It’s not an overwhelmingly strong Sunday slate that we’ve prepared for you today. But, what it lacks in depth we make up for in quality with a trio of aces and a fun secondary matchup. Check ’em out!
Aces in Isolation
RHP Chris Archer (TBR) versus New York’s LHP C.C. Sabathia
The early season cruising of Archer hit a bump last time out against Cleveland, as the Indians got him for six earned runs on five hitsa��which can’t be easy to doa��in just five innings. But if you’re wondering how they got that many runs with so few hits, there’s an easy explanation. In addition to Archer’s six strikeouts, he also issued six free passes. That makes the fact that he threw 100-plus pitches while recording just 15 outs a bit more understandable. Prior to that dust-up, Archer was on the cusp of bringing his ERA back under 3.00 for the season. Now it sits at a precarious 3.70, though the rest of his peripherals are darn good. He’s got a .225 BAA, 65-22 K/BB ratio (58.1 innings) and has a WHIP of 1.22.
The Yankees offense isn’t a good bounce-back spot however, as they’ve ranked atop the team wRC+ leaderboard for virtually the entire season.
RHP Stephen Strasburg (WAS) versus Atlanta’s LHP Jaime Garcia
Strasburg has been a bit uneven of late, not doing a great job of syncing up his strikeouts and earned runs. Now, he’s got a 4.08 ERA through three May starts and 17 strikeouts in 17.2 innings. But last time out, he had three walks and strikeouts apiece. And in the first start, he went 5-4. What this probably says more than anything is simply how good Strasburg is, because the Nationals have won all three of his starts this month and he’s still sitting on a 3.42 ERA with about a strikeout per inning. Wait until he really heats up.
RHP Yu Darvish (TEX) versus Detroit’s LHP Matt Boyd
Darvish has been at the forefront of the Rangers’ revival, posti4ng a 2.76 ERA and 41 strikeouts through 38.2 innings. He’s been particularly good in Maya��2.25 ERA, 20-6 K/BB ratio in 20 inningsa��as the team has actually won each of his last five starts. Not only does he have the good strikeout rates (61 in 58.2 innings), but he’s kept the walks mostly in check (23), which pairs well with an opponents’ batting average of .199. That has resulted in a sterling 1.09 WHIP, which ranks 10th in the AL. He’s also 10th in ERA, fourth in strikeouts and fourth in innings pitched. It seems fair to say he’s all the way back now, doesn’t it?
Eduardo RodrA�guez against Andrew Triggs is a fun matchup. RodrA�guez is a hard-throwing lefty for the Red Sox with good off-speed and breaking stuff and a penchant for strikeouts (47 in 41.1 innings). When David Price returns, the Red Sox will have Three (Lefty) Amigos, which will be very difficult for hitters to handle. Triggs is a 28-year-old righty who doesn’t have overpowering stuff (35 strikeouts in 46.2 innings). But, he has induced double-digit grounders in six of eight starts this season. He’s ninth among 91 qualified MLB starters in groundball rate (54 percent).