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Pitching matchups for Saturday’s MLB games, including best and sleeper matchups to watch

We take a look at the pitching matchups for each MLB game on the slate for Saturday, April 17th.

Yu Darvish #11 of the San Diego Padres pitches in the second inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on April 12, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

We have a jam-packed 17-game MLB schedule Saturday, with the first two games starting at 1:05 p.m. ET between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Washington Nationals and the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees. There are a couple of doubleheaders on tap featuring four teams that will play in the afternoon. We are going to look at the best pitching matchup and the sleeper pitching matchup that could turn out to be a pitchers’ duel.

Here’s a look at the pitching matchups for Saturday’s 15-game MLB slate on April 17th.

Best Matchup: Clayton Kershaw vs. Yu Darvish

Even though we have Jacob deGrom and Tyler Glasnow on the mound in their respective games Saturday, the best pitching matchup will be happening at 8:40 p.m. ET between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. The two NL West contenders are in the midst of a three-game series, which features a primetime matchup between Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish.

This season, Kershaw has a record of 2-1 and ERA of 2.89 in three starts. In his last start against the Nationals, the three-time NL Cy Young winner struck out six and only gave up five hits in 6.0 IP. As for Darvish, he has a record 1-0 and 3.06 ERA in three starts. He also has 19 strikeouts in only 17.2 IP. Earlier this week against the Pirates, Darvish allowed three hits, one earned run, a walk, and struck out six in 7.0 IP.

Sleeper Matchup: Dylan Cease vs. Nick Pivetta

Saturday’s sleeper matchup will be between the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox, who are scheduled to play at 4:05 p.m. ET. These two teams were scheduled to play on Friday, but had the game canceled due to inclement weather.

Dylan Cease will be on the mound for the White Sox, while the Red Sox will be starting Nick Pivetta. Cease does not have a registered win in his first two starts. The 25-year-old does have an ERA of 3.86, which isn’t bad, considering that he hasn’t pitched more than 4.2 innings in a game yet this season. As for Pivetta, he’s revitalized his career with the Red Sox after being traded last summer by the Philadelphia Phillies.

This season, Pivetta has been one of Boston’s best pitchers with a record of 2-0 and ERA of 3.27. In his last start, he allowed seven hits, four earned runs, three walks, a home run, and struck out seven in 6.0 IP against the Baltimore Orioles.

Diamondbacks vs. Nationals: Luke Weaver vs. Erick Fedde
Rays vs. Yankees: Tyler Glasnow vs. Jordan Montgomery
Blue Jays vs. Royals: Steven Matz vs. Mike Minor
Braves vs. Cubs: Huascar Ynoa vs. Trevor Williams
White Sox vs. Red Sox: Dylan Cease vs. Nick Pivetta
Cardinals vs. Phillies: Kwang-Hyun Kim vs. Matt Moore
Tigers vs. Athletics: Casey Mize vs. Cole Irvin
Indians vs. Reds: Triston McKenzie vs. Sonny Gray
Giants vs. Marlins: Aaron Sanchez vs. Sandy Alcantara
Mets vs. Rockies: Jacob deGrom vs. Chi Chi Gonzalez
Blue Jays vs. Royals: Tommy Milone vs. Ervin Santana
Orioles vs. Rangers: Dean Kremer vs. Dane Dunning
Pirates vs. Brewers: Trevor Cahill vs. Brett Anderson
Mets vs. Rockies: Joey Lucchesi vs. German Marquez
Dodgers vs. Padres: Clayton Kershaw vs. Yu Darvish
Twins vs. Angels: Matt Shoemaker vs. Jose Quintana
Astros vs. Mariners: Zack Greinke vs. Chris Flexen