We’re coming down the home stretch with another strong slate of pitching. This time with a couple nice matchups and another arm we’re keeping a close eye on. Check ’em out!
RHP Ervin Santana (MIN) versus RHP Carlos Carrasco (CLE) a�� 12:10 p.m. ET
This will be Santana’s last tune-up before starting the Wild Card game in the Bronx next Tuesday. And it remains to be seen how long manager Paul Molitor will let him go. He’s playing in front of a skeleton crew of teammates but will no doubt look to at least get some work in before closing out his regular season. It’s been a terrific one, too. The 34-year-old righty has posted a 3.36 ERA in 206.1 innings with a WHIP of just 1.13. He may not be an ace, per se, but he’s the best the Twins have to offer. That’s not bad for a playoff club.
Carrasco has been brilliant for the Indians this season. He’s got a 3.43 ERA, more than a strikeout per inning and a WHIP of 1.11. He’ll need virtually a complete gamea��8.1 innings to be more precisea��to break the 200-inning mark, but he’s already at a career-high in frames. That alone is a positive development for the Indians, who are running away with the Central despite having large chunks of time missed by guys like Corey Kluber and Danny Salazar. The Indians have won Carrasco’s last six starts. Plus, he’s allowed zero or one earned run in all but one of those. This is almost certainly your No. 2 starter in the playoffs for the Indians.
Jacob Faria against Sonny Gray is a solid secondary matchup. Faria has been working out of the bullpen of late to keep his innings count down, but will start in place of Alex Cobb as the Rays will give him a healthy free agency send off. Meanwhile, Faria has been terrific for the Rays through 15 appearances and 13 starts. He’s got a 3.33 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 82-29 K/BB ratio in 83.2 innings.
Gray, on the other hand, has made 10 starts for the Yankees. It’s hard to compare through short stings, but he’s been roughly as good as he was with the A’s, postting a 3.12 ERA, healthy groundball rate (49.1 percent) and a K/9 rate of 8.5. He’s in the ballpark in most meaningful statistics. And, will go over 160 innings for just the third time in his career with this start.
We haven’t seen enough of Brad Peacock to call him an ace, but man is he good. He’s got a sub-3.00 ERA (2.98) in 33 appearances (20 starts), fanning well over a batter per inning (159 in 127 frames) while holding opposing batters to just a .206 batting average. The only reason his WHIP is even moderately high (1.20) is that he has 56 walks. Or, just about one every other inning. Just what the Astros needed is another starter to crop up, right? Between Peacock and Charlie Morton, the team has hit a gold mine.