It’s another fairly sturdy day as we go from dawn until dusk on our MLB slate. It’s also the second day in a row featuring a Jacob in our premium duel. So that’s a thing. Check ’em out!
RHP Jacob Faria (TBR) versus RHP Marcus Stroman (TOR) — 7:07 p.m. ET
The first 12 starts for Faria have been terrific. The 24-year-old righty has posted a 3.19 ERA with a strikeout per inning, less than a home run per nine and a WHIP of 1.17. Faria has had a blow up here and there—including five earned in six innings last time out against the Indians—but for the most part has been really, really good for the Rays in his rookie season. The slider is really good (15.4 percent whiff rate). But like most Rays pitchers, look out for the changeup (22.7 percent).
Stroman just keeps chugging along. His ERA is back at 3.00 with a chance to dip back under for the first time in nearly a month. He’s coming off a hard-luck loss last time out to the Pirates, allowing four runs—none earned—in the third inning while shutting the Bucs down the rest of the way. He has induced double-digit grounders in each of his last nine starts, including an astounding 17 grounders off the bats of 25 hitters who didn’t strike out or walk against him last time out. He’s an understated ace at this point—blame the paucity of strikeouts—but he’s looked really great for a Jays team that has underachieved this season.
Aces in Isolation
LHP Cole Hamels (TEX) versus Detroit RHP Aníbal Sánchez
Only July 20, Hamels allowed seven earned runs in a loss to the Orioles. In the four starts since, he’s allowed seven earned runs total, lowering his ERA to 3.31—the lowest it has been in more than a month. It’s not a classic Hamels season, though. Even with the good ERA he still has just 58 strikeouts in 92.1 innings. But it’s still a pretty good one. Opposing batters are still hitting just .211 against the 33-year-old lefty. And, he’s allowing just over a baserunner per inning (1.04 WHIP). Hamels’ changeup was dazzling in Minnesota, but the whiff rate on it (17.2 percent) is down appreciably (25.8 percent career). That makes a big difference.
RHP Carlos Carrasco (CLE) versus Minnesota RHP Kyle Gibson
Sure Carrasco has seen his hiccups this season. But he was absolutely dominant last time out against the Rays. He allowed just two hits in eight innings and took a no-hitter into the seventh. He also struck out 10 batters with just two walks in a 5-0 win. The strikeouts have been there all season for Carrasco (152 in 138.2 innings), though. And while he’s battled consistency issues ERA-wise (3.83), he’s still fourth in the league in WHIP (1.13) and fifth in strikeouts. The Indians are primed to do some damage in the playoffs with Corey Kluber, Carrasco and the Danny Salazar that sliced and diced these same Twins on Tuesday night.
RHP Yu Darvish (LAD) versus Chicago LHP Carlos Rodon
Darvish struggled with pitch economy last time out—106 in just five frames—but he continued what is now a tremendous start with the Dodgers through two appearances. He’s allowed just two earned runs in 12 innings with 20 strikeouts and just three walks. The White Sox (91 wRC+) are probably not going to put up much of a resistance either. So unless Rodon is absolutely dealing, this could get ugly quick.