5 Statcast facts to know for NL Wild Card

October 2nd, 2017

The Rockies and D-backs have battled all season long in the National League West, and now they'll battle one more time to extend their seasons.

A matchup that's been virtually untouched since the start of July finally comes to fruition tonight at Chase Field, when these two divisional rivals meet in the NL Wild Card Game at 8 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. MT on TBS. Plenty is at stake for both clubs, given their recent history. The Rockies haven't won a postseason series since their improbable run to the 2007 World Series. The D-backs have waited the same length since their last postseason series win.

As these two clubs circled the each other all season, Statcast™ tracked their every step. With that in mind, here are five key Statcast™ facts to know about this matchup:

1. may be MLB's most lethal run producer

History says Arenado is the first player to record 130 RBIs in three straight seasons since (2006-09), and Statcast™ says it's because Arenado clubs as much productive contact as anyone with runs on the line. Over the first three seasons of Statcast™, only J.D. Martinez, now powering the D-backs, and have hit a higher rate of barrels and solid contact balls (the two most productive types of contact a hitter can produce) with runners in scoring position than Arenado, and the Rockies' third baseman has posted the highest weighted on-base average of anyone in those RISP moments over the past three years.

Highest wOBA with RISP, 2015-17

Min. 250 ABs decided with RISP

1. Nolan Arenado: .489

2. Joey Votto: .477

3. : .472

4. Freddie Freeman: .464

5. : .447

Highest rate of barrels+solid contact balls hit with RISP, 2015-17

Min. 250 balls put in play with RISP

1. J.D. Martinez: 26.3%

2. Khris Davis: 22.6%

3. Nolan Arenado: 21.4%

4. : 19.4%

5. : 19.3%

:: NL Wild Card Game schedule and coverage ::

2. Zack Greinke doesn't need the radar gun

Remember when we were all concerned about Greinke's low velocity readings in Spring Training?

By now, we should know that velocity is far from everything when it comes to Greinke and his superb command over his pitches. Greinke's slider a step forward in 2017, helping him to record both the third-most swings and misses and the eighth-highest rate of "poor" contact, as defined by Statcast™ (balls hit under, topped or otherwise weakly hit) induced on offspeed pitches among all qualified starting pitchers.

Most swinging strikes recorded with offspeed pitches, 2017

  1. Max Scherzer: 347

  2. Chris Archer: 345

    3. Zack Greinke: 341

  3. : 338

  4. Chris Sale: 311

    Highest rate of "poor contact" induced with offspeed pitches, SP, 2017

    Min. 150 batted balls induced on offspeed pitches

  5. Alex Wood: 72.3 percent

  6. Max Scherzer: 71.1 percent

  7. : 71.0 percent

  8. Carlos Carrasco: 70.9 percent

  9. : 70.8 percent

  10. : 70.5 percent

  11. : 70.4 percent

    8. Zack Greinke: 70.2 percent

  12. : 70.0 percent

  13. Matthew Boyd: 69.5 percent

    3. The Rockies may be perfectly suited for D-backs starters



    Greinke loves to make hitters chase his breaking pitches at the bottom of the strike zone or below. So do fellow starters , and Robbie Ray, who could all make an appearance in relief in this winner-take-all showdown. As it turns out, the Rockies possess two of the Majors' most adept hitters -- DJ LeMahieu and NL MVP candidate Charlie Blackmon -- at going down and turning breaking balls in the lower third of the strike zone and below into hits.

    Highest swing percentage induced on breaking balls in lower-third of strike zone and below, SP, 2017

    Min. 400 breaking balls thrown in lower-third or below as a SP

  14. : 57.5 percent

  15. : 56.2 percent

  16. Aaron Nola: 55.2 percent

    4. Zack Godley: percent

  17. Chris Archer: 53.4 percent

    11. Zack Greinke: 50.1 percent

    13. Patrick Corbin: 49.0 percent

    20-T. Robbie Ray: 46.8 percent

    Highest batting average against breaking balls in lower-third of strike zone and below, 2017

    Min. 50 ABs decided on breaking balls in lower-third and below

    1. DJ LeMahieu: .341

  18. : .338

    3. Charlie Blackmon: .330

  19. : .300

  20. : .295

    4. J.D. was the steal of the summer



    The D-backs' acquisition of Martinez implied they were serious about making a postseason run, but while Martinez was firmly established in Detroit, it's doubtful anyone could've seen the power boost he'd bring to the desert. In clubbing 29 homers in 62 games for Arizona, Martinez shattered the previous record for most dingers hit by a player for his new team while being traded on or after July 1 (Mark McGwire, 24 for St. Louis in 1997). Martinez homered on more than 5 percent of all the swings he took after debuting for the D-backs on July 19, a rate topped only by and A's phenom in that span. Better yet, Martinez recorded a barrel on close to 23 percent of all the balls he put in play for Arizona, again the third-best rate in baseball after the trade.

    As the 2017 postseason begins, the tournament's most lethal power hitter may reside in Phoenix.

    Highest rate of home runs per swing, since Martinez's D-backs debut on July 19

    Min. 250 swings

  21. Matt Olson: 6.8 percent

  22. Giancarlo Stanton: 6.4 percent

    3. J.D. Martinez: 5.4 percent

  23. Josh Donaldson: 4.9 percent

  24. : 4.8 percent

    Highest rate of barrels per batted ball since July 19

    Min. 100 balls in play

  25. : 27.9 percent

  26. Joey Gallo: 24.6 percent

    3. J.D. Martinez: 22.6 percent

  27. Giancarlo Stanton: 18.7 percent

    5-T. Josh Donaldson: 16.8 percent

    5-T. Matt Olson: 16.8 percent

    5-T. : 16.8 percent

    5. Goldy can handle the heat



    Goldschmidt threw himself back into the NL MVP Award discussion after a subpar season by his lofty standards in 2016. The star first baseman consistently did damage all season in the heart of the D-backs' lineup, particularly against Ol' No. 1. Among all full-time hitters, only Judge hit more barrels -- or the most productive batted ball whose ideal exit velocity/launch angle combination most often leads to extra-base hits -- and posted a higher slugging percentage against four-seam, two-seam and sinking fastballs than Goldschmidt. That will come in handy against Rockies starter , whose fastball sits at 95 mph.

    Most barrels hit vs. fastballs*

  28. Aaron Judge: 56

    2-T. Paul Goldschmidt: 41

    2-T. Khris Davis: 41

    4-T. Nelson Cruz: 39

    4-T. Giancarlo Stanton: 39

    Highest slugging percentage against fastballs*

    Min. 200 at-bats decided on fastballs*

  29. Aaron Judge: .738

    2. Paul Goldschmidt: .700

    3. Nolan Arenado: .698

  30. : .688

    4-T. : .681

    4-T. Nelson Cruz: .681

    *Includes four-seamers, two-seamers and sinkers