NLCS Game 4 Preview: Matz vs. Hammel

The Mets take on the Cubs in game 4 of the National League Championship Series tonight at 8:07 at Wrigley Field. Steven Matz (2.27 ERA, 3.61 FIP, 1.23 WHIP, 35 2/3 IP over 6 starts) takes on Jason Hammel (3.74 ERA, 3.68 FIP, 1.16 WHIP, 170 2/3 IP over 31 starts).

Lineups:

Mets:

  1. Curtis Granderson, RF (L)
  2. David Wright, 3B (R)
  3. Daniel Murphy, 2B (L)
  4. Yoenis Cespedes, CF (R)
  5. Lucas Duda, 1B (L)
  6. Travis d’Arnaud, C (R)
  7. Michael Conforto, LF (L)
  8. Wilmer Flores, SS (R)
  9. Steven Matz, P (R)

Cubs:

  1. Dexter Fowler, CF (S)
  2. Jorge Soler, RF (R)
  3. Kris Bryant, 3B (R)
  4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B (L)
  5. Starlin Castro, 2B (R)
  6. Kyle Schwarber, LF (L)
  7. Javier Baez, SS (R)
  8. Jason Hammel, P (R)
  9. David Ross, C (R)

In his one postseason start, Steven Matz allowed 3 runs over 5 innings, with 6 hits, 2 walks (1 intentional) and 4 strikeouts. Hammel, in his one postseason start of 2015, allowed 2 runs over 3 innings, with 3 hits, 3 walks, and 2 strikeouts. Matz has not faced the Cubs, but Hammel did make one start against the Mets, a strong effort in which he allowed only 1 run on 5 hits and a walk over 8 innings, while striking out 6.

Matz, in a very small sample size, has performed better against righties than lefties, allowing a 2.8% walk rate to righties but a 17.5% walk rate to lefties. However, it is righties who have taken him deep, to the rate of 1.30 HR/9 (he has yet to allow a home run to a lefty).

The one major note about Hammel is his 2nd half troubles, compared with his first half success. Hammel had a 2.86 ERA in the first half, but a 5.10 ERA in the 2nd half. The main culprits have been his increased home run rate (0.95 HR/9 in the first half, 1.61 HR/9 in the 2nd half) and a slightly increased walk rate (4.4% first half, 7.3% 2nd half). Hammel also has reverse home run splits, having allowed a higher home run rate to righties than lefties (1.52 HR/9 vs. 0.83 HR/9).

As always, LET’S GO METS!

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