Teams with their elite starting pitchers throwing two games in a week can really help a club's odds, so check out these big-name arms and their projected starts this week.
While David Price hasn’t pitched like an ace since the Red Sox gave him a ton of money a couple offseasons ago, hestill has two starts this week in what could be a nice couple spots for the veteran. Price opens the week on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels and another start pitcher/hitter, and even though Price is coming off a poor outing, his first two starts of the season were fantastic.
After facing the Angels on Tuesday due to Monday’s postponement, Price will return to the hill on Sunday in what could be a good or really bad matchup in Oakland. The A’s and Angels rank inside the top 10 in runs scored this season, and while that should even out over the course of the season, it could also be a dangerous spot for Price on the road. Be cautious but optimistic for Price in his two starts this week.
Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
The Mets have been one of the more surprising teams this season with a 12-2 start, and what better time to have your ace on the hill that on a Monday when you’re trying to go 13-2. deGrom has owned the Nationals outside of Bryce Harper. If you take away Harper’s impressive 9-for-26 (.346) career against deGrom, the rest of the Nats are hitting just .168 against deGrom over 125 at-bats.
After he is done dominating the Nats, deGrom has a weekend meeting with the Braves on the road. Atlanta is fourth in runs scored heading into Monday, so while deGrom should still have a good second start, it might not be as good as his first on Monday.
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels
Shohei Ohtani is changing baseball in just a few short weeks. If he continues to be dominant as a pitcher and hitter, it could not only change the way baseball players are taught at an early age, it could embolden those heavy-hitting pitchers in high school to not drop a bat “when the time comes.”
Ohtani has opened the season with a 2.08 ERA in his first two starts and an 11-for-30 batting clip with 3 homers and 11 RBI. Now Ohtani likely gets to pitch twice in one week despite the Angels' 6-man rotation. Ohtani faces off against the Red Sox on Tuesday, but if the young superstar can get past the Sox, he should have another matchup with the struggling Giants offense on Sunday.
Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros
Dallas Keuchel is also a two-start pitcher this week and his two games are against struggling offenses. After getting a little roughed up in his last start against the Twins, Keuchel returns to the mound on Monday against a Mariners offense that could be very hit or miss tonight depending on how Keuchel pitches.
However, if the Astros can get a win on Monday as slight -115 favorites, they should be much chalkier in Keuchel’s next start on Saturday against the White Sox. Chicago ranks 26th in runs scored, but eighth in weighted on base average (wOBA). Considering the game is in Chicago, that could help or hurt depending on the weather and who is getting the day off for the Sox when they face Keuchel.
Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies
Most people coming in to this season didn’t think of Aaron Nola as an elite starting pitcher, but after three really good starts and a 1.96 ERA, Nola is turning some heads outside of Philadelphia.
However, even though Nola has two starts this week, it could be against two of the hotter offenses to start 2018. Nola opens his week starting against the Braves and then finishes his week off against the Pirates. Both games are against top-5 offenses this season, but if Nola can come away with a couple of wins and/or quality starts, it will only increase his legend to start the 2018 season.