Two days are left before the All-Star Break and one day of my article. Even if I was writing a Sunday piece, I’d pretty much advise against betting anything on the card, as it is really hard to know which teams and players are fully there and which ones are on the plane to a vacation destination. I saw somebody call it “The Ultimate Getaway Day” and that’s not wrong.
Hopefully most teams are still engaged today, though, as a general rule, I’d suggest looking more at veteran teams around the All-Star Break in any sport. Those guys are more likely to be locked in for a variety of reasons.
More than half of the season has been played, but it’s been a nice “first half” and I truly appreciate everybody that has read this column throughout the season. I’ll be doing some housekeeping and second-half lookahead stuff this week, as well as working on some college football content, which I hope y’all will enjoy.
Catch me with Ben Wilson on The Run Line at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday night.
Phillies/Marlins: Another day ending in –y, another Sandy Alcantara start, another game with no run support. Alcantara and the Fish lost 2-1, as they could only muster one run against Kyle Gibson and couldn’t come back off of the Phillies pen. Alcantara struck out 12 and didn’t hurt his Cy Young cause one bit, but one run on four hits and one walk won’t get it done for any offense. That Marlins home regression vs. RHP has been on display this week for sure.
Braves/Nationals: I understood the anti-Ian Anderson sentiment in the market, but Patrick Corbin had a bad matchup. Atlanta went wire-to-wire with three in the first and gave up three meaningless ninth-inning runs in the 8-4 win. Corbin allowed six runs on nine hits in five innings. Corbin still had eight strikeouts, a reminder of Atlanta’s K% downside, but they made a bunch of solid contact. It will continue to be a second-half angle to look at the Braves or their team total overs against any lefty and any pitcher with below average strikeout and whiff rates.
Reds/Cardinals: The Redbirds beat the Redlegs 7-3, but the most interesting development here was that Nolan Arenado basically implored the front office to get this team some help at the deadline. They’ve MacGyvered a rotation together through some injuries and that’s easily the biggest area of need. Let’s see if they listen. If they don’t, this becomes a situation to monitor, as alienating one of the team’s two best players is never a sound strategy.
Pirates/Rockies: Jose Quintana’s regression hit yesterday and the Pirates had a lot of bad luck on 13 hard-hit balls against German Marquez in the 13-2 loss. Marquez allowed two runs on six hits in 6.2 innings, but five of the six hardest-hit balls against him went for outs. Meanwhile, the Rockies kept crushing lefties at home, scoring six off Quintana and six in two innings off of mop-up reliever Dillon Peters.
Diamondbacks/Padres: Yu Darvish was pushed to 114 pitches to give the Padres bullpen a little bit of a breather in yesterday’s 5-3 win. Darvish allowed three runs on five hits and struck out nine. Managers are trying to get a little more from their SP this week given that they’ve now got four extra days of rest between starts. It took Madison Bumgarner 104 pitches to get through five innings, as he allowed five runs on eight hits and walked four. This Padres offense still fails to impress me on a daily basis and they’ll be a team I look at very closely this week.