Baseball Press presents ''The 606'', a look into the three most intriguing pitching matchups of the day, with a final prediction of the winning pitcher. You may be asking yourself ''What exactly does The 606 mean? There's no major league baseball for that area code- it's in Eastern Kentucky!'' BBP isn't listing players from Eastern Kentucky either. The 606 is short for 60 feet and 6 inches. If you still don't understand, I direct your attention to Official Rule 1.07 from Major League Baseball, referring to the distance from the pitching mound to home plate. Now that we've got that squared away, let's take a look at some pitching matchups for Tuesday, April 20th.
Patriot's Day - John Lackey isn't a fan. Lackey was shellacked by the Rays and only lasted three innings. Brad Penny gave up two runs early and that was about it, as he gave another strong outing for the Cardinals. Randy Wells was cruising along until that famous Cubs' bullpen entered the game and let things get out of hand.
Today's 606 features a battle of young lefties off to a hot start, an injury plagued southpaw trying to right the ship at home, and an annual Cy Young candidate trying to step up his game in the desert.
Loss: John Lackey (3.1 IP, 9 H, 8 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 3.00 WHIP) - Ouch
Win: Brad Penny (7 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1.29 WHIP)
No Decision: Randy Wells (6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1.33 WHIP)
The 606 Season-To-Date Record (W-L-ND): 14-14-15, 3.55 ERA (108 ER in 273.2 IP)
LHP David Price - TB (2-0, 2.45 ERA) vs. LHP John Danks - CWS (1-0, 1.38 ERA)
David Price is off to another hot start this year, taking care of both the Yankees and Orioles in his first two starts. He's fanned fourteen batters in 14.2 innings, all while maintaining a sparkling 1.09 WHIP. He now heads out to US Cellular Field , where he gave up four earned runs in six innings to the ChiSox last year (while striking out 6) in his only career start against them. Paul Konerko and Alex Rios both have good track records against him, each having taken him deep in limited at-bats.
Johnny Danks is off to a quick start as well, coming of a win at Toronto where he gave up a run while striking out six in seven innings. He's got an impressive track record against the Rays too, as Danks is 4-1 in 5 career starts, posting a 2.67 ERA, a stellar 1.09 WHIP, striking out 31 batters in 30.1 IP, with a .196 BAA. Carlos Pena has gone yard on him twice in twelve at-bats but has also struck out five times.
Final Prediction: John Danks
RHP Rick Porcello - DET (1-0, 4.09 ERA) vs. LHP Scott Kazmir - LAA (0-1, 13.50 ERA)
Rick Porcello comes off a rough outing against the lowly Royals, where he surrendered ten hits and two earned runs through six innings. Porcello has only faced the Angels once in his young career, allowing four runs on five hits with a 1.60 WHIP through five innings. Juan Rivera went 2-2 in that game with a homer and 2 RBI. Rick fares much better at home (9-3) than on the road (6-6), and while the young righty has pitched beyond his years at many points in his career, the Angels are sure to be a tough outing for him.
Scott Kazmir came off the disabled list in April and was rewarded with a road start against the New York Yankees. He was shelled for three home runs and six earned runs in four innings. The only place to go is up, right? Kazmir hasn't faced the Tigers since 2008, but has a career 2-4 record with a 4.69 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. Kazmir (26-18 career at home) has only pitched in his home ballpark four times, and while he holds an 0-2 record there, his 3.16 ERA and 1.29 WHIP are respectable. Current Tigers' hitters are batting merely .168 against him, with Miguel Cabrera faring the best with .273 (3 for 11) mark with a HR and 4 RBI.
Final Prediction: Scott Kazmir
RHP Kyle Lohse- STL (0-1, 4.15 ERA) vs. RHP Dan Haren - ARI (1-1, 3.60 ERA)
Kyle Lohse has been another beneficiary of Dave Duncan's genius, resurrecting his career in St. Louis. He bounced back from a disappointing 2010 debut at Milwaukee, allowing two earned runs and five hits against Houston last Thursday (albeit in a losing effort). Lohse has done well against the D-Backs over the last two years, with a 2-0, 2.57 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over four starts. However, Chase Field hasn't necessarily been as kind, as he is 0-1 with a 4.13 ERA and 1.46 WHIP over his career (4 starts). Current D-Backs have just a .233 BAA, and for a pitcher not known for his K ability, he's managed to sit down Mark Reynolds 3 times in 4 at-bats...But then again, who hasn't?
Going into his fourth start, Dan Haren is putting together a rather...well, pedestrian start in fantasy owner's eyes. After getting tagged for five runs in 6.2 innings during his second home start against the Pirates, Haren responded well at Dodger Stadium with seven strikeouts in six innings while allowing two earned runs (no decision). He's been solid at Chase Field during his two-plus years there, racking up a 19-11 record with a 3.12 ERA and microscopic 1.03 WHIP in 35 starts. All in all, he's fared well against the current Cardinals lineup. Matt Holliday has had his number, however, going 5 for 11 with 2 home runs during their previous meetings.
Final Prediction: Dan Haren