Brewers' Thames primed for success against Samardzija's slider
San Francisco Giants starter Jeff Samardzija has thrown his slider 24 percent of the time this season.
He may want to lay off that particular pitch when Eric Thames steps into the batter's box Monday.
Thames is among the league's most effective sluggers when presented with a slider, and has an .842 slugging percentage against the pitch this season, up from his usual .273/.413/.605 slash line.
|Player||Team||Slugging % vs. slider|
*Minimum 15 at bats
But while showing Thames a slider may be a questionable decision at any time, Samardzija should probably avoid the pitch entirely in the first inning.
Thames and Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw have been among the league's most effective hitters this season in the first.
|Player||Team||1st inning OPS|
*Minimum 25 plate appearances
Samardzija and the Giants will have to deal with Brewers starter Junior Guerra, who has been one of the league's best success stories since breaking into the majors in Milwaukee last year.
Guerra has the National League's second-best record since last season amongst pitchers with at least 12 decisions at 10-3.
*Minimum 12 decision
Guerra has started just three games for the Brewers this season after suffering a calf strain on Opening Day but has pitched well since returning to the rotation, and has a 1.84 ERA in 14 2/3 innings pitched this year.
Statistics courtesy of STATS LLC