Welcome to Ronnie’s 3 Ups and 3 Downs! This column looks at some fascinating matchups and facts that might pique the interest of the reader as that day’s games are reviewed. This is my attempt at creating compelling thought on any given day.
The Diamondbacks are on the road in Pittsburgh today. The Pirates will trot out Trevor Williams to face the Arizona club. Williams is a fastball heavy pitcher, throwing the heater with a 53.4% frequency. This is important because Peralta is the Diamondbacks best fastball hitter. He owns a 6.8 wFA on the year. Williams next most frequently thrown pitch is his slider at 16.0%. It just so happens that the pitch Peralta hits second best is the slider at 1.5 wSL.
Speaking of good against the fastball, McCutchen has a favorable matchup today as the Phillies face Zach Wheeler and the New York Mets. McCutchen made my Down side last week, but his 4.9 wFA on the year puts him on the Up side today. Wheeler throws a fastball with the 4th most frequency in the NL at 58.1%. Wheeler is also walking hitters at a very high 13.7% and I think it’s important to note the McCutchen leads the NL with 18 walks.
Carrasco has been very inconsistent through his first 4 starts of the season. In two of those starts he has failed to complete 5 innings while giving up 6 or more runs; in his other two starts he has gone 6 or more innings and given up 2 runs or less. What he’s done well is strike out 29 batters in 17 innings with just 5 walks. Today he faces the Miami Marlins, a team that ranks 27th in the Majors with -37.0 oRAA thanks in large part to the leagues 2nd worst 26.8% K.
Off to a great start this year, Myers has a 138 wRC+ through the first 22 games of the season. He is not looking very good right now however. Myers, over the last week is making very high 40.0% SC. The interesting thing is that he has a 60.0% pull. The pulled ball is typically the harding hit ball but in Myers case he’s pulling the ball more while making softer contact. Over the last 7 days Myers is hitting .231/.231/.308, he’s definitely a sell today.
Blackmon is surging right now hitting .478/.538/.957 over the last 7 days. Today may halt Blackmon’s momentum as he faces Patrick Corbin and the Washington Nationals. Corbin throws primarily a sinker/slider combo with a fourseam as his third pitch. Blackmon struggles against the sinker (-1.6 wSI) and the slider (-0.9 wSL). Further complicating this, Blackmon has just a 88 sOPS+ against lefties which could be problematic against the left handed pitching Corbin.
A 3.32 ERA makes Miley look like a fairly affective pitcher, however, luck has played a big role for the Astros lefty. He’s striking out only 4.6/9 thus relying heavily on his defense. That would be fine if he were forcing hitters to make poor contact but Miley is inducing just 17.3% SC on the year. His 5.03 SIERA is more indicative of what Miley brings to the table. He faces the Twins tonight at home in Houston. In the last 6 games the Twins are leading MLB with a .296 team ISO. They also crush left handed pitching making 40.0% HC against southpaws on the year.