Houston, We Have Liftoff!
The Astros hot, winning 11 of 16 since the All Star break. They’ve leapfrogged the Angels in the AL West, now sitting four games clear of Los Angeles. While the Astros picked up Carlos Gomez and Scott Kazmir at the deadline, the Angels lost C.J. Wilson to a season ending injury. Kazmir will make his next start on Wednesday, and he’s tossed 14 2/3 scoreless innings in back to back wins since joining the club.
All Tied Up In The NL East
The Nationals were swept in a three game series at Citi Field over the weekend, and they are now locked in a first place tie with the Mets at the top of the division. The Mets will play a three game series at Miami, and the Marlins have lost seven of their last nine. Washington will play host to Arizona, and the scrappy Diamondbacks have won six of their last eight. We could see a real pitcher’s duel on Tuesday, with Patrick Corbin starting opposite Mad Max.
The Texas Rangers are tied with Cleveland for the fewest home wins in the American League. Texas is 21-29 at the Ballpark in Arlington, and it has lost 10 of it’s last 16 home games. That trend seems likely to continue as they host the first place Astros in a three game series starting Monday.
WAG of the day: Houston Astros’ Dallas Keuchel’s girlfriend Mackenzie Valk
*When the Atlanta Braves and San Francisco wrap up their series Wednesday, they could be doing so in the middle of thundershowers. Turner Field will be warm, but cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain Wednesday.
*Right-hander Mike Fiers will make his debut for the Astros in Texas on Tuesday, and the 30 year old has pitched well over the last two months, helping his former team (Milwaukee) win five of his last seven starts.
*Chris Sale is slumping, coming off a brutal performance on the road at Boston last week. He’s not been himself since the All Star break, surrendering 13 runs on a whopping 30 hits over just 18 1/3 innings losing two of three starts.
*Xander Bogaerts is an emerging star for the Red Sox, and the 22 year old is absolutely crushing southpaws this season. Bogaerts is batting .396 against left-handed pitching this season.
*The Bronx Bombers are hitting a major league best .290 since the All Star break, and a home series versus the struggling Red Sox pitching staff isn’t likely to slow them down any.
*The Blue Jays are 0-5 in their past five with Tim Welke calling balls and strikes. Welke is being the plate when the Jays host the Twins Tuesday.
The Toronto Blue Jays are by far the highest scoring team in the major leagues, but perhaps the bookmakers are overcompensating with high totals in Blue Jays games. The Jays have been a hot bet to go under at home this season, and they’ve failed to reach the total in seven of their last 10 at Rogers Center. They are hosting a Twins team that comes into Tuesday’s game having seen the under hit at a rate of 9-1-2 in their last 12 road games.
*The Angels are facing the prospect of losing left-hander C.J. Wilson for the rest of the season. He’s dealing with bone spurs in his left elbow, and is expected to opt for surgery that would put an end to his 2015 campaign.
*The Pirates are awaiting news on right-hander A.J. Burnett, who is also in danger of missing the rest of the season due to an elbow injury.