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The Pitch-Mix; What Could Go Right

Posted: 2021-03-31 07:39:11 (ET)    [ 536 views ]

Opening Day for MLB is shaping up to be historic. 

Normally, most of the teams open after having several games within their own division, or against one or more of their farm clubs.  These games can introduce greater pitch movement (tail-off) to the hitters a few days ahead of the opening due to colder air than in spring training games. 

This year, every team is opening on the same day after no games against farm clubs in colder locations.  Only the Dodgers and Texas had games against the Angels and the Brewers respecitively ahead of opening day.  And those games were in warmer locations.

If you take a look at the Report for tomorrow on this website under "Pitcher's ADI's" you will see that almost all games are going to be played in an extremely different environment from Spring Training.  The VMI's show which teams are further or lesser outside the hitters' more recent experience in terms of how the pitch will fly toward the strike zone.  These VMI's are extremely high, especially on the negative side of zero.  That means that the 4-seam fastball will look ridiculous to the hitters as they struggle to swing high enough to catch up. 

The cold air in the opening locations will have a dramatic effect on late pitch movement.  The hitters will struggle mightily against the 4-seam fastball.  The pitchers will also struggle to keep their pitches in the zone.  The 2-seamer will have exceptional movement horizontally, but will not lift as much as the 4-seam toward the end of the pitch.  Someone is likely to get injured with fingers broken on that pitch--maybe more than one! 

Here is a perfect example of the Reverse pitcher being in trouble and the Loose pitcher (see Pitch-Mix) helping the hitter with curves and change-ups.  Look closely on the detailed-matchups report for pitcher's tendencies to use too many Loose or Reverse pitches.  It will be a historic day in my opinion.


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