With the all-star break now in the rear view mirror, Major League Baseball heads full steam into the season's second half with a jammed slate on tap for the weekend.
With the all-star break now in the rear view mirror, Major League Baseball heads full steam into the season's second half with a jammed slate on tap for the weekend. Several key divisional showdowns are scheduled as well as other series' between playoff contenders. Here's a quick look at some of the top action headed our way, followed by a Top StatFox Power Trend from each of the 15 series'. Each of these trends should be in play for all three days this weekend. Find more of this great info each and every day by clicking on the Team Statistics link, then go to the Live Odds page to view the latest series prices.
In the National League, the Mets will look to add to their double-digit win streak when they take on Cincinnati. New York won its 10th straight game by coming from behind in the 9th inning on Thursday to turn back the Reds. Heading into the Friday action, New York suddenly finds itself tied back atop the NL East standings with Philadelphia.
The Phillies, meanwhile, face an important series of their own, at Florida. The Marlins are just 1-1/2 games back in the division race and will look to close out that difference this weekend. They took two out of three at home from Philly in June and will be looking to extend a nice 6-2 stretch prior to the all-star break. However, despite a 26-20 home record, the Marlins have been outscored 5.2-4.3 on the home field. The Phillies have proven to be equally strong at home and away, playing 4-games over .500 in both scenarios.
Elsewhere in the senior circuit, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks will go head-to-head in hot Phoenix, with the division lead on the line. One game separates these two sub-.500 clubs at this point, with the hosts DBacks currently occupying the top spot. Including a 3-game sweep at home back in April, Arizona owns a 4-1 record vs. its closest divisional foe in 2008.
In the American League, where teams are still celebrating the prospects of hosting yet another World Series in October, most of the key action is out of the East Division. Boston, Tampa Bay, and New York are each playing in big series' over the weekend, and the standings could show changes by the time we reach Monday.
Boston is in Los Angeles to take on the league's best team at this point, the Angels. Ironically, the Halos have played their best ball on the road however, as they are just 26-20 for -1.2 betting units to this point at home. That could be negated by Boston's road struggles however. The Red Sox are only 21-29 away from Fenway this season, including a horrid 6-17 against teams with a winning record.
In Tampa, the Rays will try to shake off a final week of the first half in which they lost seven straight games to fall back behind the Red Sox in the divisional race. Nothing will look better to Tampa however than the comforts of the Tropicana Dome, where they are a phenomenal 36-14 for +18.3 units. Opponents score just 3.3 runs per game against the Rays in Tampa this season, and this weekend's visiting club, the Blue Jays, have struggled offensively on the road. Expect things to turn back around for the hosts.
Finally, in New York, the Yankees will begin ushering out their famed stadium when they host the A's to start the second half. Both clubs are looking up at Tampa in the Wildcard Race and don't want to lose ground over the next three days. The Bronx Bombers took two of three from Oakland in the Bay Area last month.
Now, here's a look at a Top StatFox Power Trend from each of this weekend's 15 series'.
NY METS at CINCINNATI
CINCINNATI is 34-17 OVER (+15.7 Units) vs. NL teams scoring 4.8 or more runs/game in the second half of the season over the last 3 seasons.
The average score was CINCINNATI 5.0, OPPONENT 6.1 - (Rating = 1*)
PHILADELPHIA at FLORIDA
FLORIDA is 5-17 (-11.5 Units) against the money line in home games vs. a very good bullpen whose ERA is 3.33 or better over the last 2 seasons.
The average score was FLORIDA 3.1, OPPONENT 6.1 - (Rating = 1*)
WASHINGTON at ATLANTA
ATLANTA is 23-7 UNDER (+14.5 Units) vs. an NL team with a team batting average of .255 or worse this season.
The average score was ATLANTA 4.3, OPPONENT 3.7 - (Rating = 3*)
CHICAGO CUBS at HOUSTON
HOUSTON is 18-5 UNDER (+12.2 Units) when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 54% to 62%) this season.
The average score was HOUSTON 4.3, OPPONENT 3.9 - (Rating = 2*)
SAN DIEGO at ST LOUIS
SAN DIEGO is 11-28 (-18.1 Units) against the money line when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
The average score was SAN DIEGO 3.2, OPPONENT 5.2 - (Rating = 2*)
PITTSBURGH at COLORADO
PITTSBURGH is 36-55 (-15.6 Units) against the money line vs. NL teams allowing 4.8 or more runs/game on the season over the last 2 seasons.
The average score was PITTSBURGH 4.7, OPPONENT 5.4 - (Rating = 1*)
LA DODGERS at ARIZONA
LA DODGERS are 53-24 (+26.6 Units) against the money line when playing against a marginal losing team (Win Pct. 46% to 49%) over the last 3 seasons.
The average score was LA DODGERS 5.0, OPPONENT 4.2 - (Rating = 2*)
MILWAUKEE at SAN FRANCISCO
MILWAUKEE is 12-23 (-14.6 Units) against the money line in road games vs. teams outscored by opp by 0.5 or more runs/game on the season over the last 2 seasons.
The average score was MILWAUKEE 4.3, OPPONENT 5.1 - (Rating = 1*)
OAKLAND at NY YANKEES
NY YANKEES are 16-2 UNDER (+13.7 Units) vs. a very good bullpen whose WHIP is 1.250 or better this season.
The average score was NY YANKEES 3.3, OPPONENT 3.4 - (Rating = 4*)
DETROIT at BALTIMORE
DETROIT is 16-6 (+9.4 Units) against the money line vs. an overused bullpen that pitches more than 3.2 innings per game this season.
The average score was DETROIT 5.8, OPPONENT 4.7 - (Rating = 1*)
TORONTO at TAMPA BAY
TAMPA BAY is 22-9 (+12.2 Units) against the money line in home games vs. AL teams allowing 4.7 or less runs/game on the season this season.
The average score was TAMPA BAY 4.3, OPPONENT 3.2 - (Rating = 1*)
TEXAS at MINNESOTA
MINNESOTA is 16-5 (+13.2 Units) against the money line vs. teams whose hitters strike out 7 or more times/game this season.
The average score was MINNESOTA 5.9, OPPONENT 3.9 - (Rating = 3*)
KANSAS CITY at CHI WHITE SOX
CHI WHITE SOX are 22-10 (+12.8 Units) against the money line vs. an AL team with an on base percentage .320 or worse this season.
The average score was CHI WHITE SOX 5.1, OPPONENT 4.3 - (Rating = 2*)
BOSTON at LA ANGELS
BOSTON is 1-10 (-9.2 Units) against the money line in road games vs. AL teams allowing 4.2 or less runs/game on the season this season.
The average score was BOSTON 3.6, OPPONENT 6.4 - (Rating = 1*)
CLEVELAND at SEATTLE
CLEVELAND is 23-9 UNDER (+12.7 Units) when playing against a bad team (Win Pct. 38% to 46%) this season.
The average score was CLEVELAND 3.4, OPPONENT 3.8 - (Rating = 2*)