Oakland waited longer than most teams to name an Opening Day starter, but today manager Bob Geren announced that Trevor Cahill will get the Game 1 assignment.
After a so-so rookie season Cahill went 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA as a 22-year-old sophomore, so giving him the Opening Day nod was a relatively easy call even if a 118/63 K/BB ratio in 197 innings suggests he was probably pitching over his head a bit in 2010.
Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez, Dallas Braden will follow Cahill in the rotation, although the exact order isn’t set yet, and Brandon McCarthy appears to have the inside track on the No. 5 spot after finally getting healthy.
For the second year in a row, the All-Star Game will feature a starting pitching matchup of Chris Sale vs. Max Scherzer. The two were just announced at a press conference at Nationals Park.
This, in fact, will be Sale’s third straight start of the Midsummer Classic, as he faced off against Johnny Cueto of the National League in 2016. It’s Scherzer’s third start in an All-Star Game overall, as he got the starting nod for the American League back in 2013 against Matt Harvey.
Sale is 10-4 with a 2.23 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 188/31 in 129 inning pitched. He leads the American League in ERA, strikeouts and strikeouts per nine innings pitched, with 13.1.
Scherzer is 12-5 with a 2.41 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 182/34 in 134.2 innings pitched. He leads the National League in wins, complete games, shutouts, strikeouts, innings, batters faced, WHIP, hits per nine innings allowed and strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
Because it’s the All-Star Game neither will notch a win, even if one could get a loss. Still, it’s a matchup of the two best pitchers going in 2018 and, with a tip of the cap to Clayton Kershaw, the two best starting pitchers of this era.