After only having seven games on Friday, we get a loaded Saturday slate with 14 games beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET in MLB. To begin the day, Corey Kluber will be making his regular season debut for the New York Yankees, after only pitching in one game last season for the Texas Rangers.
Along with Kluber making his return to the mound, Matt Harvey will get the start for the Baltimore Orioles as he tries to revive his career. We are going to look at the best pitching matchup and the sleeper pitching matchup that could turn out to be a pitcher’s duel.
Best Matchup: Charlie Morton vs. Zack Wheeler
Based on what we saw from both of these starting pitchers last season, this could be one of the best matchups on the mound Saturday. Charlie Morton will be trying to get the Atlanta Braves back into the win column, after losing in extra innings to the Phillies on Opening Day. Morton joined the three-time National League East champions this offseason on a one-year deal. The veteran pitcher spent the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, where he had a record of 18-8 and 3.33 ERA. Morton also had a WHIP of 1.135 and K/9 of 10.9, establishing himself as a top-three pitcher in their rotation.
The 37-year-old Morton will be opposed by Zack Wheeler, who is entering his second season with the Phillies. Last season, Wheeler was dominant on the mound as the No. 2 behind ace Aaron Nola. The former New York Met had a record of 4-2 with a career-best ERA of 2.92. In two games against Atlanta last season, Wheeler had an ERA of 2.12 with 11 strikeouts in 12.2 innings pitched.
Sleeper Matchup: Jose Berrios vs. Corbin Burnes
The Minnesota Twins will try to even up their series against the Milwaukee Brewers at 7:10 p.m. ET. The Brewers came back and defeated the Twins 6-5 in walk-off fashion on Opening Day. Minnesota will have Jose Berrios on the mound Saturday, who is coming off a solid Spring Training.
Last season, the 26-year-old had a record of 5-4 with a 4.00 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 63 innings pitched. Before the shortened 2020 campaign, Berrios was coming off back-to-back All-Star game appearances. In both of those seasons, he had ERAs under 4.00 (3.68 in 2019, 3.84 in 2018). As for the Brewers, they will send Corbin Burnes to the mound a season after he finished sixth in the NL Cy Young award race. Burnes had a bounce back in 2020 after only playing in 32 games in 2019 due to an injury.
The 26-year-old Burnes established himself as the Brewers’ No. 2 starter behind Brandon Woodruff. He had a record of 4-1, an ERA of 2.11, to go along with 88 strikeouts in 59.2 innings pitched.
Here’s a look at the pitching matchups for Saturday’s 14-game MLB slate on April 3rd.
Blue Jays vs. Yankees: Ross Stripling vs. Corey Kluber
Orioles vs. Red Sox: Matt Harvey vs. Tanner Houck
Indians vs. Tigers: Zach Plesac vs. Julio Teheran
Rangers vs. Royals: Kohei Arihara vs. Mike Minor
Pirates vs. Cubs: Tyler Anderson vs. Jake Arrieta
Braves vs. Phillies: Charlie Morton vs. Zack Wheeler
Astros vs. A’s: Lance McCullers Jr. vs. Cole Irvin
Cardinals vs. Reds: Adam Wainwright vs. Tyler Mahle
Rays vs. Marlins: Rich Hill vs. Elieser Hernandez
Twins vs. Brewers: Jose Berrios vs. Corbin Burnes
Dodgers vs. Rockies: Walker Buehler vs. Jon Gray
Diamondbacks vs. Padres: Caleb Smith vs. Joe Musgrove
White Sox vs. Angels: Lance Lynn vs. Alex Cobb
Giants vs. Mariners: Logan Webb vs. Chris Flexen