Expect Albert Pujols to see off-speed stuff


ARLINGTON, Texas -- When Yu Darvish faces Albert Pujols for the first time Friday. ESPN Stats & Info expects Darvish to throw Pujols something other than fastballs. Here's part of that thinking:

Darvish has many pitches, including two different curveballs. Almost 15 percent of Darvish’s pitches this season (98 of 661) have been curveballs, and opponents are hitting just .059 against it. That’s the lowest batting average this season against a pitcher who has thrown at least 75 curveballs.

Darvish has been tough on right-handed hitters this season (.196 BA, 9-46), which does not bode well for the struggling Albert Pujols.

Based on the numbers, Pujols can expect to see a heavy diet of off-speed pitches from Darvish. Pujols is hitting .239 against fastballs and .125 against off-speed pitches (changeups, curves, sliders).

As good as Darvish is against righties, left-handed bats have teed off on his fastball. Left-handed batters are hitting .457 against his heater, another reason why the Angels might see a lot of off-speed pitches from Darvish.

There's lots of good C.J. Wilson-Darvish stuff in the complete post here.