Hottest team: Braves (7-0 past seven, 10-2 past 12 games)
The Atlanta Braves pushed aside the New York Mets on Saturday behind LHP Max Fried by a 9-5 score, following up their 2-1 win on Friday in the series opener. The Braves will look for their second consecutive three-game sweep of a divisional opponent when LHP Dallas Keuchel toes the slab on Sunday afternoon against LHP Steven Matz at Citi Field. The Braves have posted four straight victories against teams with a winning overall record, and they’re 4-1 in the past five road outings against a left-handed starting pitcher. In addition, they’re 37-14 in the past 51 games on a Sunday and 35-16 in the past 51 games inside the National League East.
Coldest team: Royals (1-6 past seven, 5-18 past 23 games)
It’s no surprise to see the Royals on the ‘cold’ list, as they have been atrocious for most of the season. Luckily for the Royals they have Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers who are even worse. Things do not figure to get much better on Sunday in Cleveland with LHP Eric Skoglund facing down All-Star Game MVP and RHP Shane Bieber at Progressive Field. The Royals are just 1-7 over the past eight starts by Skoglund, 2-6 across his past eight road outings, 0-6 in his past six against winning teams and 0-5 in his past five in Game 3 of a series. The Royals have won just three times in the past 14 inside the division, too. The Indians covered the run line in the first two games of this series.
Biggest Favorite Overall: Indians (-320) vs. Royals
The Indians have won seven of their past 10 starts with Bieber on the mound, and they’re 5-1 in his past six outings against teams from the AL Central. The Indians have also cashed in 16 of the past 22 games, while winning 11 of the past 14 at Progressive Field against a left-handed starting pitcher. They’re also great at taking care of business when they should, winning 71 of the past 99 against teams with a winning percentage under .400, good for a 71.7 percent success rate. The Indians are 0-4 in the past four in Game 3 of a series, and they’re 1-4 in the past five vs. LHP. However, they have a very favorable matchup (see Skoglund’s ugly trends above).
Biggest Road Favorite: Phillies (-180) at Marlins
The Phillies roll out RHP Aaron Nola for their series finale at Marlins Park on Sunday opposite RHP Elieser Hernandez. The Phillies squared the series on Saturday with a 9-3 victory after dropping the opener by a 19-11 score in a game which resembled a beer-league softball game. The ‘over’ has connected in each of the games in the series, and four straight meetings against the Marlins. However, the under has connected in three straight road starts for Nola dating back to July 7, and 4-1 in the past five assignments away from home. The Phillies are 5-1 in Nola’s past six road outings, and 21-7 in his past 28 starts against teams with a losing record while going 4-1 in his past five vs. NL East opponents. However, the Phillies are 3-7 in Nola’s past 10 starts against the Marlins.
Biggest UNDER run: Astros (5-1-1 past seven overall)
The ‘under’ cashed again on Sunday in Houston’s home game against the Los Angeles Angels, and it’s the stellar Houston pitching staff that is getting it done for bettors at the window lately. The Astros have allowed 19 total runs over the past seven games, and no more than four runs in each of the outings. The under is also 4-1-1 in the past six for the Astros against a losing team, while going 4-1 in the past five inside the division. They have the ball to LHP Framber Valdez, and the under is 4-0 in his past four outings against AL West opponents, too. The Angels counter with RHP Jaime Barria, and the under is 5-1 in his past six road outings and 5-2 in his past seven inside the division.
Biggest OVER run: Mariners (5-0 past five overall)
The Mariners fired out of the chute, and the season looked like it might be full of promise back in April. Things went south in a hurry, and their pitching is mostly to blame — or the lack thereof. That poor pitching has been on display recently, as they have allowed a total of 18 runs over the past three outings. The offense has continued to produce, and that’s a good recipe for over results. The total has gone over the number in five in a row heading into Sunday’s series finale, and the over is 77-47-6 overall on the season. The over is 18-7-1 in Seattle’s past 26 against AL East teams, and 3-0-1 in LHP Marco Gonzales’ past four home outings against teams with a losing record.
Matchup to watch: Yankees at Dodgers (-180)
The Sunday night battle between the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers might be a World Series preview. RHP Domingo German and LHP Clayton Kershaw will lock horns in what should be a tremendous pitching duel, too.
The Yankees are 20-6 in German’s past 26 starts overall, and 4-1 in his past five interleague assignments. Going on the road doesn’t bug him, either, as the Yankees are 4-1 in his past five road outings and 8-1 in his past nine against teams with a winning overall mark. The over has connected in five of his past six starts, and the over is 10-3-1 in his past 14 starts on the road while goi9ng 4-1-1 in the past six road outings against teams with a winning overall mark.
For the Dodgers, they’re 45-10 in Kershaw’s past 55 starts at Dodger Stadium while connecting in 13 of his past 17 interleague starts. The Dodgers are also an impressive 52-15 in his past 67 outings against teams with a winning overall record. L.A. have been finishers, too, going 52-22 in the past 74 in Game 3 of a series. They’re also 9-4 in the past 13 following a win, while going 47-13 in the past 60 at home, including 4-1 in the past five interleague square-offs at Chavez Ravine.
Weather Report: The winds will be blowing in from right field at Camden Yard at a 10-13 mph clip, affecting the Rays and O’s. The Braves and Mets will battle the same conditions at Citi Field in their matinee battle.
On the south side of Chicago, the Rangers and White Sox will face a stiff 10-13 mph wind blowing in directly from center field into the face of the batters, while the Tigers and Twins see a 11-14 mph wind blowing in from right field to third base. Also in Chicago, the Nationals and Cubs will have to deal with an 11-14 mph wind blowing from right to left. The good news is that no precipitation is in the forecast.
Biggest public favorite: Indians (-320) vs. Royals
Biggest public underdog: Red Sox (+125) at Padres
Biggest line move: Astros (-195 to -215) vs. Angels