A statistical look at the Lions, Tigers, Pistons, Red Wings, Spartans and Wolverines

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Know thy enemy: Jeremy Guthrie

Jeremy Guthrie is going for the Orioles tonight and is the first starting pitcher in this series that the Tigers will have seen before and/or have some information to go on from his time in the majors. So, I guess that is something to look forward too.

Guthrie is a 6'1" 196 lb right handed pitcher who has been a part of the Orioles and Indians organizations during his career. In the previous two years, he had posted an ERA of 3.70 and 3.63, respectively. This year, however, he has fallen off the mat a little bit with a 5.37 ERA and the peripheral numbers that suggest that his ERA is no fluke.

Guthrie also has a 5.77 FIP, a .277 BABIP, a LOB % of 69.5, 5.60 tRA, and a 5.36 xFIP. Looking at all of these numbers and putting them into their proper context, there is really nothing to suggest that Guthrie has been the recipient of bad luck. His LOB % is slightly low but so is his BABIP. Guthrie has just not been a good pitcher this year.

Guthrie has a 5.37 K/9 ratio and a 2.94 BB/9 ratio. So, he strikes out fewer batters than the average pitcher will and walks fewer, as well. He has been a fly ball pitcher this year with a 0.80 GB/FB ratio.

Given his lack of strikeouts one might expect that Guthrie is a soft tosser. Instead, he will come at batters with a 93 MPH fastball, 84 MPH slider and 85 MPH changeup. Historically, his fastball and slider have been plus pitches. This year, though, Fan Graphs tells us that his slider has been his only plus pitch.

Guthrie has traditional splits and lefties have mashed him this year to the tune of a .922 OPS. So, we should see Guillen, Thomas and Granderson return to the starting lineup today. He also has a 6.39 ERA on the road this season, so that is another plus for us. So too is the fact that both Grandy and Inge have 8 or more plate appearances against him and have an OPS at 1.000 or higher.

In summary, Guthrie has an ERA that is nearly 2 runs above what he has posted in previous years, and his peripheral numbers suggest that is no fluke. In addition, he has been terrible on the road this year, lefties have crushed him and Grandy and Inge have had a lot of success against him. However, he probably still possesses the stuff that he held in previous years. Assuming that is the case, we just have to hope that he does not have a turn-back-the clock game tonight.

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