Phillies: 8 Free-agent starters who won’t stall out in September like Aaron Nola

Sep 29, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) walks to the dugout before their game against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 29, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) walks to the dugout before their game against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kevin Gausman
San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Kevin Gausman (34) Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

2. Kevin Gausman (6.4 WAR)

In his age-30 season, Kevin Gausman led MLB in starts for the second time in his career and posted the best ERA of his nine-year career (2.81).

Over 58 career September/October games, 40 of them starts, he has a 3.52 ERA. His most recent season included seven starts in that timespan, totaling 40 innings and a 4.05 ERA.

3. Carlos Rodón (5.0 WAR)

Carlos Rodón overcame a lot to have the best season of his career in 2021.

Over 24 starts – including a no-hitter – he posted a 2.37 ERA, a new career-best and his lowest since his rookie season in 2015.

Rodón’s career ERA in September/October is 4.58 over 23 games (21 starts), but take that with a grain of salt. He’s had wrist and shoulder injuries, Tommy John surgery, and was even non-tendered by the White Sox last winter before ultimately re-signing with them.

This past season, his Sept/Oct ERA was 2.00 over four starts.

4. Clayton Kershaw (4.8 WAR)

While the idea of Clayton Kershaw retiring as anything but a Los Angeles Dodger feels wrong, he is currently slated to hit free agency.

The no-doubt future Hall of Famer is 34 years old, has three Cy Young awards, five ERA titles, a Triple Crown, MVP award, Gold Glove, and finally got his World Series ring in 2020.

Over 73 career Sept/Oct games, including 70 starts, he has a 2.39 ERA. By the metric of ERA, he’s only been better than that in one month throughout his career, July (1.75).

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