C.J. Wilson is taking the ball for the Angels today. I’ve written a little about him before, but yesterday I was fooling around with the pitch value leaderboards after reading Dave Cameron’s post on Johnny Cueto, and noticed something that I found pretty neat: Wilson has three pitches that have been top 10 offerings this year. His fastball, slider, and change-up have all graded out phenomenally. He’s facing the Braves tonight, a team that has hit left handed pitching very well, so it’s a very interesting matchup. And speaking of the Braves, Julio Teheran also has three pitches in the top 10 (fastball, curveball, change-up). Adam Wainwright comes close; his curveball currently sits twelfth, but his fastball and cutter are firmly planted near the top. Side bar: Please be ok, Adam.
There are a lot of fun ways to grade out pitches. Whiff rates are my favorite, and we all know they’re Eno’s favorite. The pitch values are also fun though, because it’s always nice to know how these pitchers come to their over numbers. Most of the time, at least to me, the parts that make up the whole are more interesting when they’re viewed as separate entities.
Today, we’re #blessed with a phenomenal pitching slate. Wilson will share the stage with Aaron Harang tonight, who somehow keeps pitching very well. His FIP- of 79 is the 21st best mark among starters. Seriously, how is this still going on?
Felix Hernandez is on the mound. So are: Clayton Kershaw, Sonny Gray, Jose Quintana (vastly underrated), Jordan Zimmermann, Andrew Cashner, and Alex Cobb. It’s an easy night to sit back and just flip back and forth watching batters swing and miss at high rates.
Not every starter tonight is in the upper echelon, though. Jeff Locke and Jeremy Guthrie are both on the mound. Locke’s facing a Marlins’ lineup that has more ability to put runs on the board than we anticipated. And, for Guthrie, the White Sox’ lineup has the ability to leave the yard early and often.
Chase Anderson, David Phelps, Ubaldo Jimenez, Kyle Gibson, and Drew Smyly all have tough matchups, respectively. Jimenez has had more trouble keeping the ball in the yard than he ever has; he’s facing the best power hitting team in the league. Gibson and Smyly square off in Detroit. Gibson doesn’t miss bats. He does get groundballs; he’ll need them all tonight. Smyly’s stuff has always been good, but pitch counts have been the death of him lately. In his last four starts, he’s made it out of the fifth once. Considering how rare it is for a Twins’ batter to swing the bat, he could be in for a short night.
The Daily Five
All righties [switch in Morales’ case] versus Smyly.
Corey Dickerson – $5,804
Not many people have been better than Dickerson lately. He’s posted a .440 wOBA over the past 14 days, not including yesterday’s two hit effort.
Jose Quintana – $12,439
I have no idea why Quintana is so cheap today. His peripherals are sterling and he’s facing one of the worst offenses in the majors versus left handed pitching. Trot him out there with confidence.
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