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Marty’s musings: entering August, one team rules them all

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MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Boston Red Sox David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to ‘Marty’s Musings’, my weekly column of numbers summarizing the happenings in the baseball world. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the news and notes throughout the game, and highlighting this week’s key pitching matchups.

This week, the Athletics take a major step in their season, the Red Sox embarrass the Yankees, and Jacob deGrom still can’t catch a break. All this news and more in this week’s Musings.

News and Notes

4 - Game sweep of the Yankees for the Boston Red Sox, who now lead New York by 9 ½ games in the American League East. The Yankees had multiple leads in the series, including a 4-0 first inning lead in the first game, and a ninth inning lead in the finale. On Thursday, Steve Pearce knocked three homers in the Boston comeback. New York now will limp into Chicago to play the White Sox.

15 - Scoreless innings for newly minted Boston starter Nathan Eovaldi. Boston acquired Eovaldi in a trade with the Rays last week, and he’s looked like one of the biggest steals of the trade deadline so far.

21 - Run loss to the Nationals for the pitiful Mets, who can’t seem to get out of their own way. It’s the worse beatdown of any team since July 6, 2009, when the Phillies beat the Reds 22-1.

5 - Games that Jacob deGrom has started against the Atlanta Braves this season. He has given up four runs in 33 innings, and the Mets lost every game. deGrom has gone eight innings in four of his last five starts, during which time, he has a 1.85 ERA and a 39:5 strikeout to walk ration. During that stretch, he is 0-3.

1921 - The last time a Major League player had double digit home runs and multiple wins. Babe Ruth did this in 1918, 1919, and 1921. Shohei Ohtani joined the unique club after belting two homers on Friday night.

7 - Ten-plus strikeout games for Justin Verlander this season. Verlander has been an ace for the Astros this season, and is on track for his best season since 2012.

14-0 - The Astros laid a beatdown on the Dodgers Saturday. It is the worst loss the Dodgers have ever had in Los Angeles. John Axford gave up six earned runs and only managed to get one out. Houston took the three-game set with the blowout, and a 2-1 victory on Friday night. LA won Sunday’s match 3-2.

2.5 - Game lead in the second wild card for the Oakland A’s, who finally overtook the Mariners for the second slot. The Ms are a miserable 10-17 since July 1, while the Athletics in that time are 20-8.

Matchups to Watch

Monday, August 6

Lance Lynn (NYY) v. Dylan Covey (CHW),

After the Red Sox used the Yankees as a doormat in a four-game sweep in Boston, there is a lot of unrest and unease in New York. The Yankees head to Chicago to take on the sub-.500 White Sox this week, in a series that they are clearly favored to win. They toss out their most recent acquisition, Lance Lynn, to stem the bleeding from their current five game losing streak.

Tuesday, August 7

Sean Newcomb (ATL) v. Max Scherzer (WAS), 7:05 ET

The Nationals had the worst deadline of any team last week, as they added zero impact players, and lost two relievers for non-baseball related reasons. They are still within striking distance of the Braves and Phillies, but they’ll need to pick up the pace, as time is running short quickly.

Wednesday, August 8

Jose Berrios (MIN) v. Corey Kluber (CLE), 1:10 ET

While the Twins have taken a major step back this season, Jose Berrios has been one of the bright spots for them. Kluber meanwhile, continues his utter dominance, and is looking more and more like the Cy Young favorite in the American League. Against the Angels over the weekend, Kluber pitched a complete game shutout, allowing only three hits.

Clayton Kershaw (LAD) v. Brett Anderson (OAK), 10:05 ET

The Dodgers have been a roller-coaster ride all season, and are coming off a series loss at home to the defending champs. This week, they take on the surging A’s, who are fighting for their own playoff lives. Kershaw is coming off a solid six inning / two run start against Milwaukee.

Thursday, August 9

James Paxton (SEA) v. Justin Verlander (HOU), 8:10 ET

The Mariners’ season is spiralling out of control, as they have played terribly since the start of summer. With Oakland overtaking them for a wild card spot, the Mariners can get back on track with their ace going up against the division leading Astros.

Friday, August 10

Nathan Eovaldi (BOS) v. Dylan Bundy (BAL), 7:05 ET

In 15 innings, Eovaldi has yet to give up a run in a Red Sox uniform. With the Orioles basically trading every decent offensive player on the team, it will be fun to see how Eovaldi handles a less-than-potent offense.

*All pitching matchups as of Sunday night’s pitching probables

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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