Gerrit Cole dominated the Twins in an 11-0 Astros win. He tossed seven shutout innings and allowed just one hit while striking out 11. He led all players in scoring on both FanDuel (64.0 points) and DraftKings (39.4 points). After allowing eight runs across 4.1 innings of work on April 20, Cole has now been lights out in back-to-back starts, allowing just four hits and two runs across 14 innings of work while striking out 21. He did get a little help from his defense, as Aledmys Díaz had the play of the day with a sweet glove flip to first (can be seen below). Cole is still sporting a high 3.95 ERA, but his underlying numbers show that he should have a much better ERA than that, as he has a 2.95 FIP, .190 batting average against, and has struck out 65 batters across 43.1 innings. Those 65 strikeouts lead all of baseball, as does his 13.5 K/9 (among qualified pitchers). He can be started with confidence his next time out against the Royals.

Strong Outings

Cole had the most dominant outing of the night, but there were a few other guys who also looked sharp:

  • Rick Porcello hurled eight shutout innings in a Red Sox win. He allowed just two hits and struck out eight. It was easily the best outing of the year for Porcello (really his first good outing) and he still has a 5.52 ERA, despite the eight scoreless frames.
  • Zack Greinke tossed 7.2 innings of one-run ball in Arizona’s 3-1 win. He allowed five hits and struck out seven. Greinke has been locked in ever since getting blown up for seven runs on Opening Day; he finished April 5-0 with a 2.01 ERA and struck out 43 over 40.1 innings. His ERA now stands at 3.27 for the year.
  • Chris Paddack held the Braves to two runs over six innings of work to pickup his second straight win. The rookie gave up four hits while striking out five. He has given up three runs or less in all six of his starts, not a bad way to start a career. He will carry a 1.91 ERA into his next start.
  • Luis Castillo fired 6.2 innings of two-run ball against the Mets. He allowed five hits and struck out seven but was stuck with a no-decision. Castillo has pitched five or more innings and allowed two or fewer runs in all seven of his starts this year and is currently sporting a 1.45 ERA.
  • Spencer Turnbull gave the Tigers six quality frames in a win over the Phillies. He allowed just three hits and one run while striking out five. The rookie right-hander continues to impress, as he has not allowed more than three runs in any of his six starts. He will carry a 2.53 ERA into his next outing.

CC Milestone

One pitcher I did not mention above is CC Sabathia , who deserves his own segment after recording strikeout number 3000 last night (the whole moment can be seen below). Sabathia became just the third left-handed pitcher (joining HoFs Steve Carlton and Randy Johnson) in the history of MLB to record 3000 strikeouts (17th overall to reach the mark). It’s great anytime you see a player reach a milestone, but even better when it’s such a likeable player like Sabathia is. The big fella should be a lock for the Hall of Fame when he decides to call it a career, with 3000 strikeouts, a 3.69 ERA, one Cy Young, five top-five finishes in the Cy Young voting, and six all-star appearances. He also has another milestone coming up soon, as he needs just three more wins to reach 250 for his career. He has been a workhorse throughout his career and the numbers speak for themselves.

Hitter Highlights

Franmil Reyes had the only double-dong game of the night as he finished 3-4 with two home runs, a double, three RBI, and two runs scored. Reyes is still only hitting .232, but he does now have eight home runs on the year to go along with 14 RBI.

Anthony Rizzo and Jake Marisnick were the only two players to have a bash-and-dash. Rizzo finished 2-3 with a home run, a walk, a stolen base, two RBI, and a run scored. Marisnick has just one hit, but it was the home run, and he also had a steal, two RBI, and two runs scored.

Jeff McNeil had the only four-hit game of the night, finishing 4-5 with a double, one RBI, and scoring one run. The guy can just flat-out hit the baseball; he is currently hitting .370 after hitting .329 as a rookie last season.

Wilmer Flores went 2-3 with a home run, a walk, two RBI, and a run scored. Flores has struggled out of the gate to a .243 batting average, but hitting his first home run of the season could be just the remedy he needed to get it going.

Carlos Santana finished 3-5 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. Santana is playing very well in his return to Cleveland, as he is now hitting .316 with three home runs, 16 RBI, and 17 runs scored on the year. Hitting fourth will continue to be a big boost to his counting stats.

George Springer collected two hits in five at bats and swatted his ninth home run of the year. He also walked, drove in two runs, and scored twice in the Astros routing of the Twins. He is off to a hot start with nine home runs, 24 RBI, 21 runs, three steals, and a .274 average. His first 30-10 season seems possible.

What to Watch for Today

Marco Gonzales will take to the hill in search of his SIXTH win. He currently sports an undefeated 5-0 record and has a shiny 2.80 ERA. The Cubs (his opponent) currently rank in the bottom-10 in both runs scored and batting average against lefties.

Blake Snell was roughed up by the Royals in his last start, allowing five hits and three runs (two earned) across only 3.1 innings of work. He will face the Royals again today, but I like his odds of bouncing back and having a strong outing.

Caleb Smith has been dominating hitters this season and will look to keep it going today against the Indians. He enters today’s start with a 2.17 ERA, .167 batting average against, and has struck out 37 across 29.0 innings of work.