As the Dodgers enter the third week of the season, they are set to take on the division rival Giants. The biggest strength of this Giants team is arguably their pitching staff which is headlined by ace Logan Webb. The right hander, who the Dodgers will be seeing in this series, has gotten off to a rough start this season pitching to a 6.55 ERA over 11 innings. If there was a silver lining for him it is that he has 16 strikeouts compared to just 2 walks. Down below we are going to break down the 2022 pitching metrics for the righty to give us an idea of what to expect.
Starting next week, we will be using 2023 data.
Pitch #1 Sinker: 32.9 percent usage rate
2022 stats - .303 xBA, .440 xSLG, .358 xwOBA
Average velo - 91.8 MPH - Spin rate - 1,881 RPM - vertical movement - 34.8 inches (8.7 inches above average) - horizontal movement - 14.8 inches
Hitters don’t struggle against this pitch, but Webb continues to make it the leader of his arsenal. The average exit velocity against this pitch was 90.7 MPH, which makes this an outlier pitch as traditionally sinkers are used to generate softer contact. It had the ground aspect down pat as the average launch angle against it was -4 degrees and the ground ball rate was66.8 percent, his second highest numbers amongst his pitches. If Webb throws this pitch, there is a high probability it will be a strike. The in-zone percentage on the pitch was 65.3 percent, 22.8 percent higher than his changeup and 24.8 percent above his slider. When thrown outside the strike zone, hitters rarely offered at it with just a chase percentage of 20.3 percent.
Pitch #2 Slider: 32.7 percent usage rate
2022 stats - .203 xBA, .331 xSLG, .253 xwOBA
Average velo - 82.5 MPH - Spin rate - 2,628 RPM - vertical movement - 39.4 inches - horizontal movement - 10.2 inches
Far and away his best pitch, the slider, is Webb’s go-to pitch to throw when ahead in the count as he threw it 39.7 percent of the time in that scenario. He does this largely in part due to how often he can generate whiffs with the pitch as the swing and miss rate for it sat at 31.1 percent. Unlike his sinker, this is a pitch that is rarely thrown in the zone as the out of zone percentage on it was 59.5 percent last season. Hitters struggled mightily to make hard contact on this pitch last season as it had a hard-hit percentage of 24.4 percent, the lowest of any of his offerings. Right-handers in the Dodgers' lineup should expect to see this pitch frequently as he threw it 605 times to righties compared to just 377 times against lefties.
Pitch #3 Changeup: 31.2 percent usage rate
2022 stats - .239 xBA, .330 xSLG, .276 xwOBA
Average velo - 86.4 MPH - Spin rate - 1,493 RPM - vertical movement - 42.0 inches (6.3 inches above average) - horizontal movement - 7.1 inches (6.5 inches
His changeup gives Webb a solid second offering to attack hitters with. Like his sinker, he was able to consistently get hitters to put this pitch into the ground with a launch angle of -4 degrees on it and a ground ball percentage of 67.7 percent. Like his slider though it forced a high rate of chases at 43.6 percent whilst also forcing a higher whiff rate at 26.6 percent. It performed slightly worse against lefties than righties last season as it had an xBA of .245 to lefties compared to a .228 against right-handed hitters. Despite that though, the lefties in the Dodges lineup should expect to see this pitch consistently. He threw it 39.4 percent of the time when facing left-handed batters.
Did not include his four-seam fastball which was only used 3.2 percent of the time and thrown 97 times last season.
Key matchup to watch: Freddie Freeman
Webb has faced the Dodgers first baseman 21 times in his career with the former MVP winner going 10-for-20 against him with a home run, double, and walk. Freeman mashed sinkers, sliders and changeups last year with a run value of +9 or better against every pitch. Webb will likely attack Freeman with a steady diet of changeups in this one, but do not expect for him to have much, if any success with that approach. Look for Freeman to have a big day at the plate with at least one extra base hit against the Giants starter.
Prediction: Webb throws five innings, allowing one walk and three earned runs whilst striking out six.