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.
Over the last 10 days Pham is 3rd in the Majors with a 68.0% HC. That has lead to a 27 wRC+. One indicator if great contact is when a hitter is going back up the middle. Pham, in his last 36 PA, is hitting 40.0% of his ball in play back up the middle. He’s a safe play as his hot hand should continue today against Kansas City’s Brad Keller. The Royal pitcher has a 5.30 SIERA on the year.
Ronald Acuna Jr
Of all the hitters facing left handed pitching today, none has a better wRC+ (259) against southpaws. He is also leading that group with a .569 wOBA and a .550 ISO. It should come as no surprise then that he is making 43.8% HC against lefties on the year. Acuna hits today against San Diego hurler Nick Margevicius. The Padre lefty hasn’t exactly displayed stellar control lately, walking 6 batters over his last 9 innings.
The National’s lefty is mowing hitters down over his last 26.2 innings with a 34.6% K. Combine that with a 4.0% BB and Corbin ends up with a nice 3.07 xFIP. Corbin takes the mound today against the Cardinals. St Louis has just a 86 wRC+ as a team against lefties this season. The Cardinals team has a 44.0% GB and is hitting .197/.315/.372 when facing southpaws.
In his last 33 PA, Machado is hitting an abysmal .032 ISO. In that time he is striking out at a 30.0% clip with just a 3.0% BB. He has only one extra base hit in the last 10 days with a .239 wOBA. His poor 19.0% LD is a big part of his struggles. He faces the Atlanta Braves Mike Soroka in today’s matchup.
The St Louis third baseman has been just league average against lefties this year. In 26 PA against southpaws, Carpenter has a .324 wOBA and a 101 wRC+. He has just a 18.2% LD and is hitting just .200/.346/.400 when facing lefties. He steps in against a lefty today in the Nationals Patrick Corbin. Washington’s own southpaw is striking out 10.7/9 with a 6.5 K/BB and a 183 ERA+.
Samardzija has not looked good over his last 22 innings. He’s inducing just 33.9% GB and allowing opposing hitters to make 50.8% HC. Today he will be taking the hill at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers. As a team, over the last 10 days, the Dodgers are making 41.2% HC.