The rubber game of the series between the Yankees and Angels is tonight, and it a pitching duel you don’t want to miss.
2014 Pitching Stats - Masahiro Tanaka vs. Garrett Richards
M. Tanaka 3 0 2.15 4 4 29.1 0.202 22 8 7 4 2 35 111 0.818 6.8 1.2 0.6 10.7
G. Richards 2 0 2.52 4 4 25 0.155 13 7 7 0 14 24 99 1.080 4.7 0.0 5.0 8.6
Picking a favorite between the two is almost impossible, as the stats almost counter balance each other.
Richards has walked 14 batters on the season, while Tanaka just two.
But four batters have taken Tanaka deep, and none have gone yard off Richards.
Tanaka has pitched four more innings, but allowed nine more hits compared to Richards.
I think you get the idea.
Tanaka has a larger repertoire of pitches perfected,as he throws a fourseam fastball, splitter, sinker, slider and curve, while Richards uses a fourseam fastball and cutter over 70% of the time .
But Richards’ velocity clocks higher, as his pitches average around 96 mph.
So it is a kind-of a battle of finesse vs. strength.
Tanaka has to watch out the first time through the Halos batting order, as hitters have a .312 batting average against him in that situation. The second time through and beyond, batters are only hitting .149, so Tanaka is like a fine wine, as he gets better in time.
My guess is the Yankees batters will get held up facing Richards because they have little experience facing him. And the fact that the Yankees bats have been quiet this series, scoring only five runs in total has to be taken into consideration.
The Halos middle of the order featuring Trout-Pujols-Kendrick have the bats to tack on runs vs. Tanaka in the first two innings.
So, I predict the Angels beat the Yankees by a score of 3-1, taking the rubber game and the series 2-1.
And Tanaka will endure his first loss since 2012.
But let’s hope I am wrong, pretty please.