For the series introduction and some notes on the process, read yesterday's pitching matchups post.
1. Philadelphia Phillies (Aaron Nola) at St. Louis Cardinals (Michael Wacha)
Both these young hurlers have been lights out so far, though Nola (1-2, 3.55 ERA) has underperformed his peripherals (his ERA is a full run higher than his FIP) in the early going. Wacha's (2-1, 3.07) Cardinals have had a dissapointing start, sitting at 13-13, while the Phillies have been a pleasant surprise, sitting at 15-11. Two exciting young hurlers is enough to push this game to the top of the list.
Nola's Last Start (@WSH): ND, 7 IP, 0 ER, 7 K, 1 BB, 2 H
Wacha's Last Start (@ARI): L, 7 IP 4 9 2 5 L @ARI
2. Seattle Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma) at Oakland Athletics (Sonny Gray)
You know, Gray (3-2, 3.81 ERA) and Iwakuma (0-3, 4.65 ERA) are kind of similar in some ways. Their strikeouts are merely average, but what they lack in whiffs they make up for with lots of ground balls and limited walks. Gray is the superior pitcher at this point in their careers, but they're cut from the same cloth.
Iwakuma's Last Start (vs HOU): L, 5 IP, 5 ER, 7 K, 2 BB, 7 H
Gray's Last Start (@DET): L, 2 IP, 4 ER, 2 K, 4 BB, 2 H
3. Chicago Cubs (Jake Arrieta) at Pittsburgh Pirates (Jon Niese)
Yes, I'm aware I just listed Jon Niese (3-0, 5.08), perhaps the most boring pitcher in the league, in an article about the best pitching matchups to watch. But hey, there's not a lot going on in terms of aces, and Jake Arrieta (5-0, 1.00) is worth the price of admission. You could watch only the bottom half of each inning, but then you'd miss out on the Cubs dynamo of an offense.
Arrieta's Last Start (vs MIL): W, 5 IP, 1 ER, 6 K, 4 BB, 3 H
Niese's Last Start (@COL): ND, 5 IP, 5 ER, 5 K, 2 BB, 10 H
Happy baseball watching!
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