Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Scouting Report: Astros at Nationals (5/5)

Businessman's special! Woo-hoo!

Here's my look at Houston's game two starter and prediction. You can check out my preview of the series here for breakdowns on their hitters and bullpen.

On the Mound
Roy Oswalt: He's one of the great pitchers of our time. In his best years, he's had outstanding command, a mid-90s fastball, and a filthy slow curve. His strikeout rates have never been overpowering, but he gets a ton of groundballs, doesn't walk anybody, and strikes out his share.

But although he's just 31, he's got a lot of mileage on him, has had some nagging injuries the last few years, and his ERA has risen every year since Houston won the NL in 2005. He's still a wonderful pitcher, and he finished last season with a 93.1-inning, 2.22 ERA flourish. But I tend to think that Oswalt will fade fast, and if not this year, then probably next.

Fearless Prediction
Season record: 15-9
Olsen will get his ERA below 6 facing the worst offense in the league, but the Astros come away with the split, 4-3.


Sasskuash said...

Has Roy Oswalt's FIP risen significantly since the Astros won the NL pennate? How much is the fact that the Astros have been fielding worse baseball teams since that year impacted Oswalt's rising ERA?

Yes, I am too lazy right now to look these answers up myself...

Basil said...

His FIP has risen somewhat steadily in recent seasons, yes. Some of this other alt.nerd.fangraphs.obsessive numbers have more or less remained constant, e.g., his FB velocity has hovered near his career mark of 93 mph.

Good call on the prediction last night, FJB. Looked like a shaky one until the middle innings, when things opened up (not to a 12-2 degree, but whatever).