NLDS Game 2 Foul Ball Predictions: Giants, Nationals, Cardinals and Dodgers

The 2014 postseason rolls on. How will knowing foul ball stats help each team? That is what we are going to look at over the postseason.

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 Retrosheet.org.

All percentages represent a combination of batters who got on base themselves, helped force an error, a wild pitch, a steal or otherwise generated offense.

 

NLDS Game 2

Giants vs. Nationals

In the second game the Giants have put Tim Hudson on the hill against Nationals starter Jordan Zimmerman.

 

Hudson, buy foul ball data standards is much more effective at shutting down right-handed batters than he is left-handed hitters. He holds a 24.7% (18 of 73) rate for allowing offense to be generated once a foul ball has been slapped away. But against left-handed batters he allows nearly 10% more to create offense, with 26 of 77 plate appearances (33.8%) resulting in an offensive play.

Jordan Zimmerman could spell trouble for the Giants if they are looking to work the count. The odds are not in their favor at all. Zimmerman has face 117 right-handed plate appearance and only 30 (25.6%) have done anything. His numbers against left-handed batters is slightly better, with only 27 of 116 (23.3%) doing anything offensively.

 

To get Zimmerman out early the Giants are going to need to just swing away. The Nationals will need to load as many left-handed hitters as they can to drive Hudson out of the game early.

 

Prediction: Zimmerman gets into the 7th easily, but not so much the 8th. Hudson, if a lefty-heavy lineup faces him, will be out in 6; if no lefties, then he gets through 7th, but not through 8th.

 

 

 

Cardinals vs. Dodgers

 

In this match-up, the Dodgers are going with Zach Greinke, while the Cardinals have tapped Lance Lynn.

 

Greinke sports impressive sub-30% rations versus both left- and right-handed sluggers: allowing 35 of 125 (28%) righties and 25 of 93 (27.2%) of lefties to generate offense after one foul or more is slapped. 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.

 

To get to Greinke the Cardinals are going to—I sound like a broken record—swing away again. He has some nasty stuff so the best they can hope for is a clean hit. But the news is much better for the Giants if they can set-up their lineup with lefty upon lefty. This lineup would build the pitch count quickly against Lynn and increase their odds of generating offense.

 

UPDATE: Hmmm…forgot to post innings. They were going to be 6-7 for both…but I won’t count these in my tallies.