Welcome to the inaugural postseason of this article series. In this article series, I am going to break down each playoff game on the slate based purely on pitch profile match-ups. The goal of this series is to locate the gems for our smaller slate/single-game slate contests that can provide an edge and lead us to some GPP takedowns! My name is Eric aka @Razzle11Grinds on Twitter, make sure to give me a follow as I’ll occasionally make updates to the advice in the article out on Twitter as well as inside our coaching forums. With that said, let’s get it started!
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Before I get started. Let’s take a look at the colors that you will see below. When you see numbers highlighted in red, they are numbers that benefit the pitcher. Numbers highlighted in blue are ones that benefit the hitter, while the ones that are left white are in a middling range that might give a very slight edge to the hitters.
Tampa Bay Rays @ Los Angeles Dodgers
Welcome to the LAST series of the MLB season, THE World Series! We get the teams who were the best in their respective leagues this season, facing off for the championship. Tony Gonsolin takes the mound for the Dodgers as a -133 favorite. For the Rays, we get Blake Snell and the total is sitting at just 8 runs.
The Rays bats struck out more than anybody in baseball this season. We could see Gonsolin benefit from that or we could see Gonsolin provide us just 60-ish pitches. Looking above, we see a pretty decent mix of blue and red match-ups. The one that stands out the most is Austin Meadows. My issue with Meadows is that he looks lost at the plate right now, in general. We see that Arozarena doesn’t have much of sample size and the Dodgers are going to do their best to not let him beat them. Guys like Kiermaier and Lowe have decent profiles, while Choi is an interesting GPP dart option. Lowe did hit an HR off of Gonsolin in Game 2.
The key for Gonsolin is going to be his splitter. When we look at the Rays bats, nearly all of them struggle with that pitch. If he is able to pair that with his slider, he could find himself having some strong success here. He has to figure out a way to limit the damage when using his fastball. He has allowed ISOs of .211 to LHBs and .257 to RHBs with his fastball.
We know that Snell has shown command issues and he’s had trouble going 6 this season. As with yesterday, we see that the Dodgers destroy fastballs and this time it’s against an LHP. I am mostly going to continue to be all about Mookie Betts, thanks to the profile and his BvP history against Snell. Bellinger stands out as a sneaky (Bellinger isn’t very sneaky, generally) LvL candidate here. He profiles really well against the fastball-slider combination. Justin Turner and Max Muncy are two guys that have really solid match-ups across the board. I think the field blindly will use Kike Hernandez but I think that could be a mistake and I might look to use Chris Taylor instead as Taylor went deep off of Snell in Game 2.
Blake Snell is a Cy-Young winner who has really been brought along slowly this season. He still flashes his big-time K upside but he isn’t being very efficient. When I look at his numbers, I notice a route for LHBs to have success. Knowing how strong this team is from the left side, we can figure out what Snell needs to be sharp with. He needs to be on point with his slider-curve combination to LHBs. He has allowed an ISO of .429 to LHBs with his slider over the last 5 seasons. Those LHBs have an ISO of .235 with an average distance of 358 (yeah, 358) feet against his curveball. His curve will be key against the RHBs as well. They have an XwOBA of .399 and an average distance of 316.5 feet against it.
There you have it ladies and gentlemen, the debut of the Pitch Profile Breakdown article! If you have any questions make sure you tag me in the chat. We can discuss thoughts on individual match-ups! As you can see, there are paths to success for each team playing today!