Open Thread 5/8: Braves @ Reds

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
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Nothing like some early afternoon Braves baseball. Mike Minor takes on Mike Leake in the series finale. First pitch is set for 12:35 PM EDT. Atlanta's lineup:

  1. Jordan Schafer, CF
  2. Andrelton Simmons, SS
  3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
  4. Evan Gattis, LF
  5. Dan Uggla, 2B
  6. Juan Francisco, 3B
  7. Reed Johnson, RF
  8. Gerald Laird, C
  9. Mike Minor, P
Leake enters the game with a 4.15 ERA, 3.98 FIP, and 4.32 xFIP on the season to go with a ground ball rate of 51.7%, up slightly from his career average of 49.1%. He's never been much of a strikeout pitcher, and that is certainly the case this year as his 14.4% strikeout rate shows. His walks are also up at 7.7%, a one percent jump from his career walk percentage.

In terms of stuff, he throws six pitches. His four main pitchers are a sinker (average velocity of 90.62 mph), cutter (88 mph), curveball (78.13 mph), changeup (84.22 mph). He'll also mix in a slider (80.47 mph) 6% of the time and a four-seam fastball (91.37 mph) 4% of the time.

He works off his sinker, throwing it half the time overall. Atlanta hitters should look for it first pitch, as he throws it as the initial offering 68% of the time to left-handed hitters and 71% of the time to right-handed hitters. He'll continue to use it when he's behind or even in the count to either handed hitter, but usage decreases once he gets the advantage.

Leake uses his cutter more against LHH's, and basically in any count but especially when he falls behind or when he has two strikes and is ahead of the batter. Against RHH's, he's most likely to throw it just when he's ahead in the count or has two strikes on the hitter. His slide is almost exclusive to RHH's, and he throws it about a fifth of the time overall with two strikes or when he's ahead in the count.

Look for his changeup about an equal amount to either handed batters, but not as the first offering or with two strikes. Leake likes to mix in his four-seam as a two strike offering as well to LHH's; about 20% of the time in that situation.

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