Thursday, May 21, 2015

Grape Jelly Series 2015, What to Look For, Stat Madness

The weary Biscuits return to the oven just in time for a holiday homestand. Thirsty Thursday, three fireworks nights and a Memorial Day Monday Noontime contest make for a busy five game series. Its also one of those series with four different start times, which makes it harder for teams to get into a rhythm.

Its been a tough stretch for the Montgomery nine as it faces the two fiercest Southern League squads in back to back series - Chattanooga and the Tennessee Smokies. It wouldn't be so tough if the Biscuits liked home cooking, but so far they have shown no more love for the Gump than the road.

The Chicago affiliate Smokies are often loaded with prospects, and this roster is no different. Topped by pitcher Carl Edwards and catcher Kyle Schwarber, there is an array of top talent on the Smokies team.


The home team will score runs, but Montgomery is among the league worst in allowing runners to tour the pillows. Ten times in the last two weeks the Biscuits have allowed five runs or more, winning just once when the opposition scores often.

Look for the Biscuits to test their new bullpen arms and shuffle their starting pitchers as Brady Williams searches for the right combination.

Look for Smokies swagger. The Cubs affiliate has been teaching its players to win every pitch at every level and it shows in their attitude.

Also, be sure to look for the Smokies flow. Perhaps the best team in the minors in terms of locks, the Smokies have manly tresses that give them strength along the lines of Samson or viking invaders.

On the topic of hair, look for Mustache May to be in full effect for both teams.

We should look for the Biscuits to open a can of whupass at some point, plating seven runs or more in at least one game in each series this month.

Look for the Smokies to keep pace with run scoring, on paper the two teams have comparable slugging and power stats. This series will rest on the pitching staff strength, especially the bullpens.

STAT MADNESS - Richie Shaffer
hits vs rhp
Keep an eye on Richie Shaffer, if he figures out how to hit the ball to right field, he will be a truly dangerous hitter. A first round pick, Shaffer is having a good season in his second tour with the Biscuits, and we look at his stats and splits for more info on the Montgomery third sacker.

For the most part he is wearing out the left side of the field against right handed pitchers, as seen in his spray chart above. Most of his success is against right handed pitchers, batting a solid .272 against them.

Against lefties Shaffer only has four hits in 18 at bats, but two of his hits vs LHP are home runs.

He has fallen off a little after a strong start to the season, but Shaffer is one of the few Biscuits who don't flake out at home. His home/road batting averages show that he loves Riverwalk, hitting over .300 at home.

Shaffer is yet to hit a home run anywhere else this year, all his bombs coming while wearing Biscuit home whites.

Shaffer has not been caught stealing, with his three attempts all coming in the month of May.

Shaffer has just six no-strikeout games this year, but Thursday has a chance to be Richie's first three-game streak with no K's this season, if he can avoid the whiffs.


I'm not sure dudes arm should have a lump like that.

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