Jun 01, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder Matt Tuiasosopo (18) doubles in the fifth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Tigers defeated the Orioles 10-3. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
The Tampa Bay Rays will send out left handed pitcher Matt Moore (2.18 ERA, 4.10 FIP) to face the Detroit Tigers in game one of a three game set beginning tonight at Comerica Park. Jim Leyland counters with what has become his standard lineup vs. lefties (since Austin Jackson has been out). Here’s that lineup as tweeted by Baseball Media Relations Manager Rick Thompson:
We’ll see whether or not that right-heavy lineup will work, however, because in Moore’s (still rather brief) major league career he’s allowed a wOBA against of .315 to left-handed hitters and .295 to right-handed hitters. It should be stated that he’s only faced 269 lefty batters in the big leagues – a relatively small sample – but a similar reverse platoon split was also aparent in his final year in the minor leagues (2011).
Readers may be also particularly interested to note that – of all the qualified starting pitchers in Major League Baseball – that only Jason Marquis currently has a larger negative differential between his ERA and FIP than does Moore. Part of that differential is no doubt due to the Rays’ team defense being of particular high quality, but another part (perhaps an even larger part) is almost certianly due to good fortune with respect to balls in play, sequencing, and strand rate. This isn’t necessarily to say that we should expect Moore to see worse outcomes in the future, but rather that we would have expected to see worse overall outcomes in the past given the same collection of individual (per plate appearance) outcomes.
Anibal Sanchez (2.79 ERA, 1.87 FIP), perhaps the Tigers’ best starting pitcher through the first two months of the season, will take the mound for the home team.