Someday you get it, some day you don’t: the Ruby Ray slider

Troy Taormina – USA Today Sports

It has always been difficult for me to understand the volatility of a pitcher. Well, the volatility part is not difficult to understand, in fact, it is very simple. Playing in the big leagues is very difficult and one very small component off a pitcher can make up an entire outing. but what he It is difficult to understand what a small element is. Did a 1 mph drop on a quad tailor make everything go south? Or was it a matter of half an inch location? Is it even measurable? Like, what if it was just bad gas from last night’s chimichanga that kicked things off? Do you see where I’m going? I want to know why a pitcher does so well one day and so bad the next. For my first round of this, I’ll start slow and focus on just one show, narrowing the question to, Why is one show doing so well one day and bad the next? In today’s poll, I’ll be analyzing and comparing Robbie Ray’s July 3rd 2.6 wSL pval (display info) with the July 24th -3.4 wSL pVal team. Let’s have fun.

Robbie Ray’s gaming history page (sorted by wSL)


Eltayeb: July 3, 2022: Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners:
6.2 innings pitched, four hits, one home run (4 sewer), 12 hits.

Ray threw 51 sliders for a pVal score of 2.6 points. He has thrown a 48% pitching percentage overall and here’s how all his pitches are distributed:

Ray, mix 7/3 pitch


This is a good pVal score on the slider, but the rest of his game ran fine. He was pulled after giving up a home run, so fatigue probably set in. Let’s stick to plan and just focus on the slider. Here’s the concrete results chart for all sliders that finished at-bat:

Ruby Ray Pitch Chart - Slider, 7/3

Ray just loves to throw that slider down and in to right-handed hitters. Although it may seem strange for a left-handed bowler to throw so many sliders down and in to a right-handed batter, it is not so strange in today’s game. Percentages vary widely depending on where you go to find the information, but the best leaderboard I could find was there. Pitcher list. Here are the five best left-handed starting pitchers (minimum 150 IP) by using the slider for right-handed batters:

Leaders using LHP Slider to RHB

Noun F number MPH Usage rate SwStr% CS% %CSW
Clayton Kershaw 653 86.6 35.5% 23.4% 9.2% 32.6%
Kyle Nelson 208 84.4 35.1% 17.3% 9.6% 26.9%
Tucker Davidson 293 86.8 32.1% 16.0% 15.4% 31.4%
Robbie Ray 896 87.1 29.4% 19.6% 11.2% 30.8%
Alex Wood 604 84.4 27.0% 13.7% 16.4% 30.1%

Introduction of rubbish list

As it turned out, Ray did not face a left-handed batter in this game against the Athletics. Ray’s SwStr% on slider for the day was above average at 21.6%, catching 11 whiffs on 51 sliders thrown. Here is the visual:

Robbie Ray Pitch Chart - Slider Swing and Miss, 7/3

It’s crazy to see those sliders hanging out there in the middle of the area. Let’s see one:

It’s a good looking stadium and it just kind of hangs there. When Ray has a quadruple seam to put in the top of the area, hitters stay on their toes. All in all against the Athletics, Ray’s slider was great. Here is a comprehensive summary:

Ray Slider, July 3, Oakland @ Mariners

Average pitch speed turnover average average vertical interval The average horizontal interval number Sw% %CSW
86.7 2214 27 1 51 41 35

Source: World Baseball

The Bad: July 24, 2022: Houston Astros @ Seattle Mariners:
3 runs, 10 hits, six hits with two home runs (sinker and slider), and one strikeout.

Ray threw 11 sliders to accumulate a pVal of -3.4 points. He threw a 34% pitching percentage overall and here’s how all the pitches are distributed:

Ray, 7/24 pitch mix

Immediately we can see that it has reduced the use of the slider. Ray opened the game on a low note, what I thought it was in a good positionSinker smoked it Jose Altuve. Did that unexpected start, albeit an Altuve one, affect Ray’s game? Well, it was a plunger, not a slider, so we can’t directly analyze its impact. Here is what happened to the Ray sliders that were thrown to the right:

Robbie Ray's Pitch Chart - 4-Layer Results, 7/24

Against athletics, Ray’s slider didn’t hurt. Against the Astros, well, he got hurt. Ray faced a left-handed batter, Kyle Tucker, in this game against the Astros and he threw Tucker sliders, but none of those pitches ended in a hit. It was well located, but Tucker was able to successfully connect or take the pitch.

Robbie Ray Pitch Chart - Results Slider (LHB), 7/24

No, it wasn’t lefty Tucker who did the damage. was from the right. Two doubles, a single and a home run, can hit the pVal for the day, and when no good things happen, there’s no way to get points out of the basement level. Remember the picture from the A-game with all those pink dots swinging in the heart of the area? The Astros didn’t make any of those. He hit three called strikes on sliders that were very well placed:

Robbie Ray's Pitch Chart - Strikes Called, 7/24

If these two low items in the area called strikes were low enough to deceive batters, this was not:

In this at-bat, the slam dunk right after Altuve’s home run, Ray threw one sinker to start the batter and then threw five straight slides and put out the fifth. In that sense, Altuve’s home run doesn’t seem to make Ray give up his slider, but he certainly slowed down in use after Pena at-bat:

Presentation Planner by Robbie Ray/Jeremy Pena, 7/24

So the Astros’ hitters were better, right? yes. In 2022, Auckland’s top-flight team had the league’s worst percentage of 93.4. The Astros fell into the middle of MLB with a -10.1 mark. best team? The St. Louis Cardinals crushed the sliders in 2022 with a 22.9 WSL. So, there is one theory. The Astros were only better and wouldn’t let any sliders hang in the area.

Ray Slider, July 24, Astros @ Mariners

Average pitch speed turnover average average vertical interval The average horizontal interval number Sw% %CSW
87.3 2273 27 1 21 0 14

Source: World Baseball


Note how the Ray slider performed quite the same across games from a vertical and horizontal movement standpoint. This is the scientists’ measurement but even if we turn to Brooks baseball data to compare pitch qualities, we see similar things. Here is a comparison on slider performance across these two games:

Robbie Ray, Slider Game Comparisons

Game Medium speed maximum speed The average horizontal interval Vertical interval average number named strikes swinging blows
July 3, Oakland @ Mariners 86.5 88.8 -0.9 4.26 51 7 11
July 24, Astros @ Mariners 86.8 89.5 -0.83 3.44 21 3 0

Source: Brooks Baseball

I don’t think the vertical separator difference is enough to make a big impact but it could be. The difference really lies in the way Brooks (pitch info) and Savant (statcast) measure the break. Savant gives a larger measurement distance than Brooks does, so the flag measures larger, and has more time/distance to level. No, the slider seemed to move roughly between the two days. I think it’s much simpler than the deep physical traits that make the pitch. Ray faced two tougher hitters and let a lot of sliders into the area.

Discipline Comparison Slider Robbie Ray

Area% Z-swing swing %
July 3, Oakland @ Mariners 45 74 36
July 24, Astros @ Mariners 48 80 9

Source: World Baseball

deductive? Someday you have it, some day you don’t, and advanced exploration is a good thing. Sure, the Astros were poised to see a lot of sliders down and right, and if that’s what they were looking for, just imagine what tasty it would look like to be a little further out in the area. This is, in essence, the most complex part of playing fantasy baseball; Try to predict and catch this before it happens. Had you started Ray against an A and reaped the benefits of that stellar journey, you might have ridden so high and not even thought about making his next start. But, if you do, and make that decision/analysis on a micro level, you rule. Just try to do it again.

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