Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Know Your Enemy: May 1

The Astros come off the series-opening win against the Mets last night, and we're waiting with ba(i)ted breath to see if Brad Mills has a blackout and takes J.A. Happ out of the game after the first batter.

They'll face...

*6'4" 215lb 25-year old LHP Jon Niese.
*He was born on the same night that the Mets won the 1986 World Series.
*Niese was the 7th Round pick of the 2005 draft
*Niese is in the first year of a 5yr/$25.27m deal that will run through 2016, with team options for 2017 and 2018.
*He made his MLB debut on September 2, 2008 against the Brewers, and gave up a homer to Rickie Weeks - the first batter he faced.
*Niese is 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA (2.99 FIP, 3.14 xFIP) thus far in 2012.
*Niese has gone 6+ IP in each of his four starts, walking just seven batters out of the 101 he has faced.
*LHBs are hitting .105/.105/.158 in 19 plate appearances against Niese, while RHBs have a .235/.328/.314 line. He has only given up six extra-base hits this season.
*Both of the homers Niese has allowed have come on a 1-0 count (.636/.636/1.273 line on 1-0).
*OPS-against with 0 out: .922; With 1 out: .391; With 2 outs: .117.
*He is 1-1 in three starts against Houston, with a 1.80 ERA/1.25 WHIP, with 11K:7BB, and no homers allowed. The Astros are the only team Niese has faced 3+ times and not given up a jack.
*Against current Astros, he has only given up five hits (and that includes Wandy's 1x5). With Carlos and Wandy not playing tonight, Chris Johnson will be the only Astro to get a hit off Niese (2x6). Jordan Schafer is 0x8.

*The Astros will send out J.A. Happ tonight, who is looking for his 2nd win of the season, and first since April 9.
*Happ's ERA is 4.70, while his FIP is 4.30, and his xFIP is 3.70, and is suffering from a .344 BABIP.
*Happ has given up homers in each of his last three starts - including two in his last start, at Milwaukee on April 25.
*He has thrown 100+ pitches in 13 of his last 15 starts, but has gone 7+IP in just two of those starts.
*From when he joined the Astros, Houston is 14-31 in Happ's starts.
*In two home starts in 2012, Happ has a .791 OPS (.924 OPS on the road).
*With runners in scoring position, Happ has allowed a .185/.241/.195 line.
*Against the Mets, Happ has allowed a collective .300/.326/.750 line, with David Wright leading the way with a 1.841 OPS. Five of his six hits off Happ (2 doubles, 3 homers) have been for extra-bases. Position players are 12x34 against Happ, lifetime.

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