All statistics come from a wOBA projection tool created by Jason Hanselman of Dock Of the Rays and our own Ian Malinowski. As always, the wOBA projections are regressed platoon splits calculated using ZiPS RoS projections and Bojan Koprivica's platoon research.
As Ian discussed earlier this morning, Peavy has an incredible arsenal of six pitches, eliminating an advantage of handedness.
Joe Maddon has not penalized Wil Myers for his leg cramps, and kept him batting second high in the order. Personally, I expected Maddon to play Zobrist second, but keeping Zorilla behind Longoria does give the Rays excellend line up differentiation by hand.
In one sense, Maddon is overlooking defense to play Jose Lobaton and his near .100 wOBA advantage over pitch framing expert Jose Molina, a reward for great performance in yesterday's walk off win.
On the other hand, defense wins in the outfield as Desmond Jennings stays in the lineup, despite Matt Joyce's .349 wOBA. In that situation, DeJesus would shift to center -- keep this pinch hitting scenario in mind.
Red Sox Lineup
Holy crap. The decision to go with Jeremy Hellickson has already been questioned and ridiculed, and this is the reason why. The Red Sox kill right handed pitching, and applying ZiPS Rest of Season projections, we can confirm expectations for Helly should be low.
Notable matchups for Hellickson are David Ortiz and his ridiculous projected .420 wOBA, Daniel Nava's .369 batting sixth, and Mike Carp's .382 sitting on the bench.
Tonight's Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson: 3rd-worst ERA among all qualified SP, despite playing in pitchers' park, with good D behind him.— Jonah Keri (@jonahkeri) October 8, 2013
Ugh. Hellickson had been a "FIP beater" prior to this season, constantly posting incredibly low ERA's despite indications by advanced metrics that his performance was suspect. This season, it's all been flipped on its head.
Expect Hellickson to attack low and on the corner -- away from left handed hitters and inside to right handers -- with fastballs on the edge and breaking balls below the zone.
Of course, this has become a wildly predictable trend for Hellickson. As Rancel noted this afternoon, it'd be great to see Hell Boy hit some spots inside to lefties to differentiate his zone (something he's played with for righties).
Additionally, Hellickson doesn't need to worry about flashing his best pitches early, as he may be limited in his innings this afternoon by a few other important pitchers:
Moore and Archer will be available in #Rays bullpen tonight, though Maddon remains confident Hellickson will pitch well— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) October 8, 2013
Moore could be quite formidable out of the pen, and will likely be the first pitcher called upon after Hellickson. Moore posts a significant advantage against Ellsbury and Ortiz, and matches well against Nava, Salty, Drew, and Carp.
Chris Archer matches favorably against right handed hitters Victorino, Pedroia, Napoli and Middlebrooks, but the remaining Boston starters each project .350 or better. (Ortiz has a .428 projection vs Archer).
#Rays Maddon said Kelly Johnson matched up better with Peavy than Joyce or young, has been working hard.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) October 8, 2013
Yet again, Joe Maddon is benching Matt Joyce at designated hitter against a starter he would hold an advantage against. His .341 wOBA is only slightly favorable to Johnson's .320, but Joyce may be considered more insurance in case Myers's leg cramping flares back up; however, that's pure speculation.