Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dodgers Preview

The Mets are currently one game under .500 in the month of June, arguably our toughest month on the schedule. Nothing would be a better sign of success than getting that record above .500 which would mean taking 3 of 4 to the NL leading Dodgers. A very possible scenario but it depends on which team shows up, the guys who clobbered the Cubs yesterday and blanked the O's and Rays or the schlubs who got embarassed by the Yankees and couldn't take a series off of bum ass Chicago. Let's see what we are up against.

Thursday night we take on former Met Chris Capuano and boy do I wish we had resigned him because he is great this year. Cappy was a wins leader for a few months and will be looking for his 10th win of the season tonight. He has an ERA under 3 right now but has never posted one under 4 over a season in his entire career. He also has a relatively low k/bb ration of 2.71. His HR/FB% is also unnaturally low this year at 9.9% (average of about 11-12) which could be a function of Dodger Stadium or could be luck in which case we should expect a regression and more home runs. It looks like to me like he is do a for a regression, his career numbers and average level component stats make it seem like his current run is unsustainable.

Next up is Aaron Harang, Harang is a player every fantasy manager will have on his team at one point: never good enough to keep, always good enough for a spot start, kinda like Bruce Chen. Harang is having a very Aaron Harangesque year with an ERA/xFIP of 3.81/4.56 and a k/9 (7.1) and bb/9 (4.0) that are way to close to each other to be comfortable,. This is the kind of guy we need to beat, he isn't very good but capable of flashes of brilliance that can beat a team who doesn't show up to play (like the Mets sometime don't).

Next up is Nathan Eovaldi, who sounds like a Renaissance painter and is playing his first full season with the Dodgers. His profile is actually similar to Harang is some ways: both have advanced stats that shine some truth on a misleading ERA, however with Eovaldi going in the positive direction having an ERA/xFIP of 4.04/3.71. They also have dangerously close k/9 and bb/9 but in Eovaldi's case, much much worse than Harang at 5.30/3.28.  The kid hasn't won a game all year, let's not be his first.

Finally on Sunday is NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. Clayton had our number last year, which you can read about here, this year he is good but can be gotten to. He is 5-4 right now over sixteen starts and pitching to a 3.33 xFIP, his k/bb ratio is down this year (2011-4.59, 2012-3.81) and he is giving up more homers, 15 total last year, 11 already this tear. This is all to say that Kershaw is still an elite level pitcher and we shouldn't get too excited but he is beatable.

Offensively the good news is that Matt Kemp is hurt. The other two stars of the team have been Andre Ethier and A.J Ellis. Ethier is hitting .291/.357/.491 with  10 homers and 1 stolen bags. Ethier has always been a hot and cold player who the dodgers can't rely on the carry the team like Kemp could. Ethier is bound to regress and when he does, the Dodgers will feel it. Ellis is hitting .290/.417/.430 and playing Catcher. He hasn't played much before so it is hard to say if this is what he should be capable of playing above his level.

As a team the Dodgers are 43-33. They have scored 302 runs and given up 274 runs.

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