May 2 National League probable pitching matchup capsules
Your National League ERA leader through the first month of the season? It’s not a Roy Halladay or a Clayton Kershaw or a Stephen Strasburg but instead Diamondbacks lefty Joe Saunders. He takes the hill on Wednesday night against the offensively challenged Nationals. Bet on Snakes-Nats and every game at WagerWeb.com.
NY Mets at Houston – Mets RHP Chris Schwinden (0-0, 11.25) vs. Astros LHP Wandy Rodriguez (2-2, 1.72): Schwinden was in line to win his first start before allowing a record-setting inning, serving up a three-run home run and six total runs last Friday at Coors Field. Regardless, the Mets are giving Schwinden some rope in the rotation. … Rodriguez was in control for six innings on Friday in Cincinnati, allowing just two runs on six hits. He walked two and fanned two. Rodriguez retired seven straight batters in one stretch, four via strikeout.
LA Dodgers at Colorado – Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 1.78) vs. Rockies LHP Drew Pomeranz (0-1, 5.40): The reigning NL Cy Young winner Kershaw has earned a victory in each of his past two outings after starting the year with three straight no-decisions. He tossed a season-best eight innings on Friday against the Nats. … Pomeranz left Friday’s game against the Mets with left forearm tightness after four innings but said he is fine and is not expected to miss any time.
Milwaukee at San Diego – Brewers RHP Yovani Gallardo (1-2, 6.08) vs. Padres LHP Cory Luebke (3-1, 2.61): Gallardo struggled against the Cardinals, allowing eight earned runs on eight hits in two innings. The Brewers ace was coming of a three-start stretch in which he allowed four earned runs over 21 innings. … Luebke lasted six innings in his last start as two errors drove up his pitch count against the Giants. He had just three strikeouts in six innings but got 10 ground ball outs. He allowed two runs on seven hits and didn’t walk a batter.
Arizona at Washington – Diamondbacks LHP Joe Saunders (2-1, 0.90) vs. Nationals RHP Edwin Jackson (1-1, 3.16): Saunders is coming off his third career shutout and perhaps his finest outing as a pro, as he handcuffed the Marlins in Miami. He lost his only start at Nationals Park last year after allowing four runs in six innings. … Rebounding nicely from his previous start, in which he gave up five runs in the first inning, Jackson threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings against the Padres, marking the eighth time in 19 games that a Washington starter had blanked the opposition.
Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati – Cubs LHP Paul Maholm (2-2, 6.20) vs. Reds RHP Homer Bailey (1-2, 3.60): Maholm will be trying to extend his winning streak to three games, a dramatic turnaround from his first two starts when he went 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA. In his last two outings he’s 2-0, including holding the Phillies to one run on Friday. … In his last start, a no-decision vs. the Giants on Thursday, Bailey took advantage of an aggressive lineup. San Francisco was retired in order on six pitches in the fifth inning and nine pitches in the sixth, when Bailey only had 72 pitches thrown.
Philadelphia at Atlanta – Phillies RHP Roy Halladay (3-2, 1.95) vs. Braves RHP Tommy Hanson (3-2, 3.00): Halladay will try to end his first losing streak in nearly a year but will need help from an offense that’s scored one run in each of his last two starts. He’s gone at least seven innings and allowed three or fewer runs each time out this season. … Hanson has lasted at least six innings in three consecutive starts and allowed two runs or fewer in his past two. His fastball has been livelier in his past two outings, and he seems more comfortable than he was in early April.
Pittsburgh at St. Louis – Pirates RHP A.J. Burnett (1-1, 1.38) vs. Cardinals RHP Lance Lynn (4-0, 1.33): Burnett will make his first Busch Stadium appearance since 2005. He owns a 2.08 ERA in three starts there. The Cards were foils for his stellar Bucs debut on April 21, when he blanked them on three hits through seven innings. … In the rotation because of an injury to Chris Carpenter, Lynn became the Majors’ first four-game winner his last time out. He has fooled hitters with his use of three fastballs and two off-speed pitches. He maintains velocity deep into outings, too.
Miami at San Francisco – Marlins RHP Carlos Zambrano (0-2, 3.24) vs. Giants LHP Barry Zito (1-0, 1.67): Zambrano found himself in jams for most of his last start but always managed to limit damage. The right-hander allowed just three runs while surrendering 10 hits over six innings. Zambrano will look to improve in his next outing against the Giants. … Historically, Zito has experienced mixed success in May during his 11-year career. Though his lifetime record for the month is 18-17, his 3.38 ERA is his second-best, eclipsed only by his 3.19 August ERA.