Today’s slate is quiet as a church mouse, as we’ve got just two intriguing pitchers going on a day where there’s just 10 games. Check ’em out!
Aces in Isolation
Masahiro Tanaka (NYY) versus Boston’s Eduardo RodrA�guez
Tanaka’s been a key cog in this Yankees resurgence, as they’ve won all but one of his starts since the trade deadline, when they waved the hypothetical white flag with the trades of Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. After play on Aug. 1, the Yankees were 53-52a��5.5 games out of the Wild Card and 6.5 in the division. Since then, just two AL teams have posted a higher winning percentage than the Yankees, who’ve got 24-16 (.600). They’ve picked up 1.5 games on the Red Sox and 3.5 games on the Orioles and Blue Jays in that time frame, and find themselves currently just barely on the outside looking ina��two games behind the Jays for the last spot. They’re still four games out behind the Red Sox, with whom they open this four-game weekend set against at Fenway this evening.
For Tanaka’s part, here are his numbers since the deadline: 2.73 ERA, .622 OPS against and 52-4 K/BB ratio in 52.2 innings. His first post-deadline start was a rough one against the Mets; eliminate that and he’s down to a 1.94 ERA over his last seven starts. Either way, he’s been solid… and has to be in the discussion for AL Cy.
Johnny Cueto (SFG) versus St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright
Cueto’s bounced back from an iffy August (4.38 ERA) with a pretty good start to September. He’s gone seven innings in both starts, allowed just eight hits and has an 11-3 K/BB ratio so far this month (1.93 ERA). He’s been pretty consistent all year in a lot of respects — and boasts a league-best four complete games — but the second half has been a little more rocky for the 30-year-old righty. He posted a 2.47 ERA in the first half and is now at a 3.76 mark in the second, and while his K/9 is 7.9 for both halves, his WHIP has jumped nearly 30 points. But overall, he’s maintained what has made him classically difficult: his opponents’ slash line. Opposing batters are hitting just .235/.282/.348 against Cueto.