weekend’s major league action:
Brewers Best at the Midway
The Milwaukee Brewers reached the midway point of their season in
style, defeating the Colorado Rockies 7-4 Thursday to improve to
a National League-best 49-32. The Brewers lead the majors in
money won at +$1,534 and have a 42-35-4 O/U record.
Toronto Averse to Big Totals
The Toronto Blue Jays (-165, 9.5) face another big total Friday
as they face the visiting Chicago White Sox in the second of a
four-game series. The Blue Jays have seen plenty of lofty
numbers of late but have largely underwhelmed, going 3-11-1 O/U
in their last 15 games with the total set at nine or higher.
The Minnesota Twins send Phil Hughes to the
hill Saturday to face Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers. Hughes
enters Friday as the top money-winner in the majors at +$1,050,
with the Twins going an impressive 11-4 in his 15 starts so
Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will look to end a
curious career trend Sunday as he faces the visiting St. Louis
Cardinals. Kershaw is just 4-5 in 12 career starts, with a 3.75
ERA – his highest against any National League opponent.
* Arizona right-hander Brandon McCarthy has
been bad news for the Diamondbacks, who are 2-14 in his 16
starts entering Friday’s game against host San Diego (-133,
6.5). But both of those victories came against the Padres, who
are coming off a no-hitter loss to San Francisco.
* San Francisco fans will undoubtedly be pleased that their
Saturday tilt with visiting Cincinnati takes place under the
lights. Reds starter Alfredo Simon is just 4-2
with a 4.01 ERA and 3-4 O/U in night starts this season,
compared to a 6-1 mark with a 2.11 ERA and 1-7 O/U in afternoon
* Milwaukee hurler Yovani Gallardo appears to
have turned things around entering Sunday’s start against
visiting Colorado. Gallardo has allowed just three runs – and
zero homers – over his past four starts after surrendering 24
runs – and eight home runs – in his previous six outings.
* Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett is
having a month to remember, batting an even .400 so far in June
entering Friday’s encounter with the Rockies (+179, 9). Gennett
has 11 RBIs over his previous nine games, during which
Milwaukee is 7-2 SU and 6-2-1 O/U.
* It could be tough sledding for Houston hitters in their
Saturday encounter with the host Detroit Tigers. Members of the
Astros roster are hitting just .159 with 24 strikeouts in 69
at-bats against Tigers starter Max Scherzer.
* Chicago White Sox rookie Jose Abreu may find
things difficult in Sunday’s series finale with the Toronto
Blue Jays. Abreu enters Friday hitting just .242 versus
left-handed pitching, and will face one of the league’s hottest
southpaws in Toronto’s Mark Buehrle.
Colorado Rockies (6-1-1 O/U): How big is too
big a total? That has been a difficult question to answer for
oddsmakers who continue to struggle with the high-scoring
Rockies; Colorado faced three totals of 11 or higher in a
six-game stretch, and promptly went 2-0-1 O/U.
Prop of the Day
The Brewers are a strong bet at -4.5, paying +400 against a
Rockies team that ranks last in the majors in team ERA (4.93).
* An MRI on Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley
Ramirez‘s right shoulder revealed no structural
damage, meaning he’ll likely avoid a DL stint. The Dodgers are
6-2 SU, 2-6 O/U and +422 units in eight games without Ramirez
so far in 2014.
* Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado will
take batting practice Friday as he continues to rehab a
fractured left middle finger. The Rockies have scuffled in his
absence, going 9-22 SU, 18-10-3 O/U and losing a whopping
-1,185 units over that stretch.
* Washington outfielder Bryce Harper may
return from a torn thumb ligament as soon as Monday. Harper has
been on the disabled list since late-April with the injury; the
Nationals are 28-26 SU, 22-27-5 O/U and -270 units in his
WAG of the Day
Laura Posada is the wife of former New York
Yankees catcher Jorge Posada.
* Fans at The Ballpark in Arlington are in for some unusual
weather Friday, with wind blowing in from center field at 17
mph for the game between the host Rangers (-133, 9.5) and
Minnesota. Texas played just two games under similar conditions
last season, with teams combining to hit a paltry .168.
* Wind at Wrigley Field will be blowing out to left field
Saturday when the Cubs entertain the Nationals. Teams averaged
a whopping 11.33 runs and three home runs under similar
conditions a season ago, well above stadium averages.
Umpire Note of the Day
The home team is 8-0 in umpire Dale Scott‘s
last eight Friday games behind home plate involving Colorado.
That’s bad news for the Rockies, who visit red-hot Milwaukee.
** Odds, stats, weather forecast and probable pitchers as
of 10:20 a.m. ET Friday.