off their series at Kauffman Stadium. There is also expected to be a stiff 10 mph breeze blowing in from right field. The total is currently set at 7.5.
* The wind is going to be blowing straight out to right field (15 mph) at Progressive Field in Cleveland where the Indians will be hosting the Cincinnati Reds. The total is currently set at 8.5.
* They’re looking at about a 30 percent chance of rain in Detroit this evening where the Tigers will be hosting the road-hot Minnesota Twins. There will also be a 15 mph wind blowing from right field to left field. The total for tonight is set at 8.5.