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Relief Pitching Newsbeat

Friday, July 26, 2019

One Weird Trick to Beat MLB Batters

Well, this ought to make some get-off-my-lawn-you-kids types’ heads Cronenberg ...

But what if there had been a bold, truly original strategy that Girardi could have called on to make the same move? And what if it’s one that major league managers may be about to embrace?

Consider this: Even more so than the typical pitcher, Betances is far more effective with two strikes than he is in non-two-strike counts. In fact, Betances is one of the best two-strike pitchers of all time, boasting the biggest gap in recorded history between his performance in two-strike and non-two-strike counts (minimum 500 batters faced with two strikes). In the pitch-tracking era (2008-19), Betances’s wOBA allowed (.449) in non-two-strike counts has been one of the worst in the game, well above the .402 league average. But in two-strike counts, his wOBA allowed (.139, compared to the .237 MLB average) has been the best—better than Craig Kimbrel’s, better than Kenley Jansen’s, better than Aroldis Chapman’s. Betances isn’t good at getting ahead, but when he does get two strikes on hitters, his knuckle-curve renders them helpless.

Wilson’s splits aren’t so extreme: He’s been worse than Betances with two strikes, but better than Betances before he gets to two strikes. So why not use him to get Bradley in a hole, then bring in the two-strike specialist to finish him off? It’s the baseball equivalent of basketball’s alley-oop: The first pitcher puts up the alley, and the second supplies the oop. You’ve heard of the opener; this is the oopener.

the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: July 26, 2019 at 10:55 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: relief pitching, strategy

 

 

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