ALCS & NLCS Foul Ball Predictions: When Will Giants, Cardinals, Orioles and Royals Starters Leave the Game?

The 2014 postseason continues with the Championship Series’. So far the predictions with a +/-1 are incredibly accurate. But there have been some surprising incorrect predictions. Some of the starters have been pulled extremely early.


All stats are from the 2013 season for either a night game or a day game, depending on when it is being played, and at-bats that included 1 or more foul balls. The following data comes from our foul ball database that draws from

All percentages represent a combination of batters who got on base themselves (1B, 2B, 3B, HR, Hit-by-pitch, BB), helped force an error, a wild pitch, a steal or otherwise generated offense.


ALCS: Game 2


KC v Orioles

The Royals’ Yordano Ventura hits the hill for Game 2. Ventura has little foul ball data from the 2013 season for night games. But, against the six (6) right-handed batters he faced off against, only Marcus Semien got on, and he did it with a double after two fouls. Versus the 17 left-handed at-bats he went against, Ventura allowed six to create a play. Two batters—Adam Dunn and Jordan Danks—both went yard after one and two fouls respectively.

The Orioles have put Bud Norris on the mound for this late afternoon/evening game. Norris faced 106 right-handed batters in 2013. He was unsuccessful in getting an out 29 of those times. This places Norris’ percentage at a respectable 27.4%. His numbers against left-handed hitters is worse. He allowed 45 of 128 of them to produce offense; this translates into 35.2%. This is one of the higher rates for starters, and doesn’t bode well for Norris if the Royals pit as many southpaws as they can get against him.


All this translates into what could be a sloppy game. Ventura lasted 7 in his last start and Norris went 7. But this is now the Conference Series, so who really knows.


Prediction: Based on the numbers and the previous postseason starts, I’m going with both pitchers being out within 1/3rd of an inning of 6.




NLCS Game 2


Giants v. Cardinals


The Giants are trotting out Jake Peavy. Peavy has the advantage in foul ball percentages in this match up. He faced 50 right-handed batters and only 10 managed to generate some type of offense. A left-handed batter, on the other hand, fared better per plate appearance with one or more fouls. Peavy allowed 14 of the 45 he faced in day games to generate offense. That means 31.1%.


To get to Peavy, the Cardinals need get as many left-handed batters into the game as they can.


The Cardinals have pitted Lance Lynn against Peavy in this game. Lynn is at 29.1% (52 of 179) versus the 3B side of the plate and 34.1% (43 of 126) versus the 1B side.


Prediction: Both last no more than 6.