What’s on Tap: Previewing Monday’s action

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The Pirates and Rockies kicked Monday off with an afternoon game at PNC Park. It unfortunately saw starter Ryan Vogelsong carted off after he was hit in the head by a Jordan Lyles pitch. We should hear more about Vogelsong’s status this evening.

Later tonight, at 10:10 PM EDT, Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw will take on Reds lefty Brandon Finnegan in a series opener at Dodger Stadium. After Cubs ace Jake Arrieta tossed his second career no-hitter last month, I wrote that Arrieta — not Kershaw — is the best pitcher in baseball. Kershaw has done a terrific job since then of proving me wrong.

Entering tonight’s action, Kershaw is 6-1 with a 1.67 ERA and an 88/4 K/BB ratio in 70 innings. If you divide 88 by four, you get 22. No one has had a strikeout-to-walk ratio that good in baseball ever, and no one has even come close. Twins starter Phil Hughes set the all-time record with 11.625 strikeouts for every one walk back in 2014 with 186 strikeouts and 16 walks in 209 2/3 innings. Bret Saberhagen previously held the record with 11 strikeouts for each walk, and Cliff Lee came close in 2010 at 10.2778.

Kershaw has accrued double-digit strikeouts in each of his last six starts. The record is eight, done by Pedro Martinez in 1999 and Chris Sale last season. He’s facing a Reds team that has struck out 355 times this season, the fifth-highest total in the National League. It seems like a good bet that he’ll make it to seven. If he does, he will then attempt to tie the record next Sunday at Citi Field against the Mets.

[graphiq id=”5S58R5n1uM5″ title=”Clayton Kershaw Career ERA, WHIP and K/BB” width=”600″ height=”514″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/5S58R5n1uM5″ link=”http://baseball-players.pointafter.com/l/8619/Clayton-Kershaw” link_text=”Clayton Kershaw Career ERA, WHIP and K/BB | PointAfter”]

The rest of Monday’s action…

Cleveland Indians (Mike Clevinger) @ Chicago White Sox (Mat Latos), 5:10 PM EDT (Game One)

Cleveland Indians (Cody Anderson) @ Chicago White Sox (Erik Johnson), Time TBD (Game Two)

New York Mets (Bartolo Colon) @ Washington Nationals (Gio Gonzalez), 7:05 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies (Vincent Velasquez) @ Detroit Tigers (Mike Pelfrey), 7:10 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays (Matt Moore) @ Miami Marlins (Wei-Yin Chen), 7:10 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels (Nick Tropeano) @ Texas Rangers (Derek Holland), 8:05 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals (Ian Kennedy) @ Minnesota Twins (Ricky Nolasco), 8:10 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs (John Lackey) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Adam Wainwright), 8:15 PM EDT

Oakland Athletics (Rich Hill) @ Seattle Mariners (Taijuan Walker), 10:10 PM EDT

San Diego Padres (Drew Pomeranz) @ San Francisco Giants (Johnny Cueto), 10:15 PM EDT