4/4/2012 10:03:00 AM
The MLB 2012 season is upon us
and the Pirates home opener sees them take on the Philadelphia Phillies and
their fearsome pitching line up. Thursday’s lunchtime game has Halladay versus
5* graded play on the
Philadelphia Phillies as they take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Pirates
home opener set to start at 1:35 PM ET.
The simulator shows a high
probability that the Philadelphia Phillies will get win No.1 in what will be at
least a 93 win season.
I have also started a MLB thread for the 2012 season. It
will be run in the same manner as the highly successful threads for the NFL,
NCAA Football, NCAA Men’s Basketball, and the NBA. I will be releasing 5*, 10*,
and 20* free picks and I am very excited to provide for a lucrative and solid
learning platform for the MLB season.
This is a pitching mismatch as
there are few starters in MLB that can matchup evenly against Phillies ace Roy
Halladay. This may be the year that the Pirates end their streak of losing
record seasons dating back to 1992, but for any team looking to get out of the
gate fast, this is arguably the last team you want to face.
The Pirates will see Clif Lee in
Game 2 Saturday and then see Vance Worley in game 3. The Phillies elected to
move Hamels to the four slot of this historic starting rotation so that he can
make his first Home Opener start Monday at Citizen’s bank Park. Now, when you
have the luxury of moving starters around to accommodate a situation
specifically to reward your third ace, you know you have an elite team.
In 2011, Roy Halladay posted a
2.34 ERA with a 1.017 WHIP and went 20-7 for the season. Most impressive is his
walk-to-strikeout ratio, which was 6.35. Generally, a solid ratio is to have
three times as many strikeouts as walks issued and only a few starters have
ever reached the levels that Halladay has posted for many seasons.
Halladay and the Phillies offense
will be going up against Erik Bedard, who posted a 3.62 ERA and a 1.284 WHIP
with a 5-9 record in 2011. His strikeout-walk ratio was a below average 2.60,
but he did strike out 128 batters in 129.3 innings of work. He has had a 3.31
ERA, 1.20 WHIP and a 9.62 strikeouts-per-nine innings ratio spanning the past
five season, but he does not stay healthy having started only 82 times during
What makes all ace starters great, and the Phillies entire starting rotation is certainly leaders in this category, is that they get a first pitch strike in at-bats a very high percentage.
Briefly, when elite starters get the first pitch strike, the batter’s batting
average declines by a minimum of 75 points. Now, if a batter is batting .300,
and Roy halladay gets the first pitch called for a strike, you are in a world
of hurt. In 2011, batters hit just .196 with 157 strikeouts and just seven
walks spanning 474 at-bats after Halladay got the first pitch strike in all
If a team chooses to attack the
first pitch, they are essentially guaranteeing that he will have a complete
game as his pitch count will be kept low throughout the game. Moreover, he has
two solid pitches with varying rotations and speeds that he can throw for a
first pitch strike. Batters rarely, if ever, see the same pitch sequence twice
in a game from Halladay and this will keep the Pirates offense off-balance.
Phillies will score more than
four runs and that will be more than enough for them to get the win, so get them in your MLB picks for Thursday.