It’s a light day across this Monday MLB slate. But, we have four aces who are worth your time across the entire day. Check ’em out!
Ace in Isolation
RHP Max Scherzer (WAS) versus Miami LHP Chris O’Grady
Scherzer’s second start of the month will more or less be his first. That’s because he was lifted after just one inning against the Marlins last time out with neck spasms. He’s feeling better, and looks to jump back into the thick of things when he gets, oddly enough, the Marlins again. This time, it’s at home. July was a yawner of a month for Scherzer, which speaks more to how good he’s been lately and all season. He posted a 2.84 ERA, 50-12 K/BB ratio and just 22 hits allowed in 31.2 innings. And yet, it still paled in comparison to his 0.99 ERA in June. Either way, this is most likely your NL Cy Young winner. It was a two-horse race until Clayton Kershaw went down. Now? It doesn’t look like anyone can catch Mad Max.
RHP Ervin Santana (MIN) versus Milwaukee LHP Brent Suter
Santana completed his fifth game of the season in a 5-2 win over the Padres last time out. How insane is this? Here’s the MLB leaderboard for complete games:
- Santana – 5
- Red Sox/Indians – 4
- 27 teams tied – 2
So yeah, it’s been sort of a bananas season for Santana, who came into his last start with 21 starts total—seven where he’d allowed zero runs and seven where he’d allowed five or more runs. That adds up to a 3.28 ERA at present, with a 1.11 WHIP and a BAA of just .212.
RHP Carlos Martinez (STL) versus Kansas City RHP Ian Kennedy
Martinez’s last start against the Brewers sort of typified what he’s been all about this season. He went just five innings, but allowed only three earned runs and managed to strike out seven batters. However, he also walked five and failed to get an out in the sixth for the third time in his last six starts. He’s so close to being a lockdown ace. But he’s got the slightest bit of Danny Salazar in him. As a result, he’s seventh in the NL in strikeouts (151 in 140.1 innings), 10th in innings, but also fourth in most walks (54). His last eight starts haven’t been great either. Martinez has posted a 5.09 ERA, lifting his season mark from 2.86 to its present-day mark of 3.59. The Royals should be a good bounce-back matchup for him, though.
RHP Jake Arrieta (CHC) versus San Francisco LHP Matt Moore
The numbers aren’t exactly vintage Arrieta, but he’s lowered his ERA nearly a full run over the last 10 starts. He’s down from 4.68 to his current mark of 3.88. And, has allowed three or fewer earned runs eight times over his last 10 starts. Arrieta has been most impressive since July 1, posting a 2.08 ERA, .526 OPS against and just 21 hits allowed over that time frame. Still, it’s just a 31-11 K/BB ratio over that 39 inning stretch, which isn’t quite what we’re accustomed to from Arrieta. The same can be said for his 7 percent swinging strike rate. So while we’re one foot in the doorway on Arrieta, we’re not all the way there—yet.