Tuesday, September 13, 2005

New Feature: Game of the Day

Since I just recently started this blog, I thought I'd add a few features along the way. The first one, as you can probably tell by the name and need no explanation, is going to be a "Game of the Day" post. For every day, I am going to select a Game of the Day, a game that has the most behind it. Now I could pull out my biased side and do Mets and Twins games on a constant basis, but I'd prefer to hit up random games.

Today's game could be a pretty obvious Game of the Day, with the Houston Astros hosting the Florida Marlins. Josh Beckett (13-8, 3.58 ERA) takes the hill for the Marlins against Wandy Rodriguez (9-7, 5.80 ERA). Before I get in-depth with the matchup, I want to get something off my chest first...Can you believe that a guy of Beckett's potential and hype has never had a 10+ win season before 2005? I guess all those injuries, mainly blisters, were the cause of those.

The Marlins currently hold a 1/2 game lead over the Astros after Dontrelle Willis' wonderful performance, both on the mound and at the plate, in last night's game. Willis, one of the front runners for the NL Cy Young, threw his 7th CG of the year last night, and also went "yahtzee" off of Astros reliever Scott Strickland. However, Dontrelle and his campaign for the NL Cy Young is reserved for another day on this site.

As the numbers will tell you, Wandy Rodriguez has a below average ERA along with a below average WHIP of 1.53. Beckett on the other hand can be one of the best pitchers in the league, but has struggled in his last 4 starts. In his last 4 starts, consisting of 21 innings, Beckett's ERA is 6.43. So to say that the Marlins have a distinct edge in tonight's matchup would be a little absurd, but not too unintelligent based on the careers and overall numbers of tonight's starters.

Houston's offense is one of the worst in the NL, with Florida's pitching staff being one of the best, young staff's in all of baseball. However, Florida's run differential is only +25 compared to Houston's +53. Both teams are built on their pitching staffs, with Houston having the distinct advantage in that area with a 3.59 team ERA, compared to Florida's 4.02 team ERA. Florida is currently tied for 1st in team BA with the Cubs at .273, with Houston being one of the bottom dwellers in offensive categories in the NL.

Florida is an average road team at best with a .500 record of 36-36 while Houston has been very good at home with a 46-25 record. With this being a huge 4 game series between the two Wild Card contenders, it's almost certain that the Marlins have to win tonight's game with the Astros sending out Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte in the following 2 games. This series could have a very bright and/or dark outcome in the NL Wild Card picture, depending on who you root for.

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