Series Preview - Please for the Love of God Win This Series or I'm Going to Freak the Fuck Out
Alright team, are we in the trust tree here? I'm starting to get nervous. We have seen disappointing seasons, but this is shaping up to be amongst the worst of our lives. Not the worst team we have ever seen, but the most disappointing. Mostly because all of the pieces are there, and a lot of them are doing their job, but so far none of the supporting cast have been able to get their collective heads out of their asses. Please. Please turn it around this series. I can't do 5 more months of this.
Friday, May 6th 7:10 PM – Nathan Eovaldi (1-0 2.51 ERA) vs Vince Velasquez (1-2 4.58 ERA)
Saturday, May 7th 4:10 PM – Nick Pivetta (0-4 7.84 ERA) vs TBD
Sunday, May 8th 11:35 AM – Michael Wacha (3-0 1.38 ERA) vs TBD
Based on our starting pitching this weekend, we SHOULD win this series. However, that hasn't stopped our offense and bullpen from doing everything in their power to stop that from happening. Breaking down our opponent, their lineup has no shortage of heavy hitters, headlined by Tim Anderson, Luis Robert, and Jose Abreu. With that being said, they are missing a lot of their supporting cast. Our old friends Joe Kelly and Joan Moncada are both on the 10-day IL, along with DH Andrew Vaughn, and Moncada's fellow third baseman Jake Berger is listed as Day-to-Day. Vaughn and Berger have been a huge part of their offense this year, slugging .566 and .383 respectively. According to a source with the White Sox (my buddy from Chicago that is for some reason a White Sox fan instead of a Cubs fan) "We are a shell of a team with injuries".
Historically, their offense has done pretty well against Eovaldi. They have collected 10 hits on 36 at-bats off of our ace, with 2 of those hits being home runs, and another 2 being doubles. Eovaldi has 11 Ks against their lineup, giving him a 27.5% K rate. Tim Anderson has seen him the best, going 3 for 6, while Abreu and Reese McGuire have the home runs off of him. Nate is coming off his best performance of the year against the Orioles, going 7 shutty, allowing only 3 hits and picking up 8 Ks. HeroSaw would of course go on to chuck the game into left field after our offense gave him a single run of support, but that doesn't change how impressive Eovaldi was Saturday.
He will face off against Vince Velasquez, the White Sox "worst pitcher" (that same White Sox source as before). The Red Sox lineup has raked against him, going 18-59. Story has seen him the most, and also has the most success, going 5 for 17 with 2 doubles and 3 yaks off Velasquez. Bogaerts, Martinez, and Devers are the next three guys listed for most plate appearances, combining to go 7 for 21 with 3 more home runs. This is it team. This is the game. Our offense clicks, Eovaldi does what Eovaldi does, and we dominate. I am going Red Sox -1.5, Over .5 runs in the first inning, Over 8.5 game total, AND A TREVOR STORY HOME RUN. Make sure to get to your seats early, because that home run will be coming in his first at-bat. I'm going to be in attendance, and I promise you that I will stiff arm a child to catch the home run ball. IDK how I'll count all of that towards my pick record, considering they are all plus money plays, but I'll figure it out while I count all of my winnings.
Next we take a look at Pivetta and Wacha against the White Sox. Pivetta has sucked this year. No ifs ands or buts about it, he stinks. With that being said, he actually has some pretty decent numbers against this White Sox lineup. Allowing 10 hits on 35 ABs, only 2 of which being extra base hits, and an 11-2 K to BB ratio, this is actually shaping up to be a favorable matchup for Pivetta. Hell, he may actually get out of the 5th inning on Saturday (but probably not). Michael Wacha has slightly worse numbers, allowing a .279 BA against on 68 ABs. 3 doubles and 2 home runs are included in those stats. Looking beyond the numbers lies really the more important considerations. 2022 Michael Wacha is a different animal AND the same beast. What the fuck am I talking about, Kobe Bryant? His "stuff" (super technical term) is for the most part the same, but he is mixing it up better. Look at this chart:
Wacha has 5 pitches that he can reliably use to throw strikes and get batters out. In other words, he trusts his shit. I think what is most notable here is the decreased usage of the curveball, and the convergence of his sinker and cutter. Mix that with the consistency of his best pitch, his changeup, and you get the new and improved Michael Wacha. These pitches will all look very similar coming out of the hand, but each has different action as it approaches the batter. Hitters don't know where the fuck the ball is going even after they pick it up halfway to the plate, which has resulted in more weak contact (5.7% barreled balls), and actually less strikeouts (likely due to less curveballs being thrown). I don't really know when this went from a series preview to me being on my knees on the other side of a Michael Wacha filled glory hole, but here we are. I blame the White Sox for not naming a starter in either of the weekend games. Probably the shell of Dallas Keuchel and their ace Cease right? Over on Saturday, Under on Sunday. Tell your mom I wish her a Happy Mother's Day, lets win a fucking series, eh?