Here's this week's chart. Keep in mind that all six opposing pitchers have compiled their stats against the DH.
As you can see, the Phillies have decided to flip-flop Kendrick and Hamels in the rotation. Credit where due: this is a pretty smart move by the Charlie-Dubee Mind Meld. Not because there would have been anything wrong with using our two weakest SPs against Boston - despite the media hype over that series, those games won't count for any more in the standings than the ensuing games against the Blue Jays will. The real reasons why this is a good decision are: (1) It'll make life easier for the bullpen. The Worley and Kendrick turns through the rotation are the two games in which the pen will most likely be leaned on. It's better not to put them back to back. (2) If you take a close look at Kendrick's splits, you'll find that he's actually a somewhat competent pitcher against RH batters, whereas against lefties, he's possibly the worst pitcher in major league baseball. Boston's lineup, in addition to being the best in MLB, is pretty lefty-heavy: Ortiz, Gonzalez, Drew, Ellsbury, Saltalamacchia. Toronto's hitters are no slouches either, but they only have two lefties in their starting lineup and one of them kind of sucks (Corey Patterson). If Kyle just pitches around Adam Lind every time through the order, he'll actually have a pretty decent chance to hold his own against that lineup. (His next start should come against the Marlins, who also have a righty-dominated lineup, albeit not to the same degree as Toronto's.)
A few other notes after the jump.
- Cliff Lee vs. that lefty-heavy Red Sox lineup sounds like a good matchup on paper, but his lifetime numbers against their hitters really aren't very good (SSS, of course). Not only have the three righties in the lineup all had success against him (Youkilis .970 OPS in 19 AB, Pedroia .871 OPS in 11 AB, Scutaro .814 OPS in 25 AB), but Adrian Gonzalez is 7 for 10 with three doubles, one homer, and a 2.000 OPS. Gonzalez also has a 1.098 OPS in 22 AB vs. Cole Hamels, by the way. Yeah, he's pretty good.
- On the other hand, several Phillies have OK numbers against Josh Beckett. It would be sort of funny if that opening game turned out to be a slugfest.
- This should be the week that Vance Worley triggers his ROY eligibility.
- Here's a recent John Sickels blog post about Zach Stewart. Apparently he took Kyle Drabek's spot in the rotation after Drabek started to have major control problems. It would have been neat to see a Halladay vs. Drabek matchup but oh well. Here's a recent article about Drabek, by the way. He's still struggling - 10 walks, 4 Ks since being sent to AAA. Hopefully he gets things straightened out soon.