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Marty’s musings: the Royals finally win, and Pujols finds a home in LA

News, injuries, and matchups for the upcoming week.

MLB: AUG 19 Angels at Giants Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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 key pitching matchups.

Last week Albert Pujols finds a new home in a limited capacity role, the Royals finally get off their double-digit losing streak, and several stars end up on the injured list.

News & Notes

11 - Game losing streak that the Royals finally snapped on Friday. Kansas City ended up splitting a four-game set with the division-leading White Sox. The Royals went from leading the division by 1.5 games on May 1st, but they didn’t win a game until May 14th, and are now a half-dozen games out of first.

108 - OPS+ that Albert Pujols posted in his Angels’ career. The club released the sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famer last week. The Angels signed Pujols in 2012, as he entered his age-32 season and was productive for his first five seasons in Anaheim. The last five however were not, and this seemingly inevitable transaction finally came to a-head.

31 - Miles that Albert Pujols has to travel to get to his new home at Dodgers Stadium. There were rumors that Pujols would reunite in Chicago with former Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa, that he’d join the Cardinals in some sort of player/coach/mentor role, but he ended up agreeing to a limited role with one of the best teams in baseball.

Injury Report

Jacob deGrom went on the injured list with right side tightness. He’s eligible to return on May 20th, at the earliest.

The Dodgers’ Corey Seager was hit by a Ross Detweiler fastball which broke his hand. He’s LA’s 13th player on the IL, including Cody Bellinger, AJ Pollock, and Dustin May.

Fernando Tatis Jr. is out with COVID. Luckily he’s been asymptomatic.

Pitching Matchups to Watch

Monday, May 17th

Gerrit Cole (NYY) v. Jordan Lyles (TEX), 8:05 ET

Cole makes this list nearly every week before he has filthy stuff every time out. Musings flagged his start last week against Tampa and he did not disappoint, going eight strong shutout innings, and posting a 12:0 strikeout to walk rate.

Tuesday, May 18th

Lance Lynn (CHW) v. Michael Pineda (MIN), 7:40 ET

The Twins have been perhaps the most disappointing team in baseball. They are 2-8 in their last ten games, and are currently 10 ½ games behind Chicago for the division. If they don’t turn things around soon, the season may be lost before the calendar hits June.

Wednesday, May 19th

Kevin Gausman (SF) v. Wade Miley (CIN), 6:40 ET

As disappointing as the Twins have been, the Giants have been the exact opposite. Led by excellent pitching so far, they take on Wade Miley and Reds this week. After throwing a no-no against Cleveland, Miley got absolutely rocked by the Rockies last week. Gausman has been tremendous this year, allowing only 11 earned runs in eight starts on the year.

Corbin Burnes (MIL) v. TBD (KC), 8:10 ET

Burns currently has a 58:1 strikeout to walk ratio, and is quietly performing as one of the best pitchers in the National League. He’s only allowed six earned runs (one homer) in 34 innings.

Friday, May 21st

Carlos Rodon (CHW) v. Jordan Montgomery (NYY), 7:05 ET

The Yankees’ bats have woken up of late, but they’ll play the AL Central leaders, and take on their ace starter Rodon on Friday night.

Sunday, May 23rd

Julio Urias (LAD) v. Anthony DeSclafini (SF),

We are two weeks from Memorial Day, and LA is currently looking up at San Francisco in the standings. We’ll see where things stand when the Giants host the Dodgers next weekend, but that series will be a fun watch, and a good test to see how the Giants play against their division foe.

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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