Key Pitching Matchups: 8/22-8/24
With the Major League Baseball playoff race quickly heating up, every game matters more than ever especially for those teams that are teetering on the edge of grabbing a wildcard spot.
Not only is the daily lineup crucial but so are the pitching rotations matchups and who each contender will send to the mound.
Below are the key pitching matchups for the start of this week:
Monday: August 22, 2016
Washington Nationals at Baltimore Orioles
- Orioles Park at Camden Yards
RHP Stephen Strasburg (Nats) v. RHP Dylan Bundy (O’s)
The “Beltway Series” is always one of the most anticipated series and with both teams eyeing the post-season, this year’s matchup is even more exciting. Neither the Nats or the O’s made the playoffs in 2015 and staying focused and continue winning is crucial. In the opening matchup the Nationals’ will send their ace Stephen Strasburg to the mound to duel Orioles’ rookie Dylan Bundy.
Stephen Strasburg (15-4; 3.59) has been having a career best season but has struggled as of late while the right-handers’ struggles aren’t a dire emergency right now as Washington is 8.5 games ahead in the National League East, it may however be a problem if his inconsistencies continue down the road.
(Editors note: Strasburg was scheduled to start the game but was scratched due to right elbow soreness and placed on the 15-day DL. A.J. Cole was called up to make the spot start.)
Baltimore’s rookie Dylan Bundy (6-4; 3.36) will need to rebound from one of the worst starts of his career to help the Orioles stay in their current Wild Card spot, and just two games back in the American League East. In his last outing, Bundy was charged for five runs off of nine hits in just four and one-third innings of work.
Tuesday: August 23, 2016
San Francisco Giants at LA Dodgers
- Dodger Stadium
LHP Madison Bumgarner (Giants) v. RHP Kenta Maeda (LAD)
The Giants and Dodgers rivalry has always been one for the ages and as both teams come out of this past weekend tied for the top spot in the National League West, it is now officially “Go Time”.
There is no denying that Madison Bumgarner (12-7; 2.25) is a dominant force on the mound, but this season he is also showing that he is a force at the plate as well. The left-hander has had success at the rival Dodger Stadium in his career so far. The Giants can confidently rely on Bumgarner and will need another solid outing in this series if they are going to gain any ground on their division foes.
Kenta Maeda (12-7; 3.29) will be coming off of six days rest when he faces the Giants on Tuesday, for some, this would be a good thing especially toward the end of the season. Maeda however, has had poor results the last three times he has had six days rest which has caused his numbers to rise.
Wednesday: August 24, 2016
New York Yankees at Seattle Mariners
- Safeco Field
RHP Masahiro Tanaka (NYY) v. RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (SEA)
Both the Yankees and Mariners are mathematically still in the postseason hunt. The Yankees are six and a half games behind in the American League East and the M’s are five and a half games back in the American League West. This won’t be an easy task for either squad but, it could happen and they will both definitely need help from other teams. But, the first task at hand is to win!
The Yankees’ have had injuries, slumps and inconsistencies all around the diamond but, one thing they have been able to count on is their Ace Masahiro Tanaka (10-4; 3.24). In his last start this past Friday he pitched seven and two-third shutout innings against the Angels and were supported by an offensive push by the Yankees to earn his tenth win of the season.
Hisashi Iwakuma (14-8; 3.78) has worked at least seven innings in three of his last four starts which means that the Yankees’ lineup will need to get a good look at his pitching repertoire early on to get any advantage later on in the game.
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