Braves vs Marlins, Game Two: Pablo López Preview

Pablo López. Photo courtesy of Miami Herald

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The Braves look to bounce back tonight from the extra-inning 5-3 loss at the hands of Miami last night. They’ll be batting off a familiar face, in Pablo López.

Pablo López

The last time Atlanta faced López was during last year’s postseason sweep of Miami.

Pablo has a five-pitch arsenal: 4-Seam Fastball (38.6%), Changeup (27.8%), Sinker (15.8%), Cutter (10.8%), & Curveball (6.8%). His changeup is inside-heavy in righties, and thrown primarily at the bottom of the zone or just under it to lefties; his slider follows the same pattern. His cutter however, only has heat map traces high & inside for lefties (high & outside for righties). And he hasn’t thrown a curveball in the top half of the zone yet in 2021, so not much prospect in hoping for a hanging curve to take advantage of.

In terms of usage, he’s cut down on his changeup & sinker from last year, while bumping up his usage of the 4-seam & cutter. According to Baseball Savant, the pitchers he’s most similar to are: 2019 Michael Wacha, 2019 Brandon Kintzler, & 2018 Brandon McCarthy.

He throws a lot of strikes, which is what the Braves offense needs to get it going. López is the type of pitcher that Austin Riley could run into one against & get his 2021 going, because he’ll pound the strike-zone instead of going straight to getting batters to chase with two strikes.

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