So far this season, baseball’s best pitchers have put on quite the show. With several complete games and not hitters already recorded, this week’s top pitching matchups have a lot to live up to. Note that all game times are in EST and each matchup is subject to change.
Starting the week off with a high stakes divisional showdown is always exciting. In this case, Woodruff (1.96 ERA) will face the Cubs for the third time this year. He was terrific in his first two outings, striking out 14 and allowing just one run over 13 innings. Arrieta (2.86 ERA) was roughed up in his last start against the Brewers, giving up three earned in five innings. Other than that, he’s been great this year, most recently holding the Mets to one run over five.
Every week it seems like the Padres and Dodgers are offering up another elite pitching matchup. This time, Musgrove (1.04 ERA) is making his first start of the season against LA. He’s still riding high after his no hitter a couple weeks ago, most recently owning the Brewers over seven innings. May (2.93 ERA) is entering this game a little less hot. Following a six-inning shutout in his season debut, he’s given up six runs in his last two starts. He is still flashing top-notch strikeout stuff, though, with 22 in 15.1 innings.
The breakout star of the Marlins rotation, Rodgers (1.64 ERA) is coming off the best start of his career. Against the Orioles, he went seven scoreless with eight strikeouts on 82 pitches. Burnes (0.37 ERA) is riding a historic streak of his own. Entering this matchup, he is just 11 strikeouts away from tying the record for the most consecutive strikeouts without issuing a walk (51). Having hit 10 strikeouts in each of his last two starts, as well as reaching 11 in his season debut, Burnes might just make history this week.
Living proof that a change of scenery can go a long way, Hoffman (2.66 ERA) has been excellent since leaving the Rockies. Three times this year he’s held the opposition to one earned run, including his last start against the Diamondbacks. Buehler (2.16 ERA) is also in the midst of what looks to be his best season yet. He’s gone at least six innings in each of his starts this year, including seven last week against the Padres. He also struck out nine that game, showing that his deadly strikeout stuff may finally be returning.
Having struggled for most of his career, Pivetta (3.48 ERA) has settled into a nice groove since arriving in Boston. In his last start, he went six innings against the Mariners, surrendering just one hit. He’ll have to do all he can to stifle the Mets offense because with deGrom (0.31 ERA) on the mound, runs will be stingy. The best pitcher in baseball is coming off the best start of his career. In a complete game shutout of the Nationals, he struck out a career-high 15 en route to setting the record for the most strikeouts through the first four starts of a season (50).
Any fears people had over Bauer (2.53 ERA) regressing this year have been sufficiently quelled. In back-to-back games against the Padres, he went six innings and struck out a combined 16 batters while only giving up three earned runs. He also enters this week with the highest strikeout rate of his career at 12.6 K/9. Of course, Peralta (2.45 ERA) is also entering this game with the highest strikeout rate of his career (15.5 K/9). Like the rest of the Brewers’ rotation, he is enjoying a breakout season, giving up just one run through his first 13 innings before unraveling a bit with five earned runs in his last two starts.
Much of the Red Sox’s unexpectedly hot start is the result of Eovaldi’s (3.77 ERA) similarly unexpected dominance. That said, he is fresh off his worst start of the year, surrendering four earned runs in five innings against the Mariners. Before that, he was in the middle of a very impressive stretch, culminating in a 10 strikeout performance vs. the White Sox. Meanwhile, Arihara (2.21 ERA) is coming into his own after struggling in his first two starts. In his last two outings, he’s gone 11.2 scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts and only two walks. Having come to America without much hype, Arihara may make a lot of international scouts eat their words.
Speaking of pleasant surprises, who would have thought that the Giants would have one of the best rotations in baseball. While it may be early, the performances of Gausman (2.14 ERA) and the rest of the starters are turning a lot of heads. Aside from a five-run blowup against the Reds, Gausman has been lights out this year, most recently firing eight strong innings and striking out 11 in Miami. Darvish (2.27 ERA) is also going on an absolute tear right now. In each of his last three starts, he’s gone seven innings and allowed only one run per game, all while striking out 24.
Julio Urias (LAD) vs. Corbin Burnes (MIL) 7:10 PM
What better way to ring in the new month than with another showdown between the Dodgers and the Brewers. Urias takes the mound in what will be his first start of the season against Milwaukee. Likewise, Burnes will also being facing LA for the first time this year. If he doesn’t set the consecutive strikeout record against the Marlins, then, assuming he doesn’t walk anyone, he’s practically guaranteed to set it here.
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