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Today, I’ll be projecting the expected pitches, strikes and strikeouts for Clayton Kershaw tonight against the Atlanta Braves. Kershaw is one of three pitchers (Chris Sale, Max Scherzer) in the “Awesemo.com Presents: $1,000,000 Perfect Line Bonus + $5,000GTD – Golden Boy ($2,000 to 1st!!!)“.
Your PlayLine predictions are scored according to the chart below. It’s really simple. The closer your PlayLine is to the athlete’s actual performance, the more points you get. The more points you get, the better your chances of winning!
You will receive PlayLine points each time the featured athlete registers a stat that you predicted will occur. Once the athlete’s actual stat total in a particular category goes over your prediction, you will no longer receive additional per stat PlayLine points.
If you’ve been reading these articles for our NBA PlayLine contests, you’ll know we discussed correlations between stats. The process is similar in baseball, but the correlations are a bit more obvious. The three scoring categories (pitches, strikes and strikeouts) all have high positive correlations with each other. Clearly, the more pitches you throw, the more they will be strikes, and as you throw more strikes, you’ll get more strikeouts.
This morning, I took a look at Kershaw’s game logs from 2017 & 2018 to get an idea of his baseline. Below you’ll find his averages and standard deviations over that sample.
Average: 91 pitches, 62 strikes, 7.0 strikeouts
Standard Deviations: 18 pitches, 12 strikes, 2.8 strikeouts
For tonight’s game against the Braves, my model has Kershaw with 6.9 strikeouts, which is a match for his average performance over the past 1.5 years. Kershaw has not really been himself this season, so I’m a bit apprehensive of a big Kershaw game. The Braves have been good against lefties this year, with a 117 wRC+ to go with above average SLG and ISO rates. They’ve also struck out less than average this season. Ronald Acuna and Tyler Flowers are the only guys in the Braves line-up that project to strikeout more than league average. For those reasons, I’m going to be a bit pessimistic on Kershaw‘s outcome. For right now, my placeholder on PlayLine looks like this:
91 pitches, 59 strikes, 6 strikeouts.
This is still a solid game, but well below the stand we are expecting from Kershaw. My assumption is that this will be a valuable place to be, with more action coming in north of his averages. Next week, we’ll take a look at the ownership for Kershaw to see where we went “right” and “wrong”.
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