Today, two of our MLBbros will take the mound against each other in a NL battle. The Chicago Cubs take on the Washington Nationals. And that means there will be a bro starting on the mound for each team, as Marcus Stroman and Josiah Gray will square off.
This will be an exciting matchup between the two, even though both teams don’t have the best record. You better believe whenever these two make a start, they’re going to do their best to put their team in a position to win the game.
Both pitchers made their last start against the opposing team.
Stroman pitched on August 9, going five innings, striking out six and giving up four earned runs and Gray threw on the 10th, giving up two earned runs while striking out five.
They both earned a no decision during each game.
Well, today one of these brothers can earn a win and add it to their resume this season. Both of these pitchers have made a name for themselves during their careers, and they have represented well for the MLBbros.
Let’s take a look at how each one has performed this season.
Marcus Stroman, Chicago Cubs
Stroman is in his eighth season and his first one with the Cubs. Numbers wise, the 2022 season has not been one of his best, but Stroman has still had some impressive outings this year.
Back in May, he was lights out against the Milwaukee Brewers. He threw seven innings of shutout baseball, only allowing two hits while striking out five as he picked up the win. Don’t let the 3-5 record fool you, Stroman can still go out there and control the game from the mound.
He’s done that multiple times throughout his career, especially early on when he got to the big leagues.
Stroman will look to pick up his first win during August and let’s see if he can continue his streak of striking out six or more batters. He’s done so in his last two starts.
In his second season, he’s shown tremendous improvement on the mound, and you can see that he’s more comfortable and confident too. The 24-year-old is getting a lot of experience early on in his career and that will only help him as his career progresses.
This year, Gray has owned teams on the mound. Back on July 6 he had one of his best performances of his career against the Philadelphia Phillies. He threw six innings striking out a career-high 11 batters and gave up two runs while he secured the win. Gray could finish the season with double-digit wins, which would be very impressive.
This matchup between Stroman and Gray could be a back-and-forth game as both pitchers could wreak havoc for opposing hitters.
It’s easy to highlight all the players who are leading their teams to great things, like J.P. Crawford, Triston McKenzie, etc. But what about the guys who still have some room for improvement? Three bros in particular definitely need to step it up for their respective teams, or even just for their own stock.
1. Marcus Stroman
After a pretty solid 2021 season for his old team in New York, Stroman left ivia agency and signed a 3-year contract with the Chicago Cubs, worth up to $71 million.
The Cubs were paying for a player they believed could be a front-end starter for this season, but Stroman’s pitching has been subpar to say the least.
He posted a 3.02 ERA in 33 starts last season. His ERA has been up about one and a half runs, posting a 4.69 ERA this year, in only 11 games. He has already given up a little less than half of the runs he gave up last season, but in only a third of the starts. Stroman has a 2-5 record, and has only gone past the fifth inning three times this season.
With the Cubs playoff chances essentially out the window, Stroman could have had the potential to build his worth and get traded to a contender, but that door seems to be closed. It’s crucial for him to try and finish the year as strong as possible to show that he still has it, and that his days of being an elite pitcher aren’t over just yet.
2. Marcus Semien
With his career year in Toronto, Semien signed a 7-year, $175 million contract with the Texas Rangers, pairing him alongside fellow new signee Corey Seager. Many considered them to be the best middle infield duo in the league at the beginning of the season. So far, not so good.
Semien’s batting average is down 20 points, at .245, compared to .265 last year. He managed to hit 45 out of the yard, with 102 RBI playing in all 162 games. That earned him All-Star and All-MLB first team honors, as well as a Silver Slugger. This season, he has only 13 home runs and 44 RBI in 91 games played.
The Rangers are currently 7.5 games back in the Wild Card race. It’s a big mountain to climb, but it’s certainly doable. That peak will not be reached without Semien, and if he continues to play like he has been, consider kissing those playoff dreams goodbye. While the whole team needs to play better, it starts with Semien.
3. Ke’Bryan Hayes
There have been very few things to look forward to as a Pittsburgh Pirates fan, as they have been a bottom team for the past five seasons. One of the very few glimmers of hope has been Hayes.
After being selected 32nd overall in the 2015 draft, Hayes made his major league debut back in 2020, and boy did he make a splash. In 24 games in the shortened season, he batted .376, with five home runs, and 11 RBI. Many saw this kid as being a potential MLB star. Finally, there was hope in Pittsburgh.
