Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, August 30, 2015 at 7:00 PM
This will be our final baseball report for the forseeable future with both college and pro football ready to take over the sports betting landscape. Great that we get to wrap up MLB NOTEBOOK coverage with this classic rivalry at the top of the NL West.
The Los Angeles Dodgers settled their ship in recent days…and have put a bit of distance between themselves and the Giants in the standings. They can basically go for the knockout blow the next few days with both Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw scheduled to pitch. We’ve talked about the Giants often in recent days because of their brutal schedule. As tough as it’s been…things are about to get tougher. It’s going to be very difficult to chase down the Dodgers from behind, so the Giants can’t fall any further behind!
Let’s run the numbers…
San Francisco: 4.30 runs per game, .327 on-base, .407 slugging
Los Angeles: 4.12 runs per game, .329 on-base, .421 slugging
We have two excellent offenses here…which is hidden a bit because they play in good pitcher’s parks. Funny that the Giants are slightly ahead in runs-per-game with slightly worse numbers in the key indicator categories. That’s most likely a result of good fortune with runners on base. Moving forward, the Dodgers clearly have an offense that can go the distance for their elite starting pitchers. For this series, offense is a toss-up.
Jake Peavy: 4.21 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 6.5 K-Rate, 5.7 IP-per-Start
Brett Anderson: 3.36 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 6.0 K-Rate, 5.9 IP-per-Start
Peavy has settled into consistent mediocrity since rejoining the rotation (he’s only made 12 starts this season). The Giants are 6-2 in his last eight games anyway because of run support (though they was shut out in those two losses!). Anderson’s actually fairly similar to Peavy except in ERA. And, they would probably meet in the middle given a larger sample size. Anderson’s ERA is up about a third of a run over his last 10 starts as the league starts to get a better read on him. Not exactly a pitcher’s duel to start things off. Wait ‘til you see who’s on the mound Tuesday night!
Madison Bumgarner: 2.97 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 10.1 K-Rate, 6.8 IP-per-Start
Zack Greinke: 1.61 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 8.2 K-Rate, 6.9 IP-per-Start
Bumgarner is such a gamer! With the pennant race heating up, his ERA has dropped to a miniscule 1.43 ERA over his last five starts. Of course, Greinke has been pitching at “Bumgarner’s peak” all season, basically. Amazing what Zack has been able to accomplish over 26 starts. Tells you a lot about his talent…but also about the impact of the bigger strike zone, the lack of steroids, and the inferiority of National League hitters compared to the American League (not even counting for the DH). A bit of hyperbole…but this is like watching Cy Young matched up against himself if you take Bumgarner’s recent form vs. Greinke’s full season.
Mike Leake: 3.53 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 6.1 K-Rate, 6.5 IP-per-Start
Clayton Kershaw: 2.24 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 11.5 K-Rate, 7.1 IP-per-Start
Leake’s only going about 6.2 innings in his three starts for the Giants…on lower pitch counts than before. Tells you something about how different managers handle their starting pitchers when a guy is traded in-season. Solid numbers for Leake…but solid often isn’t enough against Kershaw! Over his last 10 starts…Kershaw’s ERA is a seemingly impossible 0.92. Watching Greinke’s long scoreless inning streak inspired him. The Dodgers will be very tough to beat in a short playoff series with that one-two punch at the top of the rotation. That’s what’s facing the Giants for two-thirds of this critical road series! Huge edge to Kershaw Wednesday, after what grade out at as least competitive pitching matchups the first two days.
JIM HURLEY will likely step in for at least one pick in this high profile series. You can always purchase the final word each day right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about extended service, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155 during normal business hours. Don’t forget that college football starts THIS WEEK…and regular season NFL is right around the corner!
September begins Tuesday, and so does wall-to-wall football coverage here in the NOTEBOOK. Here’s what’s on tap the next several days…
Tuesday: College Football Notes
Wednesday-Thursday: College Football TV Preview…North Carolina at South Carolina
Friday-Saturday: College Football TV Preview…#3 Alabama vs. #20 Wisconsin
Sunday-Monday: College Football TV Preview…#1 Ohio State at Virginia Tech
Coming Soon: Steelers at Patriots in the NFL opener a week from Thursday…then Oregon/Michigan State in the colleges!
Thanks to all of you baseball fans who have been reading our previews through the summer. We’ll still be posting BIG, JUICY WINNERS in that sport all through September and October here at the website. Football takes over Tuesday…led by the best football handicapper in industry history…JIM HURLEY!
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