We’re back from the All-Star break and ready to get the second half underway with one solid matchup and a couple aces in isolation. Check ’em out!
RHP José Berríos (MIN) versus RHP Charlie Morton (HOU) — 8:10 p.m. ET
Berríos has been a bit uneven over his last three starts—12 earned runs over 17.1 innings—though, he did manage to pitch the Twins to a win last time out over the Orioles. This’ll be the second look of the season for Berríos against the Astros, who he faced back on May 30—his fourth start of the season. That day, he allowed four earned runs in five innings in a 7-2 loss. That was the first game Berríos pitched in this season in which the Twins lost, for what it’s worth. Through 11 starts, the 23-year-old righty has been very, very good: 3.53 ERA, .221 BAA, 1.08 WHIP and 69-19 K/BB ratio in 71.1 innings. He’s come a long, long way since posting an 8.00 ERA last year.
Morton came off the disabled list to make one start before the break against the Blue Jays—a 12-2 win. He went six innings and 95 pitches, allowing just one earned run—a solo bomb to Troy Tulowitzki—with three strikeouts and a pair of walks. Morton hadn’t pitched since missing all of June with a strained lat, but for the most part looked good in his return. His velocity was pretty good (95.5 mph average) but not quite where it was at his peak (97-98 mph). It’ll be worth watching if he’s all the way back against the Twins. Morton, like Berríos, has made 11 starts this year with similar results: 3.82 ERA, .250 BAA and a 68-25 K/BB ratio in 63.2 innings.
Aces in Isolation
RHP Jacob deGrom (NYM) versus Colorado RHP Jon Gray
deGrom’s last start before the break was a bit bumpy, as he allowed four earned runs over seven innings in a 6-5 win over the Cardinals. The four runs came by way of solo home runs—Randal Grichuk, Paul DeJong, Dexter Fowler and Jedd Gyorko. But, he managed to avoid further damage with five strikeouts and no walks. After a strong previous stretch—just three earned runs over four starts—a clunker was not all that surprising. deGrom hasn’t been perfect, but he’s been solid for the Mets this season: 3.65 ERA, 130-38 K/BB ratio in 111 innings and a BAA of .233. The issue for him has been the long ball. He’s already set a career-high with 18 allowed this season.
RHP Carlos Carrasco (CLE) versus Oakland RHP Sonny Gray
After a clunker against the Rangers, Carrasco finished off the first half with two solid outings against the Tigers. He tossed seven innings in each, allowing just three earned runs (one, then two) with 18 strikeouts and two walks. His ERA is still hurting a bit from allowing eight earned runs against the Rangers on June 26, but he’s getting closer to pushing it back under 3.00—where it had been almost exclusively in May. He’s at 3.44 right now, with 114 strikeouts in 104.2 innings and a 1.08 WHIP. He’s in the top-10 in the AL in strikeouts, ERA and WHIP.