It’s a five-pack of aces in isolation on this baseball Sunday as three lefties and two righties toe the rubber. Check ’em out!
Aces in Isolation
Aaron Sanchez (TOR) versus Baltimore’s Ubaldo JimA�nez
Sanchez’ last four starts have been very stronga��31-5 K/BB ratio, seven earned runs in 28.1 inningsa��and he’s induced double-digit grounders in his last nine straight. For the season he’s also looking great: he’s got a 76-26 K/BB ratio, 2.91 ERA and just a .221 BAA. The cut of his walk rate alone is amazinga��4.3 BB/9 down to 2.9a��but he’s also made a big leap in strikeouts and has still maintained his spectacular 59.5 percent groundball rate. He’s got a chance to be very, very special.
Jon Lester (CHC) versus Atlanta’s John Gant
Lester has quietly been incredible for the Cubs this year, with 12 starts and an ERA all the way down to 2.06. Opposing batters have hit just .208 against him all season, and his last two starts have been two of his best: 17 combined innings, just eight hits allowed and an epic 19-0 K/BB ratio. His sole blemish in that entire time framea��one earned runa��came in the form of a solo home run off the bat of Los Angeles’ KikA� Hernandez.
Steven Matz (NYM) versus Milwaukee’s Zach Davies
Matz allowed seven earned runs nine starts ago to the Miami Marlins to start his season, and has allowed nine since with every start resulting in two or fewer earned runs for the 25-year-old lefty. Matz was at his best last time out despite a losing effort, as he allowed just a pair of earned runs with eight strikeouts and two walks. Pitch count was an issue, as he ran up 101 pitches and got just 15 outs. He also beat Milwaukee three weeks ago, tossing seven strong innings with eight strikeouts, no walks and just a pair of earned runs.
Danny Salazar (CLE) versus Los Angeles’ David Huff
Salazar continues to confound as he’s also battling a bit of a shoulder issue. He threw a bullpen on Thursday and is expected to be just fine for today’s start. Salazar beat the Royals last time out and allowed just one earned runa��a solo home run to Drew Butera somehowa��with nine strikeouts but also five walks. For the season Salazar has been mostly gooda��.183 BAA, 81 strikeouts in 68.1 inningsa��but he still has those strange starts where either his walks or earned runs pop up, or he loses the strikeouts all of a sudden.
Cole Hamels (TEX) versus Seattle’s Wade Miley
Hamels has a strikeout per inning this seasona��76 of botha��but that pace has slowed a bit in recent starts as he’s fanned just 14 batters in his last 18.2 innings. The walks have also been a bit of a worry, as he’s up to 30 which has made his .240 BAA still result in a so-so 1.30 WHIP. After a really solid April (2.52) he was a bit more ordinary in May (3.89) but did manage to keep the strikeouts up over one per inning last month. He’s also been more groundball relianta��which is gooda��over the last six starts, with five games of double-digit grounders.