Pablo Lopez has enjoyed a dominant start to the season, but finally looked human last game vs the Nats. He only went 3 innings, allowing 4 hits, 3 walks and 3 earned runs. He only struck out two batters. It was not pretty, but a necessary occurrence for us to get today’s 5.5 line at solid odds. I like Pablo to bounce back tonight vs Tampa.
In the early season, he has struck out 48 in 46 innings (1.04 K per inning). It does get slightly worse on the road so far as he has 19 innings and 17 K (.89 K per inning). While I would like that number to be higher, I am encouraged by his 3 road matchups vs the Nats, Padres, and Giants. All three teams are in the bottom 11 in K% vs righties over the last 30 days. Today’s matchup is a different story. Tampa has a 25.0% K rate vs righties for the season .They are 11th in K per game, and coming off a game with 12 strikeouts. They have the 6th worst whiff% and they are 5th worst in chase contact %. Pablo will have several solid targets in this lineup to send down on strikes.
Pablo has been elite in many aspects of pitching this season. He is in the 78th percentile in average exit velocity, 84th percentile in hard hit %, and 72nd percentile in walk rate. Batters have a very tough time making solid contact on his pitches, and he does not allow many free passes. His strikeout relevant analytics are just as encouraging. He is in the 73rd percentile in K%, 80th percentile in whiff%, and 89th percentile in chase rate. I think Pablo takes advantage of a free swinging Rays lineup today and racks up 6+ K.