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Two teams that have won their respect
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Dołączył: 21 Mar 2019
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Wysłany: 2019-06-24, 02:52   Two teams that have won their respect

CLEVELAND —ive divisions three years in a row will meet Saturday night at Progressive Field for the second game of a three-game series that could be a potential preview of a postseason series.The 105-win Boston Red Sox Austin Romine Jersey , the American League East champions, will face the 85-win Cleveland Indians, the AL Central champs. The two teams split a four-game series in Boston last month. Boston beat Cleveland 7-5 on Friday night, the Red Sox’s 105th win of the season, tying the franchise record set in 1912.Saturday’s pitching matchup will be two right-handers, Boston’s Rick Porcello vs. Cleveland’s Mike Clevinger.Article continues below ...Porcello (17-7, 4.30 ERA) is coming off a 5-3 win over the New York Mets in his last start, on Sept. 15. In that game, Porcello pitched five innings, giving up three runs and two hits with five strikeouts and one walk.Porcello’s last start against Cleveland came Aug. 20. The Red Sox lost that game and Porcello took the loss, pitching seven innings and allowing five runs and six hits, with six strikeouts and one walk. In his career against the Indians, Porcello has made 23 starts and is 10-5 with a 3.51 ERA.Clevinger is on a late-season roll. In his last eight starts, he is 5-1 with a 1.85 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .189 batting average.Those numbers include his last start, a 15-0 win over Detroit on Sept. 15. Clevinger pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, with five strikeouts and three walks.Clevinger last faced Boston on Aug. 21, 2017 http://www.yankeesfanpros...-stanton-jersey , when he got no decision in a 5-4 Cleveland victory. He pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up four runs and four hits, with four strikeouts, four walks and two home runs allowed.Boston is not one of Clevinger’s preferred opponents. In two starts against the Red Sox last year, his only two career appearances against Boston, he was 0-1 with an 11.05 ERA. In 7 1/3 innings in those two starts, he gave up nine runs, 11 hits and eight walks.One of the hitters in Boston’s potent lineup that Clevinger will have to pay particular attention to is MVP candidate J.D. Martinez, who in his four years with the Detroit Tigers, wore out Cleveland pitching. Martinez is a career .308 hitter vs. Cleveland, and he has more home runs (18) and RBIs (54) against the Indians than against any other opponent in the major leagues.This year, Martinez is having a career year. He leads the league in RBIs (124) and is second in the AL in hitting (.330) and second in home runs (41).“Unless you make your pitches to him, he can do some damage,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He can pull it with power, hit it the other way with power. He’s taken things to another level this year. He’s really dangerous.”A key hitter for the Indians is third baseman Josh Donaldson, who was acquired in a trade with Toronto on Aug. 31, and is trying to get up to speed after spending most of the 2018 season on the disabled list with a strained calf.Donaldson was used as the designated hitter Friday night, and Francona said he will start at third base on Saturday and Sunday Bernie Williams Jersey , the first time since joining Cleveland that Donaldson has played three games in a row.“He’s gotten himself in great shape, and it’s paying off,” Francona said. “We’re trying to play him enough without playing too much.” Brock Holt had the best year of his career in 2018, but how sustainable was it?"There are a number of things that stand out here, and that Holt had a clear head for the first time in a couple years was certainly the biggest factor in his performance ticking back up. That being said, while every area of his game got a little better, the part that looked most like his old self was on balls in play. Holt had always had a perception of luck around him back in 2014 and 2015, as he posted batting averages on balls in play of .349 and .350 in those seasons. Those are Joey Votto and Mike Trout numbers, not Brock Holt numbers. It seemed nearly impossible that he’d be able to sustain that, even after doing it two years in a row. His BABIP then dropped below .300 in both 2016 and 2017, and our suspicions were confirmed. At least we though. Last year, the now-healthy Holt looked a lot more like his old self who burst onto the scene, finishing the year with a .337 BABIP.The question is, did we see another year filled with good fortune for Holt? Or can we accept now that Holt is a well above-average BABIP hitter with 2016 and 2017 being the outliers. The fact that those two years have the injury excuse certainly play in their favor, but we should probably look at the batted ball data, too. There, things do look Holt and confirm the eye test where Holt looked similar to his old self. Most notable was his line drive rate (per Fangraphs), which sat at a career-high 24 percent. For context C.C. Sabathia Jersey , that put him in the top quarter of the league in that category. Holt also combined the line drives with a career-high hard-hit rate, though even his career-high rate of 29 percent was in the back-half of the league. Oddly enough, he also had the highest infield fly ball rate of his career, which is usually an indicator of bad contact. Throw in a more pull-happy approach than usual, it is a little strange that he was able to post such a high BABIP. David Butler II-USA TODAY SportsWhat plays into his favor is simply the kind of batted balls he hits, keeping the ball low to the ground. Line drives obviously lead to the highest BABIP, but fly balls lead to the lowest, particularly for hitters without much raw power like Holt. According to Fangraphs’ batted ball data, Holt had the 14th-lowest fly ball rate among the 278 hitters with at least 300 plate appearances in 2018. I’m not sure Holt is a true-talent .337-BABIP hitter, but it’s not unreasonable to expect him to stabilize somewhere around .310-.320.The good news for Holt is that, while the BABIP saw a big jump this year, he’s also shown improvement in other areas as well. After carrying below-average walk rates for most of his career, his walk rate has jumped to double digits in each of the last two years. He also showed career-best power in 2018, though that didn’t look super sustainable. Still, combine all of that, and even with a little big of a step back on balls in play you’re still looking at a league-average hitter. That’s combined with a player who can still play all over the field (though probably not as well as when he first came up) and is likely the most liked and important player in the clubhouse. Seems like a useful player to have on your roster.
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