San Francisco Will Produce Giant Run Total Against Arizona

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 5:33 PM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018 5:33 PM UTC

San Francisco concludes a three-game home series with Arizona in an NL West showdown. The Giants' starting pitcher has been lights out, while the Diamondbacks' starter is struggling to find the light.

Arizona at San FranciscoWednesday, 10:15 p.m. ET (MLB Network)Free MLB Pick: Giants MLBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Arizona’s Zack Godley (13-7, 4.59 ERA) is struggling for form. He has yielded 11 runs in his last 10 innings. His poor form derives from his drop in velocity and spin rate and poor location. In August, all of his pitches average their lowest respective velocity compared with every other month. The average spin rate of his pitches has also dropped 104 rotations per minute from his pre-August average. His pitch location is also consistently worse. For instance, he’s leaving his pitches with over two percent higher frequency in the dead middle part of the strike zone.

Godley relies on a sinker-cutter-curve combo. All three pitches make up 94 percent of his arsenal. Opponents are batting .311 against his sinker. His location is worst with this pitch. In his last two starts, he’s left it with over 13 percent frequency in the dead middle of the zone, although he had only done so with four percent frequency before. His last two opponents slugged over .600 against it. His cutter is also vulnerable. Opponents are slugging .483 against it and three of his last four have slugged at least .500 against it. In his last four starts, he’s left it with 18 percent frequency in the two most middle parts of the zone.

It’s evident from the strong variation in his release points from game to game that Godley isn’t comfortable with his delivery. His mechanical issues are preventing him from locating or otherwise executing his pitches well. Poor mechanics notwithstanding, the Giants are comfortable against him. They rank third in slugging against his pitches from righties. They’ve produced seven runs in each of Godley’s last two outings against him, in both of which he failed to make it past the fourth inning. In 69 career at-bats, San Fran batters are hitting .348 and slugging .652 against him. Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford are combined 8-for-15 with a double and two homers against Godley.

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San Francisco’s Dereck Rodriguez (6-1, 2.30 ERA) hasn’t conceded more than two runs in his last nine starts, although he endured at least six innings in each of them. The Giants are 3-0 when he starts against division rivals, yielding +3.2 units.

Rodriguez relies on five different pitches with between 10 and 35 percent frequency. His favorite pitch is the fastball, which opponents bat .188 against. His fastball shares very similar vertical and horizontal release points with both his sinker and slider, so that batters struggle to discern which pitch is leaving his hand. He’s progressed with his sinker, which opponents hit .211 against in July and .111 so far in August. It possesses strong arm-side and vertical movement. His best pitch is the change-up, which opponents hit .161 against. It combines strong arm-side movement with great location. He avoids the more hittable parts of the plate with his change-up, leaving it with 1.85 percent frequency in the middle. Instead, he places it with 43 percent frequency in the bottom row of the zone.

The rest of the league has yet to figure out the rookie Rodriguez with his deception and movement. When he faced Arizona in June, he shut them out over 6.1 innings. On the MLB odds board, it looks like San Francisco is worth an MLB pick.

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