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Friday, October 22, 2010
One big thing in ALCS Game 6

By Katie Sharp

HOW DO WE KNOW THAT A-ROD WILL DELIVER IN GAME 6?

Alex Rodriguez
Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez is having one of the worst postseasons of his career, hitting .214 with three RBI and no homers in 28 at-bats. The only postseason in which he posted a lower OPS than his current .574 mark was in 2006 (.204). So how do we know that Rodriguez will turn it around tonight in Texas?

1. He is facing a right-handed starting pitcher.

This postseason, Rodriguez has faced a righty 17 times and a lefty 17 times, but the results have been remarkably different. Rodriguez has had no trouble tagging the northpaws, with five hits in 14 at-bats (.357) and just one strikeout. He’s really struggled against southpaws, though, managing just a single hit in 14 at-bats (.071) while getting punched out four times.

2. Colby Lewis is a flyball pitcher.

During the regular season, 61.4 percent of the balls hit in play against Lewis were flies (MLB average is 55.6 percent), and he had a groundout-to-flyout ratio of 0.76, well below the MLB average of 1.07. Rodriguez during the regular season crushed flyball pitchers like Lewis, who get more outs in the air than on the ground. His .561 slugging percentage and .901 OPS against flyball pitchers both dwarfed the major-league averages of .411 and .735.

3. Rodriguez is back in Texas.

Although he has just two hits in 10 at-bats at Rangers Ballpark during this series, A-Rod really enjoyed his trips to the Lone Star state in the regular season. In four games there he posted a .316/.409/.632 line over 22 at-bats, with four of his six hits going for extra bases.