RHP Trevor Williams (PIT) vs. RHP Corey Kluber (CLE)
Part of being on a streak like the Pirates are on means that your pitchers all have some great recent play. Trevor Williams has been the exception to that. His last outing was a nice rebound for him as he pitched five innings without allowing a run, but before that he’d been pitching pretty poorly. He had a 5.32 ERA in the month if June and 6.14 in July before the break.
As for Corey Kluber, he received an injection in his knee before the break that sidelined him from the All-Star game. Supposedly his knee was affecting his throwing mechanics. It would explain his recent struggles (by his standards). He had a 3.98 ERA in July before the break and lost two of his last four outings. He still has a remarkable 0.91 WHIP but hopefully this small setback will end tonight.
RHP Joe Musgrove (PIT) vs. RHP Shane Bieber (CLE)
Joe Musgrove allowed five runs through 7.2 innings in his last outing leaving him with a no-decision. The righty has not changed much since he came to the Pirates this year. He wasn’t the most effective pitcher with the Astros last year and this year he is 3-4. His ERA is down but that could be in-part because he’s pitching in the National League now.
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Shane Bieber‘s impressive rookie year continues. The hope is that the break gave him time to settle in. The 23 year-old capped off the first half with a win over the Yankees. He was downright dominant in the month of June with three wins and a 0.96 ERA. In three starts in July his ERA went up to 5.21 but he still earned two wins. Bieber’s rookie year is similar to that of Mike Clevinger‘s last year. While he is walking less batters, he has allowed more runs.
RHP Jameson Taillon (PIT) vs. RHP Trevor Bauer (CLE)
Jameson Taillon is another pitcher for the Pirates who isn’t working very far into games, but he is effective. He’s won five of his last nine starts and has a 3.18 ERA this month. This is set to be Tallion’s first full season and his stats haven’t significantly improved from previous seasons.
Trevor Bauer was a bit shaky in his first start back from the All-Star break. He has three straight no-decisions, although this was the only one where he got a bit roughed up. He allowed four runs in what turned out to be a shootout between the Indians and Rangers. Bauer is still having a career year. He has 182 strikeouts and still has a 2.44 ERA.