Date: Saturday, May 1, 2021
When: 6:35 PM ET
Pitching Matchup: Trevor Cahill (7.11 ERA, 3.24 FIP) vs Jack Flaherty (3.18 ERA, 3.71 FIP)
Despite an ugly ERA, Trevor Cahill has pitched well for the Pittsburgh Pirates thus far this season. In his 4 starts Cahill has pitched 19 innings, walking just 6.0%, striking out 22.9% and he’s allowed just 2 home runs (0.95 HR/9).
Cahill allowed 7 earned runs in his first start of the season against the Reds. Since then he has pitched 15 innings in his last 3 starts. In these 15 innings he has not allowed a home run, walked 5 batters and struck out 15.
Driving Cahill’s success has been the spin and movement on his pitches. His curveball spin rate is in the 96th percentile in baseball. Opposing batters are hitting for a slash line of .211/.249/.263 off f his curveball, his cutter has also been a plus pitch with an opposing slash line of .133/.253/.400. These two pitches have helped Cahill find himself in the 62nd percentile of baseball in chase rate and in the 50th percentile of whiff rate this season.
While Flaherty is off to a strong start this season he does appear to be a bit of a regression candidate. His batting average on balls in play is just .222, which indicates he has benefited from good luck/defense. His exit velocity of 91.5 MPH and hard hit rate of 41.3% are both higher than league average, as is his 8.0% barrel rate.
Hopefully, Flaherty’s regression will begin on Saturday night.