"I was thinking the other day day about what this team needed to get on track. What it's going to take is a west coast road trip, because that often helps the Rays, and it would be really great if we could match up our long reliever with arguably the best pitcher in baseball of the past five years. That's how to turn a season around."
- Nobody . . . Ever
Here is an interactive graph of batter-pitcher matchup projections for every game of the series. The matchup projections come from a tool I made with Jason Hanselman (Dock of the Rays) that incorporates Bojan Koprivica's research on regressing platoon splits and ZiPS projections. The grey line is at an average wOBA of .320.
Thanks to Jason's work, these projections are now park-adjusted. The overall and vs. average L/R pitchers displayed are park-neutral, and the matchup is paced in the park where it will be played.
Cesar Ramos vs. Felix Hernandez, 10:10
So yeah, the chances of winning this game are sort of low. King Felix is a great pitcher. He's tough for everyone, but he's extremely tough for righties. These numbers are overrating Cesar Ramos a bit, as they're including his time as a reliever (which is easier than being a starter), but the good news is that he really is pretty strong against lefties. Corey Hart is a good right-handed hitter, but the rest of the Mariners' boppers are lefties.
David Price vs. Hisashi Iwakuma, 10:10
Interesting bit of trivia: Iwakuma has an observed reverse platoon split. Once regressed, he has no predicted platoon split whatsoever. He's simply 7% better than average against everyone. That's a tough pitcher for any offense to face, and David Price will need to be on his game.
Jake Odorizzi vs. Brandon Maurer, 3:40
This is the game where the offense needs to carry the load. Steamer projects Brandon Maurer for a 4.52 ERA. It has a 4.10 ERA for Jake Odorizzi going forward. I happen to think Odor is turning a corner and will be a better pitcher going forward than he's been so far, but it would be foolish to count on it, especially against this lefty-heavy offense. Win this game, bats.