Monday's Early Look at MLB Starting Pitchers
Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay will be looking to bounce back from his worst start of the 2012 campaign, while Mets left-hander Jonathon Niese attempts to win his second game of the year in the City of Brotherly Love.
Let's take a closer look at the pitching matchup for all 13 games that are expected to be played across the country.
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Chicago White Sox at Cleveland Indians, Game 1
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Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Philip Humber (1-1, 4.62 ERA) will look to get back on the winning track after pitching a perfect game on April 21, as the club has dropped his last two efforts at home.
The right-hander will be making his seventh career appearance (fifth start) against the Indians, going 0-1 with a 6.20 ERA, which includes a no-decision effort last time out. He surrendered three runs on four hits in six frames in that effort.
Zach McAllister will be making his season debut for the Cleveland Indians, going 3-1 with a 2.83 ERA in six starts with Triple-A Columbus before being recalled to the majors. He fell just short of earning a spot in the starting rotation during the spring, compiling a 4.50 ERA in three Cactus League appearances.
The right-hander made four starts during the 2011 season, including a no-decision effort in a 5-4 home loss to the White Sox, allowing two runs and six hits over 5.1 innings.
Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles
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Texas Rangers starter Matt Harrison (3-2, 5.40 ERA) has dropped his last two starts after starting the year on a three-game win streak, coming off an 11-5 road defeat to the Toronto Blue Jays. He allowed a season-high eight runs in that effort while allowing a home run for the third consecutive outing.
The left-hander has compiled a 2-1 record and 5.68 ERA in three road outings, as opponents are batting .280 against him.
In four career starts versus the Orioles, Harrison has registered a perfect 3-0 record and 4.68 ERA, with wins in all three of his starts at Camden Yards.
Baltimore Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz (1-3, 4.67 ERA) picked up his first victory of the year with a 7-1 road win over the New York Yankees last time out, giving up a single run and six hits over 6.1 innings of work.
The 25-year-old will be making his third home start, posting an 0-1 record and 3.60 ERA, issuing six walks and fanning just four in 10 frames. It's still a major improvement from his 1-4 record and 11.70 ERA in five outings at Camden Yards in 2011.
Matusz will be facing the Rangers for the fifth time in his career, going 2-1 with a 6.64 ERA, as he's allowed four home runs in 20.1 innings. He will want to pitch carefully to Nelson Cruz and David Murphy if they enter the lineup, as each of them has a home run and three RBIs against him in 15 combined at-bats.
New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies
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New York Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese (2-1, 4.08 ERA) has watched the team alternate wins and losses over his last four efforts, as he comes off a 6-3 road loss to the Houston Astros. He allowed a season-high five runs and six hits over three frames in that effort.
The left-hander has compiled an even 1-1 mark and 4.66 ERA in two road starts overall, as he finished with a 6-5 mark and 5.33 ERA in that situation in 14 appearances (13 starts) a year ago.
In nine career starts versus the Phillies, Niese is 4-4 with a 3.58 ERA, which includes a 2-3 mark and 4.63 ERA in six outings at Citizens Bank Park. He walked away with a 5-0 win on this field on April 14.
Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay (3-2, 3.40 ERA) is likely chomping at the bit to take the mound in this contest after his last outing, surrendering season highs in allowing eight runs and 12 hits in just 5.1 innings in a no-decision effort against the Atlanta Braves.
The right-hander is 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA in two home starts, as opponents are hitting just .212 against him and haven't left the yard. He finished with an 8-3 record and 2.48 ERA in 15 home outings in 2011.
Halladay has put together a dominating 9-2 record and 2.88 ERA in 11 lifetime starts versus the Mets, which includes a perfect 3-0 mark and 0.41 ERA in three outings last year.
Atlanta Braves at Chicago Cubs
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Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tommy Hanson (3-2, 3.74 ERA) has led the club to three consecutive wins, but didn't earn a decision in a 15-13 home victory over the Philadelphia Phillies last time out. He allowed four runs and eight hits over 3.2 innings in that contest.
The right-hander is 2-1 with a 2.65 ERA in three road starts this year, issuing seven walks and tallying 19 strikeouts in 17 frames.
In two career starts versus the Cubs, Hanson is 0-2 with a 5.23 ERA, which includes a 5-4 loss at Wrigley Field on Aug. 21, 2010. Chicago third baseman Ian Stewart is 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs against him.
Chicago Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija (3-1, 3.41 ERA) is scheduled to make his sixth start of the year, coming off a 3-1 road win over the Cincinnati Reds, as he allowed a single run and three hits over 7.2 frames.
The right-hander has been rock solid at home in two outings, registering a 1-0 record and 0.59 ERA, as opposing hitters are batting just .154 against him.
Samardzija has no record and a 5.68 ERA in making six relief appearances versus the Braves and will need to keep speedy leadoff hitter Michael Bourn off the bases, who has three hits in five at-bats against him.
