This Sunday slate has something for everyone. We have a phenomenal aces duel and pitchers up and down the dial all afternoon long. Check ’em out!
LHP Chris Sale (BOS) versus RHP Luis Severino (NYY) – 7:30 p.m. ET — ESPN
There really aren’t any more superlatives we can lump onto Sale’s plate for this season. He’s coming off seven shutout innings of three-hit ball with 11 strikeouts and nary a walk against the Blue Jays in a 3-0 win. That capped what was only a decent month for Sale. He somehow posted a 4.38 ERA despite having a K/BB ratio of 53-8 over that time frame. Sale may be a string bean, but you don’t have to look hard at leaderboards to find him. He’s either first or second in the AL in wins, innings, strikeouts, ERA and WHIP.
Severino took it on the short end last time out—also on ESPN, against Corey Kluber—but his primary mistakes were just allowing three home runs over his otherwise strong 6.2 innings of work. He’s worked into the seventh in three straight starts and eight times over his last 10. And, has had a remarkable turnaround season with a 3.14 ERA, .220 BAA, 1.10 WHIP and 192 strikeouts in 163.1 innings. With 19 homers allowed, he’s become the pitcher everyone hoped Michael Pineda would be.
Aces in Isolation
RHP Ervin Santana (MIN) versus Kansas City RHP Ian Kennedy
He’s been the good Erv for quite a while now. His last six starts have all resulted in three or fewer earned runs to lower his season ERA to 3.27. That’s pretty much where it has sat for the last month-plus, as he posted a 2.95 ERA in August with a stellar 42-10 K/BB ratio in 39.2 innings. It’s been an incredible, out-of-sort-of-nowhere season for Santana, as he ranks third in the AL in innings (176), fifth in ERA and WHIP (1.14) but also eighth in walks (57). He’s been amazing at inducing soft contact, as he’s managed to fan just 146 batters in 176 innings while still allowing just a .219 BAA.
LHP Madison Bumgarner (SFG) versus St. Louis RHP Luke Weaver
Bumgarner is MLB’s answer to the terrible Bad Luck Brian meme. He’s just 3-6 this season despite pitching absolutely brilliantly. Of course, you make your own luck—*revs dirt-bike*—but in his last two starts, Bumgarner has allowed three total earned runs and his team lost both games. He’s got a 2.85 ERA, 81-15 K/BB ratio in 85.1 innings and a 1.04 WHIP. Don’t sleep on Weaver either. He’s been terrific since being promoted (2.48 ERA, .231 BAA, 36-9 K/BB in 29 innings).
LHP Alex Wood (LAD) versus San Diego RHP Jhoulys Chacin
The Dodgers have won Wood’s last five starts and all but one since May 1. And the lefty has been absolutely incredible all season long. After only a good July—4.01 ERA, 23-7 K/BB in 24.2 innings—Wood was better at least results-wise in August. Over the last month, he posted a 2.52 ERA, though the decline in strikeouts (17-3 K/BB in 25 innings) is worth monitoring for a guy with a history of arm issues. San Diego shouldn’t provide much of a challenge. But that was also true yesterday, when they swept a doubleheader against the Dodgers.
He’s hit the skids a bit of late, but Zack Godley is still having a terrific season. He still has a solid 3.29 ERA, yet is coming off months of a 4.07 ERA in July and a 3.89 in August. Again, that’s not terribly bad. It’s just a bit off what he’s been doing all season long. He’s been a groundball machine with more than a strikeout per inning and less than a homer per nine. That’ll play anywhere.