Monday, July 30, 2012

Giants Preview

The Mets head to San Fran for a four game series with the Nl West leading Dodgers, desperately needing to get something started in order to salvage this season. While the Mets have looked terrible since the break they have had a propensity to bounce back and sweep good teams just when you thought they were out. I am not going so far as to predict we sweep the G men, I am just saying that crazier things have happened. Let's take a look at what we are up against:

First up is the improbably named Madison Bumgarner. Bummy is in his third season and has been improving every year. He is leading the team in wins with 11 and is the owner of a 3.10/3.35 ERA/xFIP. On the bright side he is giving up over a home run per game and the Mets have been hitting for power a little better recently. He has also had some good defense and some good luck, holding players to a .259 BABIP, hopefully the luck side will give a little this week and the Mets can catch a break. Jeremy Hefner is pitching for us so we will need all the help we can get.

On Tuesday we face Le Freak who is not nearly as bad as you think he is. He does have an outrageously high ERA of 5.88 but his advanced stats tell a different story. His xFIP sits at a much more Lincecum like level of 3.74 also hitters currently have a BABIP of .327 against him. It would appear to me that Lincecum is the victim of bad fielding and bad luck, much the opposite of Bumgarner. Neither of these things will last forever and that ERA will drop into a much more respectable level. Lincecum can't be absolved of all the blame though, his walk rate has ballooned to a career 4.33/9 meaning that all those lucky hits against him are much worse because he is keeping men on base with his prodigious walking. Long story short, Lincecum lives.

The Mets just cannot get a break as we face Matt Cain on Wednesday. Along with the Dickster and the Nats two aces Matt Cain is a consensus top pitcher in the NL right now and his stats show it. He has 2.80 ERA and is striking out 8.26 batters per nine innings. The good news about Cain is that much like Bumgarner he is known to give up home runs. He has allowed 15 homers this year obliterating his 2011 total of 9 and on pace to give up more than any previous year. He has a fly ball rate of 43.3%, the most common type of ball hit off Cain which always lead to inflated home run numbers, good news for us.

Finally we take on Barry Zito. Thankfully it't not 2006 so we don't have much to worry about here. In many ways Zito is the anti Lincecum in as much as he has a lowish ERA (3.89) and a super high xFIP (5.14). I don't watch many Giants games but looking at their pitchers stats makes me believe they must have a very streaky defense (Is that a thing? Can defenses be streaky?). Zito has awful component stats: k/9 of 5.34, bb/9 of 3.89 and hr/9 of 1.14. Zito sucks, the Mets should beat him.

Offensively the star of the team has been, improbably, Melky Cabrera. Beforte this season began could I have said anything more ridiculous than Melky Cabrera would be a top hitter in baseball? Melky is hitting...wait for it... .353/.393/.520! Holy shit! Melky is slugging .520, that's just awesome. Good for him. He is also a proud member of the 10/10 club with 10 dingers and 11 stolen bags. The Giants are also getting a good year out of Buster Posey who is batting over .300 and has an awesome .377 OBP. Kung Fu Panda is hurt right now, probably out with a strained sense of fairness after allowing himself to start of D Wright in the all star game.

Right now the Giants are tied for first in the NL West with a record of 55-46. They have scored 401 runs and given up 397 runs.

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