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Pitcher Preview: Kevin Correia vs John Lackey

Does Kevin Correia only pitch on days that I'm going game thread duties?

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Correia

#30 / Pitcher / Minnesota Twins





Aug 24, 1980

According to Bref, Corriea is already worth 1.3 wins above replacement on the season. Which puts him on pace for a 7.8-win season. Obviously that's not going to happen, but the most realistic Twins fans on the planet probably expected Correia to be worth between one and two WAR. Hell, if he stopped today, this would be the third-highest WAR accumulation in a season for his career.

We've mentioned on multiple occasions that April is Correia's best month, and that's been true consistently throughout his career. September and October are right there, too. If the circumstantial evidence says that Correia is more effective in cooler months, then how worried should we be about the next four months?

It's been raining in Boston all day, so I can't guarantee that tonight's game will happen. But if it does, temperatures will be in the lower 60s to start the game and won't get significantly cooler before the likely end of Correia's night. Boston's offense will also be looking for a little revenge after last night's drubbing. I feel like every start from now on in which Correia continues to post an Ace-like ERA is essentially living on borrowed time, but I won't mind him pushing that calendar back one more start. Be aggressive, Correia.

John Lackey

#41 / Pitcher / Boston Red Sox





Oct 23, 1978

Slack-jawed yokel Lackey has posted good numbers in his three starts this season, but Red Sox fans probably shouldn't be too excited. His best start came against the Astros, and on the occasion where he struck out eight batters he wasn't able to get through the fifth inning. His last time out, against the Rangers in Texas, he was thoroughly lackluster.

Only Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau have any history against Lackey worth mentioning, and Mauer has owned him. Considering how well Mauer has been bouncing balls off the fences in Fenway this series, I'd be surprised if he didn't have another big night tonight.

Against lefties this year, Lackey has tried to go high-low. He'll move all over the plate with his fastball, goes at the knees or lower with this curve and changeup (unless he plants a nice curve over the outer half), and then can try to catch hitters off balance be throwing his slider through the zone. Against right-handed hitters he's exclusively down-and-away with his fastball, but doesn't place his curve quite as well. He'll hang them inside. He typically doesn't throw his cutter to righties, but compensates with more sliders breaking away.

They like to say that pitchers usually have an advantage the first time they face a batter, simply because it's a new line of sight and players haven't seen his stuff. But considering that his breaking stuff hasn't been as consistently strong over the last few years, I wonder if it's going to be easier for new batters to get a lock on him. Hopefully that's what happens tonight.