The good news is that we get to see Stephen Vogt in left field today. Not Tyler Austin (who might have to undergo Tommy John surgery if he makes a throw from the outfield again), not Mac Williamson (who, so far, has had a worse season than Yangervis Solarte), and not Brandon Belt. Let’s just get weird. Left field doesn’t matter, especially against the Braves, who look unstoppable.
Julio Teheran made seven starts Opening Day through the end of April and posted a 5.35 ERA in 38.2 IP. He also allowed eight home runs in that span. Since the start of May, however, he’s a whole new dude. He’s allowed just one run in 17 IP, a 12:8 K:BB, 7 total hits, and a batting average on balls in play of .156. That’s on a fly ball/ground ball split of 25-20. He’s getting them out every way they can.
Also, he’s actually been very good against righties (.665 OPS). Lefties have a .726 OPS. He might not need to be that good tonight, given the lineup he’s got covering him.
Shaun Anderson had a solid major league debut last week against Toronto. A shocking number from his Statcast data: he threw his slider 37 times and with an average spin rate of 2,735 rpm. That’s well above the league average (2,090). Same deal with his four-seam fastball. League average spin rate: 2,226 rpm. Anderson’s: 2,501.
So, there’s some raw stuff there. Now it’s just about command and control and proper sequencing. The Braves have a much tougher lineup tonight than the one he faced against the Blue Jays (Vladimir Guerrero excepted), and I gulp just thinking about the gauntlet of the first four batters. Maybe he navigates Acuna and Swanson, but Freeman is one of the best their is and even if he survives him, Anderson might be tired enough to lay one out there for Donaldson to rip.
Or not, and this lineup scores 10 and makes it unnecessary for Anderson to be near-perfect to give the Giants a chance to win one of these four games.
2B — Joe Panik
LF — Stephen Vogt
C — Buster Posey
1B — Brandon Belt
3B — Evan Longoria
SS — Brandon Crawford
CF — Steven Duggar
RF — Kevin Pillar
SP — Shaun Anderson