After a day away, we come roaring back with a quintet of intriguing aces in isolation — including on both sides of New York. Check ’em out!
Aces in Isolation
RHP Jacob deGrom (NYM) versus Miami LHP Adam Conley
We’re featuring both New York starters on this slate. And ironically enough, that’s who deGrom faced last time out. The stout Yankees offense got to him as they drilled a pair of home runs on the way to a 5-4 win. The Yankees pushed across all five runs against deGrom before he departed in the eighth, and that’s saying something considering he’d allowed just five earned runs in his previous three starts combined. His ERA still sits at a respectable 3.35—eighth in the NL—and the 29-year-old righty is second in the NL in strikeouts (183), fifth in innings (158.2) and sixth in WHIP (1.16).
RHP Sonny Gray (NYY) versus Boston RHP Rick Porcello
Gray’s first three starts with the Yankees have been virtually carbon copies of one another. They’ve each been six-inning starts with two earned runs allowed. That’s lowered his season ERA to 3.37. And with 115 innings, he’s only seven shy of getting onto MLB leaderboards as qualified for the season. If qualified, he’d rank seventh in the AL in ERA between Ervin Santana and Jason Vargas. He’d also be second in the AL in groundball rate at 56.1 percent, behind Marcus Stroman—the only AL pitcher over 60 percent. As we’ve noted before, that’s a great fit anywhere. But especially at Yankee Stadium in a year where the ball is flying out of parks at an absurd rate.
RHP Danny Salazar (CLE) versus Kansas City RHP Jason Hammel
Salazar still isn’t really where we like our aces to be ERA-wise (3.92). But, he’s been obscenely good since returning from a shoulder issue. Yours truly saw it up close and personal at Target Field last time out, with Salazar tossing seven innings of one-run ball, scattering three hits with 10 strikeouts and no walks in an 8-1 win over the Twins on Tuesday night. Since missing roughly seven weeks, Salazar has returned with five starts that are absolutely insane. A 1.39 ERA, .446 OPS against and 46-9 K/BB ratio in 32.1 innings. Just what the Indians need, another ace—right?
LHP Madison Bumgarner (SFG) versus Philadelphia RHP Ben Lively
Bumgarner doesn’t have much to show for pitching well this season. Though to be fair, that’s largely his fault. But when he’s been on the mound this season, he’s been terrific. He’s got a 2.99 ERA, .235 BAA and 67-13 K/BB ratio in 72.1 innings. And yet, the Giants have won just three of his 11 starts. Here’s one thing to monitor: he’s thrown 100 pitches just one time in his last six starts. Is Bruce Bochy preserving his ace in a lost season? That might not be a bad idea.