Coors Be Damned, I Love The Yankees Tonight
The Marlins visit the Rockies tonight, which is awesome because it means Giancarlo Stanton is probably going to come in with a 5+ point projection, which I have barely seen our algorithm produce. I’m probably going to make a couple Marlins’ stacks tonight, but my real love is for the Yankees against Jered Weaver at Yankees Stadium tonight.
At first glance, there is nothing overly appealing about the Yankees offense tonight. The over/under is only 8, with the Yankees only small favorites. Weaver has pitched well recently, sporting a WHIP under 1.2 this season and only giving up 7 earned runs in the 36.1 innings. Weaver hasn’t been a great pitcher this year, but he’s not a terrible one either.
So why do I think the Yankee’s are going off tonight?
First off, while Weaver has not been awful this year, there’s a lot of evidence he’s on the decline. While he’s held it together so far this year, basically every peripheral stat says this season is going to go south for Weaver fast. Hitters are hitting the ball harder against Weaver than they have in 8 years. Weaver leads the league in pulled hits allowed for starters at 51.9%, which for a flyball pitcher is quite dangerous. His fastball velocity is at a career low, only averaging 83.7 MPH on his two seam and 85.1 MPH on his four seam. Studies have shown decreases in velocity lead to greater home runs allowed, which is terrifying for Weaver, who already allows a ton of home runs. Weaver’s GB rate is at a career high right now, but with little change in his arsenal or approach it’s easy to imagine that rate reverting back to his career average.
Weaver has survived so far this season playing in mostly pitchers parks, including his home park. But Yankees Stadium represents the worst possible park for Weaver, with the worst possible team for him to play against in the Yankees.
Yankees stadium is one of the easiest park’s to hit a home run for a lefty, second only to Coors Field. But it’s probably a better home run park than Coors Field against Weaver, as Yankees Stadium allows by far the highest amount of pulled home runs by lefties. The right field wall is incredibly short, and the right field foul pole is only 311 feet. Flyballs to right field are dangerous for pitchers at Yankees Stadium.
It makes sense then why the Yankees have chosen to stack the team with left handed pull home run hitters. The biggest of the bunch is Mark Teixeira, who pulls nearly every home run he hits. Carlos Beltran and Chase Headley are nearly identical. Brian McCann’s pull tendency is not as strong, but he’s still projected for over 20 home runs this season. Brett Gardner has great power for a leadoff hitter, banging out 17 home runs last year. I’d love to see Garrett Jones in the lineup today as well, another power hitting pull lefty who has been platooned against righties this season.
With a high home run allowed pitcher, on the decline, going against a team of power hitting lefties, with a projected pull percentage through the moon, at the easiest left handed home run park in the league, it’s really easy to see Weaver giving up a bajillion home runs tonight, or at least a half a bajillion. So feel free to join me tonight in pumping out a ton of Yankees stacks, and let’s hope analytics get this game right.View all posts by Daniel Steinberg