903 St. Louis at Pittsburgh
After two years of below average production from his breaking
pitches, Lance Lynn has made a change in his repertoire that has
yielded positive results so far this season. The shine seems to
have come off of Edinson Volquez. These two face off on Saturday
night at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
In terms of pitch value according to Fangraphs, Lance Lynn had
the eighth-best fastball among qualified pitchers last season. That
was on the heels of Lynn's 2012 season when he had the fifth-best
fastball. This season, Lynn has thrown fewer curveballs and
changeups and more fastballs. The result has been a higher
percentage of pitches in the strike zone, a higher strikeout rate,
and fewer walks. The change has also led to more fly balls, which
means fewer hits allowed, especially in pitcher-friendly parks like
Busch Stadium and also PNC Park, where this start will be.
Edinson Volquez started the season looking like the comeback
player of the year. That changed over his last two starts, in which
he allowed 12 runs on 14 hits in 10.2 innings. The lack of
strikeouts and a lucky BABIP caught up with Volquez and this looks
like more of what we can expect. Volquez is striking out just 13.3
percent of batters and hitters are making contact with over 92
percent of pitches in the zone. The Pirates have scored two or
fewer runs in five of Volquez's six starts.
Volquez has some regression coming against righties as they
have just a .195 BABIP against him, which will go up for a ground
ball guy. Lefties are posting a .393 wOBA so far this season.
There's not a lot to like about Volquez's current statistical
profile, while the change Lynn has made should continue to yield
PLAY: ST. LOUIS