909 Arizona at San Francisco
The Diamondbacks and Giants will finish up their three-game series with a Thursday evening game at AT&T Park. Randall Delgado could be pitching for his rotation spot in this one and he'll be opposed by Ryan Vogelsong. Delgado had some encouraging things to build on despite getting knocked around a bit by the Rockies. For starters, Delgado induced 11 swings and misses in just 4.2 innings of work. Over 60 percent of his pitches were strikes and he worked down in the zone quite a bit. But, the Rockies are a juggernaut of a lineup at home and the balls that Delgado did elevate got punished.
It didn't help that the BABIP Monster got a hold of him as he induced ground balls on almost 62 percent of balls in play, but they simply weren't hit at anybody. Only 9.5 percent of balls in play were line drives, so Delgado wasn't living in the middle of the plate at the belt. He's capable of touching 95 with heavy sink and has a track record of striking guys out in the minor leagues.
The big reason we like the Diamondbacks here is that, while we expect better from Delgado, Ryan Vogelsong is just overpriced. Vogelsong had a hard time maintaining his velocity in his first start and that's not a good sign for a guy that has a long track record of injuries throughout his professional career. Vogelsong worked up in the strike zone far too much in his last outing, as just 13.3 percent of balls in play were hit on the ground. He's lucky it wasn't worse with nine baserunners in four innings and two home runs allowed.
Looking at the PITCHf/x data and studying his batted ball numbers, it appears that Vogelsong is simply not healthy. After sitting around 92 mph in the first inning, he touched 92 twice the rest of the way. For a guy who has hovered around league average for ground ball rate, pitching up in the zone at 89-90 with no deception is a recipe for disaster. Hitters chased only 16 percent of the time in his first start and if that trend continues, Vogelsong will be behind in a lot of counts and be forced to throw 90 at the belt to get back into the count.
We'll take the encouraging signs from Delgado's first start and expect him to improve in this one, while Vogelsong and his team are overpriced from the Diamondbacks slow start. There's far too much talent on the Diamondbacks, both in the lineup and in the pitching staff, for this team to keep playing so poorly and we expect them to win this game more often than the line would have you believe.
Now 6-1 on the season with our Baseball Underdogs after the Cubs beat the Pirates last night. In addition to this FREE WINNER on the Diamondbacks we are releasing our TOP SELECTION, another GRAND SLAM UNDERDOG. Don't Miss iT!