Throughout the playoffs, we’ll take a look at some of the smaller matchups that make baseball so much fun. Here is what we’re looking at today.
After a grueling 162-game season, we finally have meaningful October baseball in Philadelphia. The Phillies have a three-game series against the Miami Marlins to determine who takes on Goliath in the Division Series.
This won’t be a full preview of how the series will go, that’s only for horses to discover. Instead, we’ll only dive into numbers for how the Phillies should do against the Marlins bullpen.
That subtitle sounds generic but there is not a better way to describe a majority of their bullpen. The Marlins will likely carry four different backend lefties to use against the Phillies.
The best of which is Tanner Scott, who possesses an upper 90s fastball with a devastating slider. His slider is sort of like the in-between of Gregory Soto’s slider and José Alvarado’s cutter.
The Phillies haven’t seen a ton of left-handed velocity and haven’t hit it particularly well either. Their highest slugging percentage against left-handed four-seam fastballs of 95 mph or more is Alec Bohm at .579, it gets a lot worse after him.
Some of these numbers are tough to take in. Trea Turner’s biggest weak point during his four-month cold streak was velocity. He hit just .168 on pitching 95 mph or more prior to his ovation, .545 since.
The rest of the lefties sort of have similar types of stuff. Expect plenty of sliders and mid-90s fastballs.
The Phillies have actually handled left-handed sliders very well outside of Kyle Schwarber. Bohm and Nick Castellanos stood out the most. Bohm hit .533 with a slugging percentage that started with nine.
Castellanos got them right into his swing path constantly with a 1.426 slugging percentage in 71 pitches.
The Marlins will feature a handful of righties that all have vastly different profiles.
David Robertson is well-known by the Phillies. He’s been with the team twice and he faced them more than any other team this year. They’ve gotten to him with an ERA of 4.70 including a Castellanos homer in Miami.
Robertson’s go-to pitch is his cutter and that does play well for Kyle Schwarber, who has a .529 slugging percentage against the pitch. JT Realmuto and Turner both have .304 batting averages as well.
He is the most likely right-handed pitcher they will see. He had a tough introduction with the Marlins in August but has a 1.74 ERA in the month of September.
It’s going to be a toss-up for Skip Schumaker about what to do next. Huascar Brazobán is another righty they’ve counted on but has problems throwing strikes.
JT Chargois has avoided the home run ball but struggled to get swings and misses. He’s performed slightly better than Brazobán this year but has struggled in September with an ERA over four.
Alec Bohm has had his struggles against right-handed sinkers but will have Bryce Harper right behind him so the situation would have to be really specific. Castellanos has slightly better numbers but nothing special.
It’s very possible he’s someone that faces the bottom of the Phillies lineup in this case. Expect Rob Thomson to have Brandon Marsh ready off the bench for Cristian Pache or Johan Rojas (Marsh won’t start with the lefties starting).
Here is a general overlook about how Miami’s bullpen will match up against the Phillies. The first game of the Wild Card begins Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ESPN.