Happy Father’s Day! We have a trio of aces in isolation and another interesting arm, so give dad the remote and let him check out some good pitching today. Check ’em out!
Aces in Isolation
RHP Lance Lynn (STL) versus Baltimore RHP Ubaldo Jiménez
It’s amazing to think that Lynn is one year removed from Tommy John surgery. He’s been absolutely brilliant for the Cardinals this year. He’s sitting on a 2.69 ERA and nearly as many strikeouts (71) as innings pitched (73.2). And, has allowed two or fewer earned runs in eight of his last 10 starts. PITCHf/x has his velocity (92.1 mph this year on four-seamers) almost all the way back (92.6 mph average). Plus, he’s inducing swinging strikes at a solid 10.7 percent on the offering. Most fastballs are far, far lower than that. Don’t sleep on his slider (11.8 percent), either.
LHP Robbie Ray (ARI) versus Philadelphia RHP Ben Lively
The resident strikeout artist for the Diamondbacks (second in the NL with 107) has been a man on fire of late, allowing just one earned run over his last five starts—all Arizona wins. That’s a 0.24 ERA over that stretch, with 48 strikeouts in 37 innings against nine walks. It’s also just a .346 OPS against, with a solo home run being the only damage Ray’s taken in that five-start stretch. It’s not only big velocity with Ray (94.1 mph average on fastballs), but also a devastating put-away slider (22.7 percent whiff rate). Oh, and a good curve, too (16.9 percent whiff rate).
RHP Yu Darvish (TEX) versus Seattle RHP Christian Bergman
Darvish has seen his ERA stay at or near 3.00 for the last couple months. And, is on a stretch of 10 straight starts where he’s allowed three or fewer earned runs. That’s also a stretch where he’s tossed a quality start in eight of those 10 outings. Thus, his ERA hasn’t been higher than 3.18 at any point in that stretch. That’s a good sign with free agency potentially looming, as he’s fanning more than a batter per inning (93 in 89 frames) while ranking in the top-10 in the junior circuit in innings, strikeouts, ERA and WHIP. The only caveat is that he’s also fourth in the AL in walks (35).
We’re happy to see Jameson Taillon back after dealing with testicular cancer, and he was terrific in his first start back against the Rockies. He tossed five shutout innings, allowing just five hits with five strikeouts against two walks. It might take a bit to get his stamina back up, but with a 2.90 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 40.1 innings, he’s on the right track as far as quality is concerned.