Chicago White Sox at Cleveland Indians, Game 2
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Eric Stults is scheduled to make his Chicago White Sox debut in the nightcap of a doubleheader, as he made just six relief appearances for the Colorado Rockies last year.
The 31-year-old has compiled an 8-10 record and 4.93 ERA in 41 career games (24 appearances).
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Josh Tomlin (1-2, 5.27 ERA) has not performed well at home this season, posting an 0-2 record and 7.45 ERA in two outings at Progressive Field. He was 8-3 with a 3.58 ERA in 13 home outings a year ago.
In two lifetime starts versus the White Sox, Tomlin is 0-1 with a 5.73 ERA, surrendering three home runs in 11 innings.
Miami Marlins at Houston Astros
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Miami Marlins starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano (0-2, 2.53 ERA) is still in search of his first victory of the year in making his sixth start, as he's been supplied with just 12 runs of support over that span. He didn't factor into the decision in a 3-2 road win over the San Francisco Giants last time out, tossing seven shutout innings and allowing just five hits.
The right-hander is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA in three road outings, as opponents are hitting just .157 against him.
Zambrano has gone 16-8 with a 2.69 ERA in 35 career games (33 starts) versus the Astros, including a 9-4 mark and 3.57 ERA in 18 appearances (16 starts) at Minute Maid Park. There's no doubt that he'll pitch carefully to Houston outfielder Carlos Lee, who is batting .371 (26-for-70) with five home runs and 16 RBIs against him.
Houston Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez (3-2, 1.64 ERA) has been brilliant in winning his last three starts, allowing just three runs and 15 hits over 20 innings in that span. He tallied an impressive 8-1 home win over the New York Mets last time out.
The left-hander is 2-1 with a 1.42 ERA in four home outings, as opponents have yet to hit a home run against him in 25.1 frames. That success could continue, considering his 3.26 ERA since the start of the 2009 season ranks second among southpaw starters in the National League.
In 10 career appearances (eight starts) versus the Marlins, Rodriguez owns a 3-3 mark and 3.18 ERA, including an 0-1 record and 4.38 ERA in two outings last year. Miami third baseman Hanley Ramirez has seven hits in 18 at-bats against him, but has failed to drive in a run.
Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers
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Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo (1-1, 3.03 ERA) was saddled with his first loss of the 2012 season last time out, allowing three runs and nine hits over six innings in a 3-1 setback to the Chicago Cubs at home.
The right-hander is 1-0 with a 1.76 ERA in two road outings, as opponents are hitting just .151 against him. He was 5-2 with a 5.16 ERA in 15 road starts in 2011.
Arroyo is certainly no stranger to pitching against the Brewers, going 11-8 with a 3.82 ERA in 24 career appearances (21 starts), including a 4-2 mark and 2.60 ERA in 11 games (nine starts) at Miller Park.
Milwaukee Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo (1-3, 5.79 ERA) has been solid in four starters this year when not facing the St. Louis Cardinals (two outings), posting an even 1-1 mark and 2.33 ERA in those efforts.
The right-hander is 0-1 with a 4.58 ERA in three home outings this year, but has compiled a 30-16 record and 3.28 ERA in 62 career games (61 starts) inside this ball park.
In 11 lifetime starts versus the Reds, Gallardo is 3-3 with a 5.34 ERA, including a 1-0 mark and 4.76 ERA in three outings in 2011.
Boston Red Sox at Kansas City Royals
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Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Felix Doubront (1-1, 5.19 ERA) has watched the club alternate wins and losses over his last four outings, as he comes off a 5-3 home loss to the Oakland Athletics last time out. He surrendered a season-high five runs in just four innings of work.
The left-hander is 1-0 with a 4.09 ERA in two road starts, as opposing hitters are batting just .214 against him, which is far different than the .306 average he's allowed at Fenway Park.
Doubront will be facing the Royals for the first time in his career, as he brings in a Major League-leading average of 10.38 strikeouts per 9.0 innings among starters this season.
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez (1-1, 5.24 ERA) didn't factor into the decision in a 3-2 road win over the Detroit Tigers last time out, but it was still his best effort in tossing five shutout innings.
The left-hander has not enjoyed his time on the mound in two starts at Kauffman Stadium, allowing seven runs and 10 hits over 7.2 frames while issuing seven walks and striking out just four. The Royals have lost both of his outings in front of the home crowd.
In two career appearances (one start) versus the Red Sox, Sanchez is 1-0 with a 5.68 ERA, picking up the win at home as a member of the San Francisco Giants on June 25, 2010.
St. Louis Cardinals at Arizona Diamondbacks
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St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn (5-0, 1.60 ERA) has earned a victory in all five of his starts this year, with each win coming by at least three runs, including a 12-3 home blowout of the Pittsburgh Pirates last time out.
