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FanGraphs On Colby Lewis

R.J. Anderson at FanGraphs has some troubling analysis on how Colby Lewis matches up against the Yankees.

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Pinstripes never fade and the Yankees rarely make outs, as they led the league in team on-base percentage and runs per game. Those numbers are not adjusted for park or completion and neither is the following factoid, which is that the Yankees had the best OPS against flyball pitchers in the league by more than .020 points.

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Lewis posted a fly ball rate just a hair under 45% this season, one of the highest totals in baseball. He’s also not the best at avoiding walks, giving up 2.91 per nine innings, and the Yankees are fairly patient.

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Unfortunately, I have no disagreement with Anderson. Lewis is probably a pretty good bet to be disproportionately bad against the Yankees.

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However, the Rangers will be facing an even more flyball-prone pitcher in Phil Hughes in Lewis’s games. Hughes had the third highest fly ball rate of all qualified starting pitchers in 2010. The Rangers, also, were better than the average team against fly ball pitchers, though not quite as dramatically as the Yankees (101 sOPS+). And, also, Phil Hughes was not as good as Colby Lewis in 2010 and the game is in Arlington.

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Games two and three may not be a great spot for Colby Lewis to be turning in career games, but they likely are still great spots for the Rangers to try and get wins in the ALCS.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.