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Entries in curve (2)


Chase Utley vs. Madison Bumgarner

Chase Utley has traditionally hit left handed pitchers well.  In fact, he holds an identical OPS of .894 against both RHP and LHP in his career.  In 2009, he actually hit lefties better than righties (.288/.417/.545 vs. a .279/.387/.489). and in 2010, the split was even greater (.294/.422/.581 vs. .266/.371/.381).

Tonight he faces a young lefty in San Francisco Giants starter Madison Bumgarner (.243/.304/.374 vs. LHB).  Bumgarner has featured a fairly effective curveball since his Major League debut.  Against the curve, opposing lefties have hit .154/.185/.269 with a .199 wOBA.

Madison Bumgarner's In Play SLG% vs. LHB

So how has Utley done against left handed curveballs? 

Chase Utley vs. LHP Curveball since 2008Since 2008, Utley has sported a line of .345/.431/.582 and a .442 wOBA against lefty curves.  As you can see from the heat map, Utley has hit the curve very well pretty much anywhere it's been pitched to him. 

Lastly, here are both players' overall In Play SLG% heat maps:

Madison Bumgarner In Play SLG% vs. LHBChase Utley's In Play SLG% vs. LHP since 2008

Make sure to watch this matchup closely tonight.  It will be very interesting to see how Bumgarner approaches Utley and whether or not he shies away from his breaking ball.


Tim Lincecum's Curve

San Francisco Giants NLCS Game One starter Tim Lincecum has one of the best pitching repertoires in the game. However, this season has seen a noticeable dip in the effectiveness of his curveball with batters slugging .453 against it with a .352 wOBA.

In Play SLG% Against Tim Lincecum's Curveball
Last season, Lincecum's curve was good for 5.6 runs above average. This season, it's been 7 runs below average.

On Saturday, Lincecum will face a Phillies team with 4 starters all hitting above league average against the curve from RHP.

Raul Ibanez.368.500.526.455
Ryan Howard.256.302.590.365
Chase Utley.267.421.267.344
Jayson Werth.289.308.474.334
League AVG.232.301.336.286

Only Chase Utley falls below league average in one category against the curve, SLG%. However, he's made up for it by apparently taking more than a few curveballs for ball four resulting in a .421 OBP.

Philadelphia Phillies In Play SLG% Against the Curve from RHP (Min. 50 PA)