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Fri, 05/23/14 - 7:05 PM Bryan Leonard | MLB Money Line
double-dime bet 951 WAS (-102) Pinnacle vs 952 PIT
Results: L, -$204
951 Washington at Pittsburgh

Jordan Zimmermann will take the hill for the Nationals on Friday night against Charlie Morton and the Pirates. These two pitchers should move in separate directions statistically following this start. Zimmermann has been strong again this season, improving his strikeout rate and maintaining an elite walk rate. Zimmermann made a slight change to his repertoire to rely on the fastball more and throw fewer sliders. The difference has been noticeable, as his elite command has led to more swings and misses in the strike zone instead of having to rely on hitters fishing for the slider.

Zimmermann is over the 10 percent mark in swinging strike rate for the first time in his career. He trails only David Price and CC Sabathia in first-pitch strike percentage and is one of just four pitchers at 70 percent or higher. Zimmermann has a 3.70 ERA, which is decent, but his 3.11 FIP, 3.33 FIP, and 3.39 SIERA suggest that he should be even better. His BABIP against is .367, which is 74 points higher than his career average. That number will come down and with it so will his ERA.

Charlie Morton has traded ground balls for line drives and fly balls and that's not a good thing for a pitcher with his skill level and repertoire. Thanks to some fortunate batted ball luck, Morton has a .281 BABIP against, 33 points below his career average. His ERA of 3.45 should climb as indicated by a 3.87 FIP, a 4.10 xFIP, and a 4.03 SIERA. Morton has experienced a drop in velocity that has led to more contact and that's not a good development for a journeyman like Morton with mediocre stuff.


Pick Made: May 23 2014 5:24AM PST
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