Hayes put up a good 2021 season, not as electric as 2020, but still good. This season, he’s been average to say the least, batting .251, with four home runs and 28 RBI in 86 games. The Pirates are by no means competing for the playoffs, but with the recent call up of O’Neill Cruz, there’s been more and more glimmers of hope. It’s important for Hayes to show the team that 2020 was no fluke, and that he and Cruz will be an exciting duo for years to come.
It was the MLBbro show on the mound in Chicago on Friday. Veteran melanated mound marauder Marcus Stroman faced his former team and friend Taijuan Walker in a pitchers duel which last about five innings, which by todays standard qualifies as a nice mound battle.
By the time the Mets won the game in 11 innings, both Walker and Stroman were long gone, but it was excellent to see both guys still putting in solid work.
Fly Tai Walker pitched 6 strong innings, allowing 4 hits with 5 Ks, threw 90 pitches and allowed just a single run in what Keith Hernandez called as “bad a game as we’ve seen a home plate umpire have this year.”
Stroman was facing his former team after bouncing from Queens to take a $71M deal with the Cubs in the offseason.
The crafty Stro Show pitched just 4.1 innings but was impressive in his limited duty allowing just one run and striking out six Mets hitters.
The combination of Stroman and Walker kept the Mets in the NL East race for a large portion of the season last year while the team dealt with the absence of injured ace Jacob deGrom and prior to the arrival of Mad Max Scherzer this season.
LOS ANGELES – Devin Williams, Hunter Greene, Josiah Gray, Marcus Stroman, and Triston McKenzie are the top MLBbro pitchers in the game. Some are established veterans, while others are young guns enduring the ups-and-downs of pro-development but still making a name for themselves. Out of those five, if they had to be ranked, who would currently end up on top?
No. 5: Marcus Stroman
Throughout his career, Stroman has been an exceptionally crafty pitcher. From the 2017 to the 2021 seasons, with him opting out in 2020, he has not had an ERA below 3.22 in three of those four seasons and was an All-Star and Gold Glove recipient during that span.
However, Stroman is not off to the hottest of starts, as he currently has a 4.71 ERA, with a 2-4 record, and has only gone past five innings twice this season.
He has been doing better recently, but at this point in time, there is reason to believe that these next four players have been and will be better than Stroman this season.
No. 4: Josiah Gray
The man who was a centerpiece in one of the biggest trades last season, Gray has certainly made a name for himself throughout the Nationals’ clubhouse and fanbase. He has shown flashes of greatness, as he has given up three or less runs in four of his nine starts.
While Gray has a lot of potential, he has been inconsistent on which performance you will get out of him, which perfectly sums up his 4-4 record. In those four wins, he’s unhittable. In the four losses, he’s been subpar, which has earned him an overall ERA of 5.44. If Gray can have more of those dominant performances that he’s capable of having, then he can easily climb this list in the future.
No. 3: Devin Williams
In 2020, Williams established himself as one of the best relievers in the game. In 22 games, he had a tremendous ERA of 0.33, only giving up one earned run throughout the season. So far, while not at the level of 2020, he still has a solid 3.50 ERA, with seven earned runs in 18 games.
If the Brewers were to make a playoff push, Williams will be a key piece in that bullpen, as he has shown throughout, if the team is in a jam, you can count on him to come to the rescue and get them out. The reason he is not higher than three is because these next two players are two aces for their respective teams.
No. 2: Hunter Greene
Don’t let that 2-6 record fool you, as Greene has instantly established himself as the best pitcher on the Reds, and one of the most exciting young pitchers in the game. In just his second career start against the Dodgers, Greene broke an MLB record by having the most balls thrown over 100 MPH with 39.
In his seventh start against the Pirates, he was able to go 7 ⅓ innings without giving up a hit.
Greene has all the attributes to be one of the best pitchers for years to come. The reason he is still at two and not one, is because of his ERA, as well as giving up lots of walks and the gopher ball has been a nemesis. He currently has a 5.89 ERA, and has given up four or more walks in four of his nine starts. If he can get both of those down, he will easily make the jump.
No. 1: Triston McKenzie
While Greene has had all the spotlight on himself, McKenzie has quietly established himself as the ace of the Guardians. He currently has the best ERA out of these five players at 2.70, In his seven starts, he has given up three runs or less in six of those appearances. In each start, he has been going deeper and deeper into games, as the last two starts he’s gone seven innings each, giving up a combined four runs through those games.
He has consistently shown that he can be counted on when he gets the rock, earning him the best pitcher so far on this list, and well as a top pitcher in all of the MLB.