1.Red Hot Ohio
As you may remember, Cleveland rattled off 22 straight wins last year, so we know Cleveland is capable of having sustained success. That other team in Ohio though…not so much. Cincinnati comes into the week’s action on a seven-game winning streak and is a respectable 29-30 on the season.
Cincinnati has been perennial underachievers just about every single season, but with some young talent and an emerging ace (Anthony DeSclfani), not to mention a great manager in Jim Riggleman, Cincinnati may be finally turning the corner. The Indians St Louis, while Cincinnati heads to Atlanta.
2. Potential Re-Inforcements Incoming
Relief pitchers may not be the sexiest of names for your favorite club to try to acquire, but just ask Yankee fans if they love having the best bullpen in baseball. While never being out of a game if they are trailing, and not to mention they are effectively ending games in the sixth inning with a lead at the moment. Here are some of the best names likely to be moving at the trade deadline in the back end of the bullpen.
Brad Hand, RP, Padres
Blake Treinen, RP, A’s
Darren O’Day, RP, Orioles
Raisel Iglesias, Amir Garrett, RP’s, Reds
Kyle Barraclough, RP, Marlins
Joakim Soria, RP, CWS
Brad Hand is probably the most prized out of the bunch, but there is a ton of talent here. The Nationals did the right thing in acquiring Kelvin Herrera from the Royals, and now actually have an all-star closer for the first time in what seems like forever. The theme here is pretty obvious, they are all great relief pitchers on bad teams looking to rebuild, but teams to have a little more time to evaluate themselves before the July 31st trade deadline (Reds & A’s). Besides those two teams though, all the others should be sellers.
3. Ace’s Home
Fourteen. 14. One-Four. That’s how many months of action Shelby Miller has missed due to Tommy John surgery, and he makes his much-anticipated return to the mound on Monday as Arizona faces off against the lowly Miami Marlins. In truth, this is just about the best matchup Shelby Miller could possibly have, and the line is very reasonable at -130, but it’s always a bit of a dice roll in betting pitchers on their first return off the disabled list-especially from this amount of time and this type of injury.
The 27-year-old has been a bit up and down in his minor league rehab starts, posting a 4.66 ERA over four starts, although he did throw 81 pitches in his last outing-pain free-which is the real good sign. If you’re not exactly familiar with who Shelby Miller is, take a look at his career stats below:
He was the original ace of the Arizona staff before the acquisition of Zach Greinke and the emergence of both Robbie Ray and Patrick Corbin. Not to mention the little-known fact that Clay Bucholz is pitching like the guy who was the Cy-Young leading contender going into the all-star break at one point in his career again. If Miller can come back as his old self, this pitching staff can be deadly. Greinke, Ray, Corbin, Miller, and Bucholz could pose some real issues for The Dodgers in the pennant race during the second half of the season.