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Marty's Musings: 6/27: Rangers overtake the Cubs and Stanton lives

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A new leader in MLB wins that isn’t the Cubs and Giancarlo Stanton coming alive

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to ‘Marty's Musings', my weekly column of numbers summarizing the past week in Major League Baseball and looking forward to this week's key matchups. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the previous week in MLB and previewing some of this week's key matchups, identifying numbers that are generally not found in a standard box score.

In this week's edition, the AL divisional leaders put some distance between themselves and the competition while the Giancarlo Stanton-led-Marlins tame the Cubs; it's all in this week's Musings.

Numbers

5/24 - The last time Giancarlo Stanton homered before a longball against the Rockies last Monday. Though the Marlins lost the game, they took three out of four from the Cubs this weekend. Stanton is finally heating up and on the Miami eight game homestand is 15 for 34 with two home runs.

8 - In the aforementioned Monday night Miami / Colorado game, eight total runs were scored on eight solo shots. It's the first time in MLB history that has ever happened. The best part: the game wasn't in Colorado.

0-15 - Bryce Harper's career record against Clayton Kershaw. Keshaw got slapped around by the PIrates at home, his first and only clunker of the year. Meanwhile, the Nats lost seven straight prior to victory over the Brewers on Sunday and host the second-place Mets this week.

49 - Wins for the Texas Rangers who passed the Cubs as the team with the best record in the Majors. Later this week stay tuned for my article about how Texas is keeping the magic alive.

6 - Different players who hit home runs against the Yankees in a 7-1 Minnesota Twins drubbing in the Bronx. Nathan Eovaldi had another lousy outing against one of the worst teams in baseball (against the Twins). The Yankees have only given up homers to six opposing batters one other time ------ in 2009 against Cleveland.

2 - Games above .500 for the Houston Astros who finally went over the even-mark for the first time last Thursday. Despite their torrid pace over the last couple months, they remain 10 games behind the Rangers in the American League West.

0 - Home losses for the Indians in June. So far this month at home, Tribe beat the Rangers on June first and second, swept the Royals in a four-game set, and also swept the White Sox and Rays.

> 1 - Revolutions on one Steven Wright knuckler in his complete game-no-earned-run loss against the White Sox. The White Sox took three out of four at Fenway as the Boston bats were befuddled by everything Chicago tossed at them, and squandered late inning opportunities.

What to Watch

Monday, June 27

Collin McHugh (HOU) v. Matt Shoemaker (LAA)

The Angels are abysmal and other than Mike Trout, largely (and deservedly) overlooked. Matt Shoemaker however, has been magnificient of late. Since May, he is striking out nearly 11 batters per inning and posting a 2.82 ERA and a 2.36 FIP. The Astros throw out Collin McHugh who doesn't strike nearly as many batters out, but is a key cog if the ‘stros are going to make a run in the West.

Tuesday, June 28

Matt Harvey (NYM) v. Lucas Giolito (WAS)

A late addition as Lucas Giolito will be starting his first ever MLB game against the Mets on Tuesday night.

Wednesday June 29

Steven Matz (NYM) v. Max Scherzer (WAS)

A key divisional matchup against a Mets team that is looking lost at the plate, and recently signed Jose Reyes, who hasn't played all season, and a DC team that is spiraling. Matz has struggled with injuries throughout his entire career and this year is no exception. He is slated to pitch against the Nats on Wednesday who send out Joe Ross.

Saturday, July 2

Jake Arrieta (CHC) v. Noah Syndergaard (NYM)

It's a tough week for the Mets who have to play the divisional-leading Nats and then host the Cubs. The Cubs have been sliding a bit and are only 4-6 in their last ten games. A power pitcher matchup, hopefully this lives up to the billing. Arrieta has not been going deep into games but has remained effective with a 1.74 ERA and 2.51 FIP.

*Matchups determined by pitching probables on Sunday evening and are subject to change

Ed's note: the Nats / Mets game was added when Lucas Gioito was announced as Tuesday's starter

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Steven Martano is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score, a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row, and a contributing writer for The Hardball Times. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano