One Night Only: Hot Game Previews for May 5th

It’s backwards and hilarious.

This edition of One Night Only contains:

1. Expanded previews for three games: Florida at St. Louis, Cleveland at Oakland, and Colorado at Arizona.

2. Shorter, but no less charming, previews for three more games: Houston at Cincinnati, New York (AL) at Detroit, and Milwaukee at Atlanta.

3. Pitcher and Team NERD scores for every one of tonight’s games.

4. More bullet points than meet the eye.

5. More other things than meet the eye, too.

Florida (6) at St. Louis (9) | 13:40 ET
Starting Pitchers
Marlins: Josh Johnson (9)
41.0 IP, 8.56 K/9, 2.41 BB/9, .173 BABIP, 52.0 GB%, 2.9% HR/FB, 2.85 xFIP, 75 xFIP-

Cardinals: Jake Westbrook (2)
30.1 IP, 4.15 K/9, 5.64 BB/9, .321 BABIP, 60.7 GB%, 12.5% HR/FB, 4.85 xFIP, 127 xFIP-

• I really swore Jake Westbrook was gonna be so good this year, what with the health and Dave Duncan and the National League.
• When I picked up Jake Westbrook in the FanGraphs’ ottoneu league, I was like, “Suckas” to everone.
• Meaning, I was so confident I didn’t even feel compelled to spell the word suckers correctly.
• What you’ll find now, however — if you look closely, I mean — is some egg on my face.
• Oh, sorry: meant future bird.

Cleveland (10) at Oakland (3) | 15:35 ET
Starting Pitchers
Indians: Jeanmar Gomez (N/A)
ZiPS (ROS): 119.0 IP, 5.29 K/9, 3.71 BB/9, 1.29 HR/9, 4.88 FIP

A’s: Brett Anderson (8)
39.2 IP, 6.81 K/9, 1.82 BB/9, .308 BABIP, 65.0 GB%, 13.6% HR/FB, 2.94 xFIP, 73 xFIP-

• An observation from our pitch-type values: Brett Anderson is giving up more runs than average on every pitch type except his slider, which pitch is currently worth +2.65 runs for every hundred thrown.
• He’s throwing that same slider somewhere between 40% and 48% of the time (depending on if you reference BIS or Pitch F/x).
• His StatCorner scouting report (below) suggests that his slider induces quite a few ground balls.
• Not for nothing, then, is Brett Anderson currently first among qualified pitchers in ground-ball percentage.
• Ta-da! Information.

Brett Anderson Scouting Report
Here’s a scouting report (2008-present) for Brett Anderson. Pitches are graded on 20-80 scale for swinging-strike rate, strike percentage, and ground-ball rate.

Colorado (9) at Arizona (10) | 21:40 ET
Starting Pitchers
Rockies: Jason Hammel (5)
30.2 IP, 5.28 K/9, 2.35 BB/9, .295 BABIP, 51.0 GB%, 16.7% HR/FB, 3.69 xFIP, 97 xFIP-

Diamondbacks: Ian Kennedy (7)
39.0 IP, 7.38 K/9, 2.08 BB/9, .254 BABIP, 38.9 GB%, 7.1% HR/FB, 3.44 xFIP, 91 xFIP-

• A closer look at Colorado’s NERD score reveals that the Rockies currently have the league’s best bullpen per xFIP, with a mark of 3.13.
• That puts them at just over two standard deviations (with a standard deviation, in this case, equaling approx. 0.41) better than the league-average bullpen xFIP of 3.98.
• Their five most significant contributors: Matt Reynolds (7.1 IP, 1.34 xFIP), Huston Street (16.1 IP, 2.77), Rafael Betancourt (12.1, 2.94), Matt Lindstrom (11.2, 3.02), and Felipe Paulino (10.1, 3.28).
• Observation: two of those players (Lindstrom and Paulino) were received from the Astros this past offseason in two separate trades — for Wes Musick and Jonnathan Aristil in the case of Lindstrom, and Clint Barmes in the case of Paulino.
• Analysis: it’s hard to think of scenarios in which the Rockies lose that trade — even on a WAR/$ basis.

If I Had My Druthers
• There’d be only one scenario in which the Rockies lost that trade.
• It’d involve lasers, though, and like six natural disasters.
• And Will Smith would save us all somehow.

Other Notes
Houston (1) at Cincinnati (10) | 12:35 ET
Cincinnati right-hander and still-some-upside-haver Homer Bailey makes his season debut this afternoon.

New York Americans (8) at Detroit (1) | 13:05 ET
Detroit starter Rick Porcello (8) is striking out more than two batters per nine innings over his career average (6.98 vs. 4.86) while keeping his excellent walk and ground-ball rates static.

Milwaukee (7) at Atlanta (4) | 19:10 ET
Brandon Beachy (7) has a league-low 27.7 GB% (among qualified pitchers, that is) yet is doing enough else right (8.92 K/9, 2.48 BB/9) to post a 3.60 xFIP (95 xFIP-). He faces Shaun Marcum (6).

Also Playing
These games are very likely playing at some kind of sporty channel near you.

pNERD = Pitcher NERD
Game = Time and Average NERD for Game
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD of 5 (or 10 for debuts)

Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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12 years ago

For more hilarious parks and rec slang, I direct you to