Game 157, Mariners at Blue Jays
King Felix vs. RA Dickey, 4:07pm
Wildcard…:sigh:….odds – Fangraphs.com: 8.0% Baseballprospectus.com: 7.6%
Happy Felix Day. The M’s fanbase could use a bit of happiness today after yesterday’s debacle. Paxton had been so sharp, and he picked an unfortunate time to turn in a disaster start. The day I write about his ultra-low BABIP, he goes and gets BABIP’d to death and the M’s playoff hopes now dangle by a thread. C’mon Felix. You got this.
Beyond the fact that the M’s have King Felix, the favorite for the AL Cy Young award on the hill today, check out the Blue Jays line-up. Munenori Kawasaki is starting at 3B, and batting *fifth*. Dalton Pompey, until recently a solid player in the Florida State League, starts in LF. In CF is Anthony Gose, he of the 74 career wRC+ in about a full season’s worth of disappointing play. Ryan Goins! Josh Thole!
RA Dickey’s 2014 has gone a bit better than his 2013 thanks to some regression in his HR rate. In 200 IP this year, he’s allowed 1.11 HR/9, or dead on his career average. His K rate’s essentially unchanged, his BB rate’s actually a touch worse, and his BABIP’s still reliably low. It’s just that fewer balls have left the field of play. This in itself is somewhat odd – in his peak seasons with the Mets, Dickey was something of a ground-baller. Not an extreme one, but he topped 50% grounders one season, and was around it for all three. Last year, he was just above 40%, and is at 42% this year. That, plus the whole designated hitter thing, and a dash of park effects, explain why he’s now giving up more HRs than he did in New York. That said, Dickey’s move to Toronto worked out pretty well for all involved. It’s really strange to say about a defending Cy Young award winner, but Dickey wasn’t paid to be the ace of the Blue Jays staff – he was paid to be a league-average starter, and that’s actually what he’s been. I think the Blue Jays certainly hoped he’d be better than that, but they didn’t pay through the nose for a high-ceiling star. They paid for a guy with a really strange career who was in his late 30s.
1: Jackson, CF
2: Ackley, LF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Morales, DH
5: Seager, 3B
6: Morrison, 1B
7: Saunders, RF
8: Zunino, C
9: Miller, SS
SP: KING FELIX