Today's pitching match-up is between Jeremy Hellickson and Jarrod Parker, two change-up artists that have both started off the season on a bad foot.
In three starts, Hellickson currently sports a 4.91 ERA and a 5.40 FIP. While Hellickson's strikeout and walk rates are near his career norms, he has not been lucky so far this season when it comes to stranding runners. His LOB% is considerably lower than it has been at any point in his career (71%), and he's letting up homeruns at an absurd rate. It's a long season, but considering we're all hoping for Hellickson to take a step forward this season, it hasn't been a promising start.
Meanwhile, Jarrod Parker has had a rough beginning to his sophomore season. He's still getting whiffs on his pitches, but it seems as though he's had trouble locating. He's been walking a ton of hitters and hasn't been able to put any away, so it'll be interesting to see if he has any success against the Rays inconsistent offense. Here's a brief description of his pitching repertoire, from Michael in the series preview:
His change-up is a true plus pitch that he throws about one out of every four pitches. It comes in about 12 mph slower than his fastball and sinker. Although it does not feature tremendous depth, batters come up empty on swings against it close to half of the time. He also uses an effective slider against right handed hitters. He throws two fastballs, a sinker and a four-seamer, neither of which is that effective of a pitch.
Gametime is 7:10pm EST.