MLB-Regular season- Weekend essentials

Hottest team: Dodgers (9-0 past nine games, 15-1 past 16 overall)

The Dodgers continued to mow down the competition on Saturday, turning back the division rival Rockies by a 4-0 count behind Clayton Kershaw. They have outscored the Rockies 10-1 over the first two games of the series, and they’re outscoring the competition 108-57 over the past 16 outings. Brandon McCarthy looks to keep the Dodgers in the win column on Sunday. They have won 13 of his past 16 starts at Chavez Ravine, and 11 of his past 15 outings. And for what it’s worth, the Dodgers have won each of McCarthy’s past six assignments on Sunday. The Rockies are slipping, winning just once in the past six road games while going 0-4 in their past four against divisional foes.

Coldest team: Giants (0-4 past four games, 1-11 past 12 overall)

While it’s very pleasing to Dodgers fans to see their team on the ‘hottest team’ area, it’s likely just as pleasing seeing the Giants in the ‘coldest team’ section. For bettors, they have been fading the Giants hard lately. San Francisco has not only lost four in a row, but they have lost by an average of 3.4 runs per game, and just two of their past 11 losses have been of the one-loss variety. The Giants have been outscored 16-6 over the first two games of the series against the Mets, who entered 1-7 in their previous eight games before wins Friday and Saturday. The Giants haven’t had much luck vs. RHP, going 3-13 over their past 16, including 0-7 in their past seven at home against righties.

Hottest pitcher: Ervin Santana, Twins (9-4, 2.97 ERA)

The Twins have picked up road victories in each of the first two games in Cleveland, and they look for the sweep on Sunday behind their best pitcher. Minnesota improved to 22-9 on the road this season, second-best in the majors only to Houston. The Twins are 17-4 in their past 21 road games vs. RHP, and 5-1 across Santana’s past six road outings. Santana’s dominance will be put to the test against a Cleveland team which is 8-0 in their past eight on a Sunday. The Indians are also 5-1 over Josh Tomlin’s past six against the Twins, while Minnesota is still just 5-14 over the past 19 games against Cleveland despite their 2-0 series advantage so far.

Coldest pitcher: Matt Moore, Giants (3-7, 5.82 ERA)

Moore has really struggled this season, allowing 55 earned runs through 15 starts, third-most in the majors this season. The opposition is hitting .297 against Moore this season, and he has allowed 32 walks and 102 hits through just 85 innings. San Francisco is just 1-5 over his six outings and 1-4 over his past five starts at home. The Giants are also 3-13 over their past 16 vs. RHP while going 0-7 in their past seven at home vs. RHP. San Francisco is also just 2-6 in Moore’s past eight starts with four days of rest while going 1-5 over his past six against National League East opponents.

Biggest UNDER run: Padres (5-1 past six games)

The ‘under’ has connected in five of the past six for the Padres, and the under is 8-2-1 in their past 11 in the third game of a series. They’re also 5-1 in Clayton Richard’s past six starts on a Sunday, while going 3-0-1 over his past four against a team with a losing record. The over has been hitting for Detroit lately, going 3-1-1 in their past five road games. However, the under is 5-2-1 in Detroit’s past eight interleague road outings and 3-1-1 in Jordan Zimmermann’s past five road starts. The over hit in Saturday’s game, but the under easily cashed in Friday’s interleague series opener.

Biggest OVER run: Diamondbacks (11-5-1 past 17 games overall)

The Diamondbacks had hit the ‘over’ frequently this season, and the over is 11-5-1 across the past 17 outings. They have been picking on right-handed pitching to post most of their offense, going 39-19-1 in their past 59 at home vs. RHP. The over is also 52-23-3 over the past 78 at home, including 25-10-1 in the past 36 at Chase Field against teams with a road winning percentage of .400 or less. The over is also 10-3 in Randall Delgado’s past 13 assignments, including 6-1 in his past seven outings when starting Game 3 of a series.

Matchup to watch: Cardinals vs. Pirates

Two ice-cold teams meet on Sunday night. These two National League Central Division foes had much higher expectations at the beginning of the season, but both find themselves several games under .500. The good news is that Pittsburgh is just four games back of the division-leading Brewers, while the Cards are five behind. So all is not lost despite the atrocious play at times, and this Sunday night game is tremendously important. The Bucs turn to Chad Kuhl to get the win, but they’re just 1-4 over his past five outings and 1-6 in his past seven on the road. The Cardinals aren’t much better lately, going 3-8 over their past 11 overall, 0-5 in their past five at home against a right-handed starter and 7-17 in their past 24 overall vs. RHP. They’re also just 1-4 in Mike Leake’s past five starts and 3-13 over his past 16 outings at home.

Betcha didn’t know: The Tigers have dropped eight in a row, and all eyes are on manager Brad Ausmus and whether or not the team will make a move to can him. In the meantime, Jordan Zimmermann gets the ball looking to snap Detroit’s lengthy skid. He has four straight quality starts, including three runs and six hits over 6 2/3 innings in his most recent outings against the Mariners on Tuesday. He hasn’t faced the Padres much in his career, when he has faced them it has been mostly favorable results. Zimm is 3-2 with a 1.69 ERA in eight career starts against the Padres, including a pair of complete games.

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