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Marty's Musings: July 18

We had a shortened week last week, but Giancarlo made a statement on Monday night.

Brad Penner-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, we get through the void that was last week's light baseball schedule, the Red Sox get some reinforcements for an underachieving rotation, and the trade market continues to rumble. We're back in action again with the trade market and divisional race(s) heating up; it's all in this week's Musings.

Numbers

61 - Home runs for Giancarlo Stanton in Monday night's home run derby. Yes, Stanton hit as many in an evening as Roger Maris hit in 1961. It seems as if the power-outage and demise of Giancarlo Stanton had been slightly exaggerated. Stanton hit 17 home runs in the second round alone, 14 of which went at least 440 feet.

21 - Home runs for Trevor Story in the first half, the most for any rookie prior to the All Star break. Story came out as a force in April and has since kept the momentum going in Colorado.

2.47 - Earned run average of Drew Pomeranz, who the Red Sox acquired from the lowly Padres last week. Pomeranz' ERA  would lead the American League by quite a bit if it carried over (it doesn't qualify for reasons that predate the daily interleague games, another story for another day). Check out more details on the trade here.

1 - Division race that is within 4.5 games. Only the American League East is currently competitive by fewer than 4.5 games. The Orioles, Red Sox, and Blue Jays all have their warts, and all three teams are in the middle of the AL East race. The next closest divisional race is the AL West where the streaking Astros are looking to bounce-back from an awful start to catch the Rangers.

What to Watch

Monday, July 18

Corey Kluber (CLE) v. Edinson Volquez (KC)

The Royals are hovering around .500 while the Indians maintain their pretty hefty 6.5 game lead over Detroit. For the Royals to gain some ground, they need to start winning divisional games. The series at home against the Indians would be a nice place to start.

Tuesday, July 19

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

Ok, so Noah Syndergaard's starts are must-watch all the time, but the story here is Arrieta, who has not pitched well of late. In his last three starts, he has given up 15 runs over 16.1 innings including four long-balls. The Cubs have played mediocre-baseball for the last few months, but still have a commanding eight game lead over the Cardinals. The Mets meanwhile trail the Nats six games.

Wednesday July 20

Matt Cain (SF) v. Drew Pomeranz (BOS)

Pomeranz makes his Red Sox debut on Wednesday against the Giants. San Francisco is currently the best team in baseball, record-wise, and has the best road winning percentage of any MLB team.

Friday, July 22

Trevor Bauer (CLE) v. Dylan Bundy (BAL)

The Orioles are clinging to a small divisional lead for now, holding off Toronto and Boston. Starting pitching has been the O's Achilles heel, and they look to Dylan Bundy to at least help them unload some of the burden. Trevor Bauer has been serviceable for the Tribe though he threw a stinker against the Yankees two starts ago (five runs in 5.2 innings). In his most recent performance, he gave up three runs over six innings against the Twins.

Saturday, July 23

Jacob deGrom (NYM) v. Jose Fernandez (MIA)

deGrom is coming off a complete game one-hitter against the Phillies while Fernandez went seven strong and gave up zero earned runs against the Reds. The Mets and Marlins are tied for second in the NL East and may beat up one another giving the Nats prime position for a division crown.

Ichiro: Ichiro Suzuki is only a handful of hits away from number 3,000. Keep an eye out for Marlins games this week and into the weekend to see him celebrate an historic milestone. Also check out our site when it happens, as I'll have an Ichiro review and celebrate of number 3,000.

*Matchups determined by pitching probables as shown on Monday evening and are subject to change

***

An earlier version of this article misstated the Royals starter's name as Edison Volquez. Edinson is a hard name to remember.

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