The right-hander has compiled a perfect 3-0 mark and 1.25 ERA in three road starts, issuing four walks and striking out 19 in 21.2 innings.
In two career relief appearances versus the Diamondbacks, Lynn has tossed three shutout innings while not walking a single batter and striking out three.
Arizona Diamondbacks starter Joe Saunders (2-1, 1.24 ERA) could be up to the challenge, as the club has alternated wins and losses over his first five starts. He didn't earn a decision in a 5-4 road loss to the Washington Nationals last time out, surrendering three runs (two earned) and seven hits over 6.1 innings.
The left-hander has compiled an even 1-1 mark and 1.93 ERA in two home outings, which is far different than his 3-6 ledger and 4.42 ERA in 15 starts at Chase Field a year ago.
He earned a 4-1 road win over the Cardinals on July 7 of last year in his only career start against them, throwing five shutout innings and allowing just a single hit.
Los Angeles Angels at Minnesota Twins
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Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jered Weaver (4-0, 1.61 ERA) is scheduled to make his third start of the year against the Minnesota Twins, with his last one being rather significant, pitching the first no-hitter in his MLB career. He issued just a single walk and struck out nine in collecting a 9-0 home win.
The right-hander has yet to record a decision on the road in two starts, allowing five runs and 14 hits over 12 innings. The former first-round selection was 10-6 with a 2.93 ERA in 18 outings away from Angel Stadium in 2011.
In three lifetime starts at Target Field against the Twins, Weaver is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA, but is allowing just a .205 batting average.
Twins starter Francisco Liriano (0-4, 9.97 ERA) has allowed at least four earned runs in all of his five outings to this point, as he comes off a 4-0 road loss to the Angels last time out. He didn't earn a decision in a 10-9 home win in this series on April 12, allowing six runs (five earned) in five frames.
The left-hander has compiled a winning 11-9 record and 4.01 ERA in 31 career games (30 starts) at Target Field, issuing 70 walks and striking out 174 batters.
Colorado Rockies at San Diego Padres
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Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz (0-1, 4.05 ERA) has led the club to two consecutive wins despite not earning a decision, including an 8-5 home victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers last time out.
The left-hander has compiled an even 1-1 record and 7.82 ERA in three career starts on the road, allowing 11 runs on 15 hits despite not serving up a home run in 12.2 frames.
Pomeranz will be facing the Padres for the first time and has limited lefties to just three hits in 17 at-bats (.176) against him.
San Diego starter Edinson Volquez (0-2, 2.92 ERA) has been tremendous in his last two outings despite not coming away with a victory, tossing 14 innings and allowing just a single run over that span. The Padres managed to win both of those contests against the Washington Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers at Petco Park.
In four lifetime starts versus the Rockies, Volquez has tallied a 1-2 record and 4.71 ERA, including a 4-1 road loss on Sept. 11 of last year as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.
Detroit Tigers at Seattle Mariners
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Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Doug Fister (0-0, 0.00 ERA) is scheduled to make his second start of the year after spending time on the disabled list with a left rib muscle strain. He lasted just 3.2 innings in a 10-0 home win over the Boston Red Sox on April 7.
The right-hander will be facing his former team for the first time, coming up with the Seattle Mariners in 2009. Fister was 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) with the Tigers during the 2011 season.
Mariners starter Blake Beavan (1-3, 4.45 ERA) has watched the club alternate wins and losses over his first five starts, including a 5-4 road defeat against the Tampa Bay Rays last time out. He allowed two home runs in that effort, which was the fourth consecutive game he's allowed the opposition to go deep.
The right-hander is 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in two home outings, but has issued just a single walk in 13 frames.
Beaven will be facing the Tigers for the first time in his career Monday night.
San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers
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San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Barry Zito (1-0, 1.76 ERA) didn't factor in the decision of a 3-2 home loss to the Miami Marlins last time out, as he struggled with his control of issuing seven walks in 3.2 frames.
The left-hander is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA in three road starts, with opponents hitting just .178 against him. He compiled a 2-3 record and 6.86 ERA in 10 outings (seven starts) away from AT&T Park in 2011.
In 21 career games (20 starts) against the Dodgers, Zito has compiled a 6-8 record and 3.97 ERA, including an even 4-4 mark and 3.86 ERA in 11 outings (10 starts) at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers starter Ted Lilly (3-0, 1.38 ERA) has been sensational in four starts this year, picking up a 7-6 road win over the Colorado Rockies last time out. He allowed two runs and four hits over six frames before getting removed due to stiffness in his right side.
The left-hander has gone 3-4 with a 5.81 ERA in nine career starts versus the Giants, but has gone 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA in his last three efforts since Sept. 16, 2010. His last victory in this series came on June 30, 2008 as a member of the Chicago Cubs.