Game 132, White Sox at Mariners
Vargas vs. Floyd, 1:10pm.
Predictably, after I questioned how the White Sox ever saw themselves as contenders, they’ve throttled the M’s in the first two games of the series. I pointed to the gaping, expensive holes they have in their line-up, but the story with the Sox has been their rotation. They don’t have a real ace, but every starter’s been above average. Today’s starter, Gavin Floyd’s been the worst among them (now that Edwin Jackson’s elsewhere), but that’s hardly a slight on the righty. He’s got a FIP of 3.73 thanks largely to a great strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.16:1).
Floyd went 17-8 with an ERA under 4 in 2008; it was his worst season by fielding independent metrics. He’s cut his walk rate, increased his strikeouts and even cut his home run rate since 2008, and his ERA’s gotten worse (as has his W/L record). Looking at traditional stats, he’s been something of a disappointment. By fielding independent stats, he’s turned himself into a very good #3 starter who’s been worth over 4 WAR for two straight years (and he’ll be over 3 this year). But even as his FIP’s stayed below 4, some factor’s pushed his ERA up. In 2009, his BABIP increased and he pitched much worse with men on base. In 2010, he was great with men on, but his BABIP shot up from .285 to .325. In 2011, he’s again having trouble with men in scoring position. He uses a fastball and a cutter to righties, along with a curveball (he throws an occasional change too). He uses his curve a bit more against lefties, but his best pitch seems to be his cutter. He’s got platoon splits, but they’re nothing special (especially from 2009-2011).
Jason Vargas looks to build on a very good start against the Indians, when his change-up looked a lot better than it had in his previous starts against Texas and Toronto.
4: Wells (DH)
5: Kennedy (1b)
Mike Carp gets an off-day, which makes this line-up look a bit off. Carp is a better match-up against Floyd than Wells, but the real issue is Kennedy at first. With Smoak still healing (sounds like he may make a rehab start with Tacoma tomorrow), they don’t have a lot of good options, but…Kennedy at first in late August. Hmm.