#35 / Pitcher / St. Louis Cardinals
Sep 29, 1977
#34 / Pitcher / Cincinnati Reds
May 03, 1986
The pitching matchup for tonight is an interesting contrast in styles. Jake Westbrook is something of a posterboy for the deficiencies that a good sinker can paper over. He has a very low strikeout rate (< 6K/9IP) and just a mediocre walk rate (~3BB/9IP). What Westbrook does is pound the zone with his fastball inducing above average contact (85% compared to an 80% league average in 2011) that results in groundballs nearly 60% of the time.
Homer Bailey, however, is a pronounced flyball pitcher with a groundball rate that hovers around 40%. Bailey strikes out considerably more batters to compensate. Another interesting aside is that Bailey lacks a real changeup (according to pitch f/x classification) instead using a curveball to neutralize opposite handed hitters. The right handers in the lineup should watch for the slider if Bailey is ahead in the count.