The Dodgers took the getaway game of the 3 game series vs the Chicago Cubs, 2-1-salvaging a difficult series where the team lost the first 2 in the series while remaining competitive in both.
Ross Stripling kept the Cubs from scoring in his 4.2 innings, allowing 5 hits and 1 walk. He also used his knucklecurve strongly, gathering 6 strikeouts, using the pitch to his advantage. Stripling finished with a WPA of .227. Cody Bellinger and Alex Verdugo led the offense in key situations, using high leverage situations to bring in their two runs. Bellinger’s WPA was .048, going 1-2, with an RBI sacrifice fly with the bases loaded, and Verdugo accumulated an WPA of .069, going 1-4 with a run, getting on board with a leadoff double.
The team comes back to Dodger Stadium looking to brief homestand with the Pirates to push their league leading wins total further.
Here are some keys to Friday’s matchup:
The Dodgers send Hyun Jun Ryu (2-1, 3.10) to the mound, taking on Pirate’s counterpart, Chris Archer (2-1, 2.74).
Ryu will look to establish his fastball and cutter to set up his changeup. His first two innings are good indicators on how he will do in the rest of his start as he is likely to give up multiple runs or no runs at all in the first few innings. From the third, he gets stronger historically until he reaches the 6th inning.
Current Pirates are hitting .207/ .333/ .207/ .440 against Ryu, and Ryu’s hard hit average this season is at a very low 38.9%. If Pittsburgh will get any offense, it will be from Melky Cabrera, hitting .667/ .667/ .667/ 1.333 as well as Josh Bell, who is the Pirate’s leading hard rate percentage hitter at 50.8%. Bell’s K% is in the middle of the pack at 21.1%. So look for Ryu to match Bell with offspeed pitches to keep the ball off his bat.
The Dodgers will send a left handed hitting team against Archer, but there aren’t many at bats or much success versus the right hander. Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, and Justin Turner have all experienced success versus Archer, totaling 3 hits in 9 ABs with 2 RBI and 3 strikeouts.
Archer mixes his fastball and slider in the majority of his pitch mixes, using slider as his putaway pitch 39.6% of the time. Hitters will look for Archer’s sinker up, as that is his least successful pitch- being hit hard on average 55.8% but only thrown 16% of the time.
Archer usually starts games strong, and the Dodger mound is notoriously liberal for pitchers with this preference. However, he is hittable, especially in innings 4-6, where his BAbip is .346, and hitters are demonstrably successful in their second at bats, totaling a BAbip of .345 and a hitter’s line of .294/ .333/ .441/ .775 this season.
The probability of a Dodger win is moderately high since since Pirate pitchers give up an average of 3.87 runs per game while Dodger hitters average 5.41.
It should be a fun one to watch. Follow along with us on TWITTER for up to date matchups and high leverage probabilities.
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