It’s a light day, sure. But it’s also a good one as we bring you a really strong pitching duel as well as a great ace working in isolation. Check ’em out!
LHP Alex Wood (LAD) versus RHP Zack Greinke (ARI) — 9:40 p.m. ET
The strikeouts have flattened out for Wood, who has fanned five or fewer batters in the last four games. He exacted revenge on his old friends last time out, beating the Braves with six innings of one-run ball, though. But he fanned just two batters and allowed 10 fly balls—both of which are atypical for the left-hander. Wood still has ridiculous season numbers, of course. But two of his last three starts have been a bit on the rougher side. For the year, he’s got a 2.33 ERA, .202 BAA, 1.02 WHIP and 112-29 K/BB ratio in 104.1 innings.
Durability has been an issue in the past for Wood—as well as Rich Hill and even Clayton Kershaw—so it’s easy to see why going out and getting Yu Darvish was a really nice insurance move for the Dodgers.
The surprising Diamondbacks come into Wednesday’s action 0.5 games up on Colorado for the first Wild Card spot with the Brewers six games behind the Rockies. The Diamondbacks are in the driver’s seat in large part due to Greinke’s bounce-back campaign this year in the desert. Greinke has sliced his ERA by more than a run. And, he’s found the missing strikeouts while cutting his walks and keeping the ball in the ballpark. He’s not hard to find on NL top-10 lists either. He’s third in WHIP (1.03), fourth in ERA (3.10) and sixth in innings (142.1) and strikeouts (157).
Ace in Isolation
LHP Madison Bumgarner (SFG) versus Chicago RHP Kyle Hendricks
Bumgarner has to feel like the preeminent ace in isolation. He’s got a 2.88 ERA and 56-11 K/BB ratio, and the Giants are 1-8 in his starts. Sure he left them high and dry with the shoulder injury, but there’s been absolutely no offensive support for Bumgarner outside of scoring him 11 runs in the only game they’ve won for him this season. In the other eight, the Giants have scored a total of 15 runs. Kill the win, yadda yadda. You get the point. The Cubs offense isn’t a great matchup for Bumgarner, either. But he doesn’t seem to care much about that. He’s allowed more than three earned runs just once this season—and that oddly enough came to a bad Padres offense.