One Night Only: Your Entire Weekend, Planned by Carson Cistulli May 28, 2010 You know what’s the worst? Thinking! And you know what’s doubly the worst? Having to think even for a second about what games to watch over the weekend. Well, now — thanks to cutting-edge research (that, and the internet) — you don’t have to. Hail, nerds! These are your games of the weekend. Texas at Minnesota | Friday, May 28 | 8:10 pm ET Starting Pitchers Rangers: Colby Lewis 57.1 IP, 9.10 K/9, 3.77 BB/9, .263 BABIP, 38.4% GB, 7.9% HR/FB 3.98 xFIP Twins: Kevin Slowey 49.2 IP, 6.89 K/9, 2.36 BB/9, .350 BABIP, 28.1% GB, 9.6% HR/FB, 4.63xFIP Watch For • Colby Lewis. Duh. • Of 113 qualified pitchers, Kevin Slowey has the absolute lowest groundball rate in the majors. Here are some people who’re happy about that: Ian Kinsler and Vladimir Guerrero and Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz and Justin Smoak. • Smoak is currently sporting a slash line of .173/.287/.317, but here’s what nerds know: he’s not that bad! Smoak’s BABIP is a paltry .171. StatCorner places his regressed wOBA (wOBAr) at .367. The Other Reason I’ll Be Watching This Because my friend Dan, a Twins fan, invited me to. What You’re Saying to Me What is that my business? What I’m Replying Back Sorry, guy. I just thought it’d be possible to reach out and forge a real human connection. Like in that one movie where two people from totally different worlds — he’s a ruthless entrepreneur, she’s a small-town librarian — forge a real human connection. If I Had My Druthers • Americans would stand up and take notice of Justin Smoak. • Americans, while standing up and noticing Justin Smoak, would resist the urge to call him the Smoak Monster. • Americans would start being polite, and stop being real. Houston at Cincinnati | Saturday, May 29 | 7:10 pm ET Starting Pitchers Astros: Bud Norris* 43.2 IP, 11.13 K/9, 5.36 BB/9, .400 BABIP, 36.8% GB, 11.4% HR/FB, 3.99 xFIP Reds: Aaron Harang 58.2 IP, 7.36 K/9, 1.99 BB/9, .353 BABIP, 41.4% GB, 16.9% HR/FB, 3.79 xFIP Watch For • Norris and Harang. The pair are currently two of the least lucky pitchers (per ERA-xFIP) in the majors. Norris has a 6.80 ERA; Harang, a 5.98 ERA. Impress your friends and/or standers-by with this knowledge! • The Reds! They’re good. Offensive Rank (per WAR), 2009: 15th in the NL. Offensive Rank (per WAR), 2010: 5th! • Jay Bruce regressing real hard back to (and then above) the mean. Bruce, 2009: .221 BABIP, 97 wRC+. Bruce, 2010: .348 BABIP, 127 wRC+. If I Had My Druthers • Aaron Harang would stop getting dumped on by Fortune. • Miguel Cairo would not both start at first base and occupy the most important spot in the batting order. • The part of the game where Houston’s supposed to bat wouldn’t exist. *As reader Jason notes in the comments sections, Norris has actually been sent to the DL recently. In his place will be Gustavo Chacin. That’s less interesting than Norris. Sorry, dogggz. Los Angeles (NL) at Colorado | Sunday, May 30 | 3:10 pm ET Starting Pitchers Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw 59.0 IP, 9.61 K/9, 5.03 BB/9, .284 BABIP, 40.1% GB, 4.8% HR/FB, 4.25 xFIP Rockies: Jhoulys Chacin 32.0 IP, 8.44 K/9, 3.66 BB/9, .249 BABIP, 41.9% GB, 6.7% HR/FB, 3.81 xFIP Watch For • Clayton Kershaw. Of starters with more than 20 IP, Kershaw is fourth — behind Tim Lincecum (13.5%), Brandon Morrow (13.0%), and Dan Haren (12.8%) — in swinging strike percentage (11.9%). His fastball, a pitch that league-wide gets swing-and-misses only about 7 percent of the time, is getting whiffs 11.8 percent of the time. • Jhoulys Chacin can throw the frig out of a baseball and is only 22 years old. • Chris Iannetta’s back in the majors after hitting .349/.447/.698 in his 70-something Triple-A plate appearances. More on Kershaw Matthew Carruth does these cool things for Lookout Landing where he looks at each pitcher’s basic repertoire and then grades it on the 20-80 scouting scale. The grades are determined by league percentiles in swinging strikes (K), strike rate (BB) and ground balls (GB) for each pitch. Here’s what Kershaw’s looks like: Pitch % Sp K BB GB FB 71% 94 80 60 60 CB 18% 73 45 20 60 SL 6% 82 65 35 20 Overall -- -- 75 35 50 If I Had My Druthers • Kershaw would just throw all those fastballs. • The world would wake up and smell the Chris Iannetta. • Actually, that’s gross.