With Dallas Keuchel sidelined until after the All-Star break, he can’t hold onto his lead any longer.
The Good: Chris Sale (Red Sox) and Max Scherzer (Nationals)
Sale had another strong week to make him re-emerge as the Cy Young favorite while Keuchel is sidelined. Only Danny Salazar has a higher strikeout per nine inning rate than Sale among pitchers who has started at least 10 games and his 155 strikeouts lead the league. Sale owns a respectable 2.77 ERA and has pitched a league-leading 113 2/3 innings this season.
Scherzer continues to solidify his lead against Clayton Kershaw. He was a hard-luck loser against Miami last week, where he pitched a complete game and lost despite not surrendering a single earned run while still striking out 11. He has an ERA of 2.09 and 145 striekouts, making opponent whiff at a 12.12 clip per nine innings.
Honorable mentions include Keuchel (Astros) Lance McCullers Jr. (Astros) Kershaw (Dodgers) and Carlos Martinez (Cardinals)
The Bad: Cole Hamels (Rangers) and Antonio Senzatela (Rockies)
Hamels made his first start since in two months last night against the Indians and it was definitely one to forget. Texas held a 9-2 lead until Hamels imploded, allowing four runs in the fifth inning and seven runs total that night in just four and 1/3 innings of work as Cleveland came back to win 15-9.
Senzatela, a rookie who has never pitched above Double A until this season, had a rock-solid April, but things have not been going his was in May, culminating with a pummeling he took from Arizona, allowing nine runs in five innings. It was announce later in the week that he would be sent to the bullpen to take the workload off of his arm, but this is also a move to bolster the Rockies bullpen. His ERA splits over each month has been an ugly 2.81 in April, 4.11 in May and 8.10 in June ad batters have been able to land more hits off of him.
The Ugly: Ubaldo Jimenez (Orioles) and Homer Bailey (Reds)
Ubaldo was on the tail end of bad MLB history as he surrendered nine runs to Tampa Bay in just two and 1/3 innings of work. That marked the 20th consecutive game that Baltimore allowed five or more runs, tying an MLB record. Jimenez has flip-flopped between the Orioles poor rotation and bullpen this season with a terrible 7.26 ERA in 15 total appearances. His roster spot could be in jeopardy.
The Reds are another team with a struggling rotation who saw light at the end of the tunnel with two of their better pitchers coming off of the disabled list. Bailey, who has pitched two no-hitters in the past, is arguably the team’s best starter and finally made his season debut on Saturday. Unfortunately for him, he ran into a buzzsaw and the National pounced on him immediately, scoring eight runs while Bailey himself couldn’t even get out of the second inning. His ERA stands at 43.20.