Matt Swartz at Baseball Prospectus previewed the game one starting pitching match-ups for the playoffs. Here is what he said about the Reds/Phils match-up:
Phillies vs. Reds
Roy Halladay: 2.44 ERA, 2.93 SIERA*
Halladay leads the major leagues with a 2.93 SIERA, though his 2.44 ERA is even below that mark. No pitcher other than Lee walked fewer batters than Halladay, who only walked 3.0 percent. Halladay also struck out 22 percent of hitters he faced, and kept 53 percent of all balls in play on the ground. Doc led the league in outs recorded (three times innings pitched). With only 3.59 pitches per hitter, He was able to average 7.6 innings pitched per start. With a Phillies bullpen that is among the weakest in the playoffs outside of closer Brad Lidge and setup man Ryan Madson, getting two of their five NLDS games pitched by a guy that made it through at least seven innings in all but five of his 33 starts is a major advantage.
Edinson Volquez: 4.31 ERA, 3.68 SIERA
Volquez came back from Tommy John surgery strong, striking out 24.4 percent of the 275 hitters he faced, up from 21.6 in 2009 and similar to his 24.8 percent strikeout rate of 2008. Volquez’s swinging-strike rate jumped from 11.0 percent in 2008 and 10.0 in 2009 to 13.0 percent in 2010, despite the similar strikeout rate. He remains wild, walking 12.7 percent of hitters, above his 11 percent number in 2008, but below his 14.7 percent of 2009. What is quite different about the 2010 version of Volquez is his ground ball rate went up from about 47 percent in 2008 and 2009 to 57 percent in 2010. This included only 170 balls in play, but it is definitely a spike worth noting and should be worth checking if he can induce worm-beaters out of the bats of Phillies hitters. Volquez and Travis Wood are probably the best starters on the Reds, and although Wood appears to be relegated to the bullpen despite a lefty-heavy Phillies lineup, Volquez’s ability to dominate gives the Reds a fair shot in Games One and Four against Halladay.
*SIERA is a rate stat created by BP to measure pitching era after factoring out park effects, defense, and luck.
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