Friday, May 6, 2016

Pitching Matchups to Watch 5/6/16

Ever since I started this series on Monday, I've been rather disappointed with the pitching matchups I've had to write about. But I've soldiered through it, and today seems like a bit of a reward. There's no super-powered matchup of two studs, but there's plenty of intriguing ones.

Let's get on with it:

1. Noah Syndergaard (2-1, 2.51 ERA) vs Drew Pomeranz (2-3, 2.48)

Watching "Thor" pitch is simply a wonderful experience. Unless you're doing so from the batter's box. Significantly less wonderful in that case. I mean, seriously, what the guy does velocity-wise is pure insanity. His fastball sits at 98, and his slider(!) sits at 93.

Despite Syndergaard's dominance, Drew Pomeranz actually has a lower ERA. While we shouldn't expect that to continue, Pomeranz's success hasn't been a complete fluke: his FIP sits at 2.83 and he's getting whiffs 14% of the time (6th in baseball).

2. Kenta Maeda (3-1, 1.41) vs Marcus Stroman (4-0, 3.77)

You've got to feel kind of bad for Maeda. All he wanted to do was play baseball in America, and now they have him up in Canada. All kidding aside, the Dodgers rookie has been a sensation, putting up a strong case for the official Pitching Breakdowns April NL Cy Young award, though he was beat out for that honor by Arrieta. He'll face his biggest test so far against the Blue Jays.

As for Stroman, I'll just leave you with this. Mind-blowing.

3. Francisco Liriano (2-1, 3.86) vs Carlos Martinez (4-1, 2.60)

The Pirates just keep finding their way on this list! They play another division rival, and this game features a matchup of two filthy arsenals in Martinez and Liriano. Both will mix excellent fastballs, goos changeups and dominant breaking balls (Liriano's a slider and Martinez's more of a curveball or slurve).

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