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Marty’s musings: the dog days of summer are here

The Phillies and Rays take control of their respective divisions. 

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox - Game One Photo By Winslow Townson/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.

We’re into the dog days of summer, and the Red Sox and Mets are sucking-wind, as the Rays, Phillies, Yankees, and Braves show some might. The Giants meanwhile continue to lead the pack in the NL West.

News & Notes

30 - Games above .500 for the San Francisco Giants. It’s the first time San Francisco is 30 games over .500 since 2003. Despite the Dodgers loading up at the trade deadline, they remind four games behind the Giants in the West.

6 - Unanswered runs the Blue Jays scored against the Red Sox on Sunday to take three-out-four against the Red Sox in Toronto. The Jays are 9-2 on their first homestand, but despite their sterling 14-7 record since the All Star break, have not gained any ground on Tampa Bay.

22 - Consecutive batters retired by Zach Wheeler against his former team. The Mets lost three in a row to Philadelphia and three-out-of-four against the Marlins in the previous series. New York now sits in third place behind the Phillies and Atlanta.

80 - Game PED suspension for Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano. Laureano gave the myriad of excuses last week, but this comes at a terrible time for Oakland as they sit only two games behind Houston for the AL West lead.

Injury Report

Newly acquired Yankee first baseman is the latest player in pinstripes to hit the IL for COVID. Gary Sanchez tested positive earlier in the week.

The Yankees also listed their closer Aroldis Chapman on the IL with elbow inflammation.

Clayton Kershaw continues to have soreness in his left elbow. He’s been on the injured list since July 7th.

The Brewers John Axford is done for the season with an elbow injury.

Tyler Glasnow confirmed he will have Tommy John Surgery, and at this point in the year, is likely to miss all of next season in rehabilitation.

Matchups to Watch

Tuesday, August 10

Max Scherzer (LAD) v. Aaron Nola (PHI), 7:05 ET

Los Angeles is in the fight of their life in their division, where the Padres are nipping at their heels, and they’ve yet to catch the Giants. The Phillies are coming off a strong sweep against the former division-leading Mets.

Wednesday, August 11

Josh Fleming (TB) v. Nate Eovaldi (BOS), 7:10 ET

The Red Sox host the Rays in perhaps the most important series of the year for Boston. After a brutal Sunday loss against the Blue Jays, which culminated a 2-5 road trip to Detroit and Toronto, the Rays are in command of the AL East.

Thursday, August 12

Andrew Heaney (NYY) v. Carlos Rodon, 8:10 ET

The Yankees have been excellent since the All Star break, posting a 15-7 record since the mid-summer classic. They are well within striking distance of freefalling Boston, and can show their muscle against the White Sox, who are running away with the Central.

Saturday, August 14

Walker Buehler (LAD) v. Taijuan Walker (NYM), 7:10 ET

The Dodgers have their annual east coast road trip this week, facing the Phillies and then the Mets. This series can be a real statement for the Mets, as to whether or not they’re going to compete in the NL East or fall further behind in the division.

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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