It’s a short Thursday slate with just 10 games on the docket. That said, we’ve dug in to find three aces worth keeping an eye on all day. Check ’em out!
Ace in Isolation
RHP Jacob deGrom (NYM) versus Cincinnati RHP Robert Stephenson
deGrom kicks things off bright and early as he’ll take on the Reds. After a couple tough starts—10 earned runs over 13.2 innings against the Yankees and Marlins—the 29-year-old righty came back with a dazzling performance against the Nationals, fanning 10 and walking just one while allowing an earned run on five hits over 7.2 innings. deGrom looks to put a bow on what hasn’t been a terrific month of August, but hasn’t been that bad, either: 3.82 ERA, 39-6 K/BB ratio and 33 hits allowed in as many innings. This’ll be his first look at the Reds offense (99 wRC+) this season.
RHP Zack Greinke (ARI) versus Los Angeles RHP Kenta Maeda
Greinke was quietly dazzling in a 4-3 win over the Giants last time out. He allowed just two earned runs on seven hits over 6.2 innings. And, added four strikeouts with zero walks. In lieu of strikeouts—of which he has 182 in 166.2 innings this season—Greinke induced a remarkable 15 grounders from the 21 batters who put the ball in play against him. For the season, Greinke is third in the NL in strikeouts, fourth in WHIP (1.08), fifth in ERA (3.14) and ninth in innings. Opposing batters are hitting just .230 against him, and in a leaner year atop the competition, he might get some serious Cy Young consideration.
However, it’s Max Scherzer’s world, and we’re all just living in it. Down the ballot we go.
LHP Madison Bumgarner (SFG) versus St. Louis RHP Michael Wacha
Bumgarner was again on the short end of a tough-luck loss last time out. This time the Diamondbacks beat him 2-1 at Chase Field. Bumgarner allowed both runs—solo homers to A.J. Pollock and J.D. Martinez—as he fell to 3-6 on the season. The Giants have been absolutely dreadful this season—a 5-0 loss to the Padres on Wednesday sealed a sub-.500 season for them (53-82)—but it’s impossible to blame Bumgarner. Well, at least as far as when he’s been on the mound. He’s posted a 2.85 ERA, .227 BAA, 1.04 WHIP and 81-15 K/BB ratio over 85.1 innings.
Ah, even without the dirt bike thing, this team probably isn’t too much better. But there’s something to be said about bad mojo, right?