The Wild Card winning Arizona Diamondbacks head to Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers, holders of the best record in the Major Leagues this season. We use Remarkable! to preview this NLDS…
Clayton Kershaw – FB 46.6%, SL 35.6%, CV 16.8%
Arguably one of the best pitchers of all-time with a career 2.36 ERA, Clayton Kershaw’s postseason mark is 4.55. Will this be the year he finally shows how great he is on baseball’s biggest stage?
This year, when Kershaw is behind the count, he has a strike rate of 80.3 percent, best in the MLB. Kershaw has allowed an OBP of just .246 (166/674) this season, second best in the MLB (League Avg. .326). His most recognizable pitch is his curveball, but his fastball and slider are nasty, too:
|Pitch Type||PA||K%||AVG||SLG||OPS||League OPS|
With runners in scoring position (RISP), opponents are hitting .157 against Kershaw (16-for-102) this season, second lowest among qualified starters. Kershaw has a 4.4 percent walk rate (30 of 679) on the year, also second lowest.
Rich Hill – FB 54.2%, SL 3.2%, CV 41.9%, CH 0.7%
The veteran lefty gets the ball for game two. Despite often sitting in the 80s, Hill’s fastball has generated the highest miss rate among starters at 31.6%, nearly 3% higher than the next best rate. Hill has also done an excellent job limiting hard contact. His well-hit average against of .105 is the second best among starters. Interestingly, Hill has reverse splits this season:
Other Possible Starters
Yu Darvish – FB 51.8%, CT 15.1%, SL 24.5%, CV 6.7%, CH 2%
With their sights set on bringing their first World Series to LA since 1988, the Dodgers acquired Darvish in a last minute trade. Since joining the Dodgers, Darvish has seen some vital numbers improve:
Going head-to-head with the Diamondbacks, it’s important to limit the damage of Paul Goldschmidt and J.D. Martinez. This season, Darvish has allowed an OPS of just .259 to right-handed batters, 11th best in MLB. Look for a fun matchup when Darvish takes the mound in this series.
Alex Wood – FB 50.4%, CV 23.7%, CH 25.9%
Alex Wood’s strong season came to the surprise of many, given his injury history. While he did miss some time with shoulder issues in late August, overall, Wood is healthy and ready for the postseason, whether that will be in the rotation or as a reliever. This season, Wood’s chase rate of 37.6% was the highest among starting pitchers. Pair that with his ability to get ahead early (Wood had a first pitch strike rate of 66.8%, eighth highest in MLB), and it is easy to see what makes Wood so good.
Zack Godley – SNK 32.9%, CT 24.0%, CV 35.8%, CH 7.3%
The Diamondbacks moved Zack Godley into the rotation full-time one month into the 2017 season. The moved paid off as he logged a 3.37 ERA over 155 innings. His best strikeout pitch is a curveball that he recorded 70 of his 98 strikeouts (71.4 percent) with in the second half (second highest rate in MLB; League Avg: 17.5 percent). Godley’s strikeout rate is high at 9.6 K/9, but his real strength is the groundball. He induces grounders at a rate of 57.6 percent (231/401), ninth best in the MLB (League Avg: 45.3 percent).
Taijuan Walker – FB 58.9%, SL 14.6%, CV 12.6%, SPL 14.0%
Taijuan Walker’s strength is his mid-90s fastball. The Arizona righty recorded 96 of his 146 strikeouts (65.8 percent) with his fastball this season, the 13th highest rate in MLB (League Avg: 43.5 percent). Additionally, opponents are hitting just .170 (17-for-100) against Walker on inside fastballs this season, fourth among starters. Even though Walker’s fastball is his strength, his off-speed pitches create groundball outs. Opponents have a groundball rate of 64.4 percent (65/101) on non-fastballs since the All-Star Break, third highest rate among qualified starters (League Avg: 47.6 percent).
Zack Greinke – FB 48.2%, SL 22.7%, CV 13.5%, CH 15.7%
Greinke had the longest outing of the four starters in the Wild Card Games, but he too was chased out of the game in the fourth inning. Opponents have a groundball rate of 79.5 percent (35/44) against Greinke on changeups since the All-Star Break, the highest rate among starters. Greinke throws his changeup 44 percent of the time when behind in the count to left-handed batters. For the Dodgers, Cody Bellinger (.655 SLG) and Chase Utley (.657 SLG) are the two best lefties on the roster against changeups.
Robbie Ray – FB 59.1%, SL 19.3%, CV 10.8%, CH .8%
Ray threw 2.1 innings in relief during the Wild Card Game. He will likely be back in the rotation against the Dodgers. Ray is one of the toughest pitchers against lefties. A great asset for the Diamondbacks against two of the best lefties in the league — Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger. Ray struck out 39.8 percent (49/123) of left-handed batters he faced this season, best among starters (League Avg: 19.7 percent). Lefties have a miss rate of 39.2 percent (91/232) against him this year, best in the MLB (League Avg: 21.5 percent).
