The Oakland Athletics, sporting a major league-best 2.60 ERA since the All-Star break, have 18 straight quality starts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the longest such streak by an American League team since the New York Yankees also had an 18-game streak in 1981. The next longest streak in MLB was the Braves' 21-start streak in 1997.
• From the Elias Sports Bureau: The Tampa Bay Rays' Carl Crawford has 33 consecutive steals against the Boston Red Sox. It's the longest streak of successful steals against one team since Vince Coleman had 34 against Houston from 1986 to 1990.
• Jon Lester, 2-5 since the All-Star break, is unbeaten on the road in his career against the Tampa Bay Rays (3-0 in five starts).
• From the Elias Sports Bureau: The Rays' David Price looks to become the second AL pitcher to win 16 games this season (NYY CC Sabathia, 17-5) as he takes on the Red Sox. Since Tampa Bay's inaugural season in 1998, the Rays and the Pirates are the only teams that have not had a pitcher with 16 wins in one season.
• There are four Red Sox who have at least five career at-bats against Price, and they’re all struggling mightily against him. Marco Scutaro, Victor Martinez, David Ortiz and Mike Lowell are a combined 4-for-29 (.138 BA) against Price.
• The Philadelphia Phillies' Roy Oswalt is 73-25 in his career after the All-Star Break, including a 31-7 record in the month of August. He’s 3-1 with a 2.43 ERA in five starts since joining the Phillies.
• The San Diego Padres' Mat Latos has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 12 straight starts (the most in a season in team history), and three earned runs or fewer in 19 straight starts (1.69 ERA over that stretch).
• From the Elias Sports Bureau: The San Francisco Giants' Tim Lincecum has struggled mightily in August with an 8.38 ERA. (It’s the highest ERA in a calendar month in his career.) He’s allowed at least four earned runs in each of his last three starts -- his longest previous streak of starts surrendering four earned runs or more was two.
• Once again, the Yankees' A.J. Burnett has not been able to back up a strong month. After going 3-1 in five starts with a 2.00 ERA in July, Burnett’s 0-3 with an ERA over six in four August starts.