Sunday, May 5, 2013

Game 2 Recap: Mets 5/4/13 Washout

The game yesterday was cancelled due to rain. Why does this deserve a recap? Well, the game itself doesn't, but the shift in pitching changes does. This rainout disrupts what was supposed to be the headliner matchup of the series: Tim Hudson v. Matt Harvey. However, while the Braves have decided skip Teheran in the rotation since he's the 5th guy, the Mets have elected to pitch Niese instead of skipping his start. I don't blame them for doing that, because Niese is the more veteran pitcher. However, I don't think that gives the Mets an advantage that they would have with Harvey. Harvey was holding the Braves hitters he'd faced to a single hit, and that guy (Jason Heyward) is out due to surgery. Granted, that's a limited sample size, but Niese's numbers are much less robust.

Niese has Freeman, Chris Johnson, Reed Johnson, Laird, Simmons, and Justin Upton all hitting .300 against him in his career. That's a huge shift in advantage to the Braves over Harvey, because Hudson has held the Mets lineup to an average under .250 in his career. Huddy only really struggles with Ruben Tejada, who is 8/17 with a double against him.

Also, if we look at the last 3 years for both Huddy and Niese in their matchups against the opposing team, the advantage margin gets murkier. Hudson has a 5-5 record with a 3.34 ERA against the Mets in that period. Niese is 5-3 with a 2.85 ERA in that period. So from that point of view, you could say that Niese has the advantage. However, with the kind of turnover that Atlanta has had on it's roster, I put more stock in the fact that the career matchups of the current lineup are stronger. Also I put stock in the fact that Niese is posting a 5.73 road ERA so far, while Hudson has a home ERA of 2.81.

So given those changes, what does the CPA (Current Prediction Algorithm) think about the matchup?

CPA Prediction Game 3: Braves 5 - Mets 2

The Braves offense was cowed by the wind in game 1, but that wind is now gone, and right field is open for business again. Niese can't pitch around guys in the lineup, while Hudson really only has to worry about 1-2 guys that have had large success. The Braves can really run it up if they jump on Niese early, and work counts. He is prone to walking people with a WHIP of 1.73 on the road, so we need to take advantage of the baserunners when we get them.

GO BRAVES!

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