Archie Bradley gave up three extra-base hits for the first time this season in the Wild Card Game. He may have been tired after legging out a two-run triple the inning before. This is what Remarkable! has to say about Arizona’s pen:
- Opponents have a groundball rate of 63.3% (38/60) against Fernando Rodney since the All-Star Break (Rank: Tied for 15th of 235 qualified RPs in MLB; League Avg: 45.5%).
- Jorge De La Rosa has given up just three hits in 22 at-bats (.136 BA) on his changeup to left-handed batters this season.
- Right-handed batters had three hits in 27 at-bats (.111 BA) against Archie Bradley in the regular season.
- Opponents have a groundball rate of 50.0% (711/1,423) against Diamondbacks relievers this season (Rank: 2nd of 30 in MLB; League Avg: 45.4%).
- Diamondbacks relievers have allowed an OBP of .289 (245/848) vs left-handed batters this season (Rank: 2nd of 30 in MLB; League Avg: .328).
Kenley Jansen and Brandon Morrow lead one of the league’s strongest bullpens. Opponents are hitting just .222 against Dodgers relievers (463-for-2,086) this season (Rank: 2nd of 30 in MLB; League Avg: .245). Here’s what Remarkable! has to say about the Boys in Blue:
- Kenley Jansen struck out 49.6% (64/129) of right-handed batters he faced this season (Rank: 1st of 242 qualified RPs in MLB; League Avg: 23.8%).
- Opponents are hitting .093 against Brandon Morrow (4-for-43) on inside fastballs this season (Rank: 2nd of 165 qualified RPs in MLB; League Avg: .263)
- Tony Cingrani has walked 1 of 49 left-handed batters (2.0%) since the All-Star Break (Rank: 8th of 202 qualified RPs in MLB; League Avg: 10.0%).
- Dodgers relievers have a strikeout rate of 27.1% (297/1,097) since the All-Star Break (Rank: 5th of 30 in MLB; League Avg: 23.2%).
- Dodgers relievers have allowed an OBP of .299 (326/1,092) since the All-Star Break (Rank: 5th of 30 in MLB; League Avg: .322).
Ketel Marte provided two triples for the Diamondbacks in the NL Wild Card Game. Will he be an x-factor in the series against the Dodgers as well? Let’s see what Remarkable! has to say about the Arizona hitters:
- J.D. Martinez is slugging .892 (83 total bases in 93 ABs) versus LHP this season (Rank: 1st of 174 part-time hitters in MLB; League Avg: .419).
- Paul Goldschmidt is slugging .881 (52 total bases in 59 ABs) versus LHP since the All-Star Break (Rank: 3rd of 160 full-time hitters in MLB; League Avg: .424).
- Ketel Marte has a line drive rate of 40.6% (13/32) on fastballs away this season (Rank: 2nd of 174 part-time hitters in MLB; League Avg: 22.9%).
- Jake Lamb is batting just .144 (19-for-132) versus LHP this season (Rank: 145th of 145 full-time hitters in MLB; League Avg: .255)
- A.J. Pollock is slugging .883 (53 total bases in 60 ABs) on high fastballs this season (Rank: 2nd of 174 part-time hitters in MLB; League Avg: .400).
- Chris Iannetta has an OBP of .468 (94 PAs) versus starting pitchers since the All-Star Break (Rank: 2nd of 159 part-time hitters in MLB; League Avg: .327).
Justin Turner is batting .279 (56-for-201) with two strikes this season, best in MLB (League Avg. .176). Here are more notes from Remarkable! on the Los Angeles lineup:
- Cody Bellinger is slugging .615 (120 total bases in 195 ABs) on non-fastballs this season (Rank: 2nd of 145 full-time hitters in MLB; League Avg: .375).
- Yasiel Puig has an OPS of 1.284 (55 PAs) when leading off an inning since the All-Star Break (Rank: 1st of 160 full-time hitters in MLB; League Avg: .764).
- Corey Seager is batting .481 (50-for-104) on the first pitch of at-bats this season (Rank: 6th of 144 full-time hitters in MLB; League Avg: .348).
- Chris Taylor has grounded into 3 double plays in 81 opportunities (3.7%) this season (Rank: 4th fewest of 145 full-time hitters in MLB; League Avg: 11.1%).
- Curtis Granderson is batting just .108 (4-for-37) versus LHP since the All-Star Break (Rank: 133rd of 134 part-time hitters in MLB; League Avg: .259).
- Yasmani Grandal is batting just .103 (4-for-39) on pitches 94 mph or greater since the All-Star Break (Rank: 136th of 139 part-time hitters in MLB; League Avg: .261).
- Logan Forsythe has drawn 69 walks in 439 PAs (15.7%) this season (Rank: 2nd of 176 part-time hitters in MLB; League Avg: 8.5%).
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