View From the Center: A.L. East Aces
Welcome to "View From the Center", where our resident pseudo-expert slash Cincinnati Reds fan Jeff Gentil takes a regular rundown of the topics of interest within baseball's divisional landscape. Last week, fabulous freshmen. This week, team aces.
Tampa Bay Rays: When your team is 17 games over .500 you will have plenty of ace candidates. The Rays are no exception, but to date David Price sticks out above Jeff Niemann or Matt Garza. Price took an extra year to fulfill the enormous hype lofted his way, but his 7-2 record with 2.57 ERA are going a long way to prove Price was worthy of the high praise.
Baltimore Orioles: On the other hand, on a team already 22 games under .500 and 19.5 games out of first place, a true ace does not exist. However, Jeremy Guthrie is doing his best to help the Orioles not lose 100 games. His 3-5 record isn't great, but considering the circumstances a 3.84 ERA is very respectable.
Boston Red Sox: Clay Buchholz has been very good so far, but Jon Lester has been better. Buchholz has more wins (7) and a lower ERA (2.73), Lester has just one fewer win and his ERA is slightly higher at 2.97. Lester also has thrown more innings (72.2), more strikeouts (77), and a lower WHIP (1.13).
New York Yankees: Andy Pettitte just keeps going. The 37-year-old is 7-1 with a 2.48 ERA and despite an earlier injury scare is off to another Pettitte-like season for the Yankees. On a team with C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Phil Hughes, Pettitte has been the best of the bunch thus far.
Toronto Blue Jays: The off-season departure of Roy Halladay left an opening in the ace slot for the Blue Jays. So far Shaun Marcum has given an early indication he'd like to be the man to take over the reins with his 5-1 record and 2.59 ERA. While the Blue Jays certainly miss Roy, they haven't missed a beat and thanks to excellent pitching are right in the thick of the division race.