Home Opener! Florida's Ricky Nolasco takes the mound tonight. What should you know?
*Nolasco traditionally throws a fastball at about 91mph, and he threw it 49.2% of the time in 2010 (though in his first start of the season, he threw it for 57.1%). He also throws a slider (23.1% in 2010) at 84.5mph, a curve (15.9% in 2010), and mixes in a split-finger fastball (11.8% in 2010) at 85mph. Nolasco got batters to chase outside the zone in 33.1% of PAs in 2010, and 43.8% in his 1st start of 2011.
*He's 3-1 against the Astros in five games (four starts) with an ungodly 6.26 ERA/1.50 WHIP, though with 10K:3BB. At Minute Maid, he's 2-0 in three games (two starts), with a 3.71 ERA/0.88 WHIP, allowing 11H/7ER, 14K:4BB in 17IP.
*Current Astros are 12x53 against Nolasco (.226/.250/.528), with Hunter Pence tagging him for 3x10 (all homers) and a walk in 11 plate appearances.
*On the road, he's 34-19 for a 4.15 ERA/1.23 WHIP - over half a run better than at whatever stadium the Marlins play at.
*With the batter ahead in the count, they knock him to a .335/.462/.620 line; while when he's ahead, opponents hit .206/.211/.306.
*And Nolasco can clamp down. With 0 out, his OPSa is .817. With 1 out, it's .715. With 2 outs it's .697.
*It's also strange that, first time through the lineup, opponents have a .756 OPS, while the 2nd time through opponents have a .698 OPS. Third time through, that's an .802 OPS.