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Thread: 5 Wednesday w/analysis

  1. #1 5 Wednesday w/analysis 
    RX Senior sherwood's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    All games are listed pitchers unless stated otherwise.

    Tampa Bay +138 over BOSTON
    John Lackey picked up the win in rather ridiculous fashion Friday, allowing six earned and only striking out two in five innings. Luckily, his offense bailed him out, scoring six in the first two innings and then giving him the seventh run after he managed to get through the fifth inning. Thus far in two starts covering just 8.2 innings, Lackey has allowed an eye-opening 17 hits, 15 ER, walked four and struck out five. His groundball/fly-ball rate in his first two starts this season was 22%/49% and it really doesn’t get much worse than that. There is nothing to like about Lackey as everything points to a worn out hurler and when you throw in a huge lack of confidence it makes him an even bigger risk. The Red Sox are 2-9 and no pitcher in the league has been worse than Lackey. James Shields could be the bargain of the year. James Shields has more value potential than perhaps any other starter in the league. He was horrible last season (5.18 ERA, 1.46 WHIP), but his struggles primarily were due to a 35% H% and 14% HR/F. Seemed like every GB missed a glove, and every FB cleared the wall, all year. We can't state this strongly enough that his skills** (for a more in depth look at skills see under these write-ups) were as good as ever. Shields can be a rotation anchor that comes at a bargain price and this is likely a place to display that. Play: Tampa Bay +138 (Risking 2 units).

    Los Angeles +135 over SAN FRANCISCO
    Regression alert on Jonathan Sanchez. While Sanchez improved his ERA (3.07) for the third straight year, his xERA (3.65) suggest that this is not a dramatically improved skill set. When hit % and strand % regress this year, as they are likely to do, we could see an ERA jump . Last year, Sanchez did throw 30 more innings than he did in 2009, but that was truly the only improvement, as this is almost the identical skill set that generated a 4.24 ERA in 2009 and a 5.01 ERA in 2008. Sanchez could succeed again in 2011, but plan for something closer to 2009 with the warning that a return to 2008 levels is not out of the question. Buyer beware. When Ted Lilly’s career is over his numbers are going to turn some heads. Lilly is perpetually underrated. He has managed at least 177 innings, a 7.57 strikeouts-per-nine and 2.88 strikeout-to-walk ratio in each of the past four seasons, one of only three active pitchers to do that. Among pitchers with 650 or more innings from 2007-10, his WHIP (1.13) ranks second, ERA (3.68) 18th and K's per walk (3.39) 11th. Lilly has been a model of consistency for more than a decade, continually giving his team a chance to win. Lilly will never be mistaken for a Cy Young candidate but his track record puts him right up there with anyone. Linesmakers continue to misalign him and we’ll gladly take the offering. Play: Los Angeles +135 (Risking 2 units).

    HOUSTON –102 over Chicago
    Carlos Zambrano’s career continues to decline and there is no end in sight. Things headed south for him a couple of years ago, it continued last season and continues early into this season. He’s simply not effective any more but the Cubs are stuck with his huge contract and with a shallow pitching squad, he remains in the rotation. In two starts this year covering 12 innings, Zambrano has walked six, struck out nine and was continually behind in the count. His groundball/fly-ball rate of 31%/50% is another reason to stay away from him. His surface stats don’t look awful but his beneath the surface stats suggest that his current 5.23 ERA isn’t likely to improve any time soon. Wandy Rodriguez is the complete opposite. Rodriguez is 0-1 in two starts with a 6.55 ERA. Pay little attention to that inflated ERA, as he got rocked in his first start and threw a much better game in his second start. Rodriguez has walked just one batter this year, his groundball rate of 57% is outstanding and his strand rate of just 56% tells us he’s been extremely unlucky. The Cubbies have scored less runs than the Astros, their combined batting average is less and the fact that Zambrano is favored over Rodriguez in Houston is the result of complete misconception by the public regarding these two hurlers Play: Houston –102 (Risking 2 units).

    Florida +121 over ATLANTA
    Tim Hudson had an outstanding 2010 and he’s off to a 2-0 start this year with a 1.84 ERA. Will he keep it going? We’re not so sure. With age comes some regression in certain aspects of the game and at 35, his strikeouts regressed last season and continues to do so this year with just 7 k’s in 15 IP. Hudson is an extreme groundballer (64%) and that makes him very serviceable but his beneath the surface stats strongly suggests he’s not going to dominate and he’ll have his fair share of rough outings. Josh Johnson was a Cy Young contender until an August fade and September shutdown. Since returning from Tommy John surgery in July 2008, Johnson has been a force. His ERA, xERA, WHIP and groundball profile leave little question that he’s joined the elite status. In 12.2 IP this season, he’s struck out nine, walked two and has a 0.71 WHIP. Hudson is good but he’s the second best pitcher here and anytime we can get a take-back like this on Johnson when he’s the better of the two hurlers taking the mound, you can pencil us in. Play: Florida +1.21 (Risking 2 units).

    Colorado +105 over NY METS
    The Mets’ Jonathon Niese has a 6.55 ERA after his first two starts, a mark that has been driven by his 36% hit rate and 43% strand rate. He also pitched a game in Philly this season and when you break it all down, he is better than his surface stats suggest. Niese is going to fly under the radar and is a legit breakout target this season. Niese is not the problem. The problem is the Mets bullpen, which is about as inept as it gets. New York’s pen has thrown 38 innings thus far and has allowed 50 hits, 18 walks and hit two batters. That’s 70 baserunners in 38 frames for a WHIP of 1.78. That adds a lot of pressure to the starter because he feels like he has to be near perfect. It also makes the manager extremely gun shy to lift his starter and who could blame him? The Mets bullpen has an ERA of 5.31 and a xERA of 6.37. The Rockies are 7-2 and their pen has an ERA of 2.32. Emil Rogers was solid in his first start of the year in Pittsburgh in where he tossed 7.1 frames and allowed just four hits and one run. Rogers has an outstanding groundball profile over his 10 major league starts of 56% and that was evident again in his first start in which he induced 58% grounders. Starting pitching here is a tossup but when you factor in the respective bullpens and the current mental state of both clubs, the visitor clearly has the edge. Play: Colorado +105 (Risking 2 units).

    **In skills, we look at a pitchers control (bb/9), dominance (k/9), command (k/bb), opposition on base avg (OOB), groundball/line-drive/fly ratios (G/L/F) and expected ERA (xERA).
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  2. #2  
    Fah-New-Gee DollarDay's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Big Card Sherwood - love that Florida play today - good luck.
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  3. #3  
    RX Member
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    Feb 2008
    with you on Colo...BOL on all
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