Baseball’s Best Hurlers Get our Applause
THE BASEBALL UPDATE –
WE HEAD INTO THE FIRST
OFFICIAL WEEKEND OF SUMMER
WITH A TOP 5 RANKING OF
ALL MLB STARTING PITCHERS …
PLUS MORE NBA DRAFT “FALLOUT”
AS CAVS, SPURS UNABLE TO PULL TRIGGER
ON A FIRST-ROUND DEAL
If you’ve been paying extra-special attention to Major-League Baseball this spring-into-summer, than you know that home runs are up, up and away and that’s gotta irk pitchers, right?
P.S., it’s no longer a secret that the MLB folks did “something” with the baseballs that these days are wound tighter, may or may not contain some rubber-ball features in the core and even have a different feel to ‘em according to many big-league hurlers.
Well, while folks are already looking forward to the Home Run Derby the night before next month’s All-Star Game in Miami, we thought it high time to recognize – and rank – the top five starting pitchers in all between the National League and the American League and we’ll tell y’all right now this is based on numbers, the vaunted “eye test” and a consensus feel from other folks we know that have been watching games day-in and day-out. All we’ll say is get ready for an onslaught of lefthanded slingers!
We shall get to our Top 5 Starting Pitchers in a minute, but first this key reminder …
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are banging outs lots of winners in Major-League Baseball these days and all you need to do is check in either right here online at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. Plus, the Football Season isn’t all that far away as NFL Preseason action swings into gear in early August – can’t wait!
MLB’S TOP 5 STARTING PITCHERS –
# 5 – JASON VARGAS, LHP, KANSAS CITY – Surprise, surprise! This much-travelled lefty hits our list thanks to his dazzling 10-3 mark and 2.27 ERA (second-best in the AL) and terrific 1.13 WHIP in his 14 starts. He’s been a true stopper for a Royals team suddenly looking to make a real run at the AL Central.
# 4 – DALLAS KEUCHEL, LHP, HOUSTON – Hey, if this bearded southpaw would have stayed healthy for all of his first-half-of-the-season starts than we would have popped ‘em into the #1 spot but Keuchel (9-0, 1.67 ERA and a microscopic 0.87 WHIP) has not pitched since June 2nd because of a recurring neck injury. Still has a shot to win the AL Cy Young given he makes 28-to-30 starts.
# 3 -- CHRIS SALE, LHP, BOSTON – No doubt that this new Red Sox hurler could sue for non-support as Boston’s 8-run showing in last Tuesday’s win in Kansas City was a major anomaly because Sale (9-3, 2.85 ERA and 0.90 WHIP) has not gotten much help from this Bosox lineup through the first two-plus months of the season. The strikeouts are mind-numbing – Sale has 146 Ks this year and he’s fanned 10-or-more batters in a game some 10 times this year.
#2 -- CLAYTON KERSHAW, LHP, LOS ANGELES DODGERS – You got it, yet another lefty makes our Top 5 list as the multiple Cy Young Award-winning star is 10-2 with a 2.61 ERA although he does come off his rockiest start of the year when Kershaw surrendered four dingers to the New York Mets. Yes, everyone’s still waiting for that big October.
#1 – MAX SCHERZER, RHP, WASHINGTON – Sure, the won/loss record ain’t great at 8-5 after his first 15 starts but dig deeper and you’ll see the Nationals’ ace has yielded only 63 hits in 107.2 innings with 145 Ks and just 24 BB and note the NL-best 2.09 ERA and 0.81 WHIP … and can you imagine what plaudits we’d be handing out if Scherzer had only hung on to that no-hitter-turned-loss in Miami this past week?
NBA DRAFT NEWS/NOTES
Now that we all know the real story regarding why the Boston Celtics never did draft Kansas F Josh Jackson with the third overall pick – because the former Jayhawks star and his advisers did not even meet with Celts’ GM Danny Ainge and head coach Brad Stevens despite the fact GM and coach were flying ‘cross the country to greet ‘em in Sacramento – what other “fallout” has come from Thursday’s NBA Draft?
Well, we know two or three players were – to put it mildly – “shocked” they did not go higher in this man’s draft and included in that short list are Kentucky G Malik Monk (#11 to Charlotte), Texas C Jarrett Allen (#22 to Brooklyn) and Indiana F OG Anunoby (#23 to Toronto). Monk figured he was a sure-shot to go inside the top seven or eight picks, Allen felt he’d go no lower than pick #15 and Anunoby was under the distinct impression that he would be selected near the end of the lottery pick (that’s #14). Ooops! …
Finally, maybe you had to “read between the lines” a bit but get the feeling that Chicago was elated to rid itself of unhappy G Jimmy Butler to Minnesota and that San Antonio and Cleveland were not thrilled with their inability to trade into the high-to-mid level of Round I. The Cavaliers had a few guys in mind in the #8-through-#15 pick area namely Creighton C Justin Patton (he wound up in Minnesota in that Butler deal) and Duke G Luke Kennard (Detroit-bound) while the Spurs sat there with pick #29 and snagged Colorado G Derrick White but insiders say San Ant wanted to deal off F LaMarcus Aldrifge and get a top 10 pick (Chicago-bound F/C Lauri Markkanen?). No dice.
NOTE: More MLB Notes plus soon we’re starting our NFL team-by-team looks here at Jim Sez, so don’t miss out!
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