Here's a look at how the Yankees have done against tonight's Astros starter, Dallas Keuchel, so far in 2015: As a team, they batted .161/.175/.179/.354 in two games against Keuchel with a strikeout rate of 36.8% and a walk rate of just 1.8% (Yikes).
Here's their spray chart:
Nine hits - eight singles and one double. The double came off an 87 mph cutter, six of the singles came off fastballs that ranged between 88 - 90 mph and the other two singles were off an 87 mph cutter and an 80 mph changeup.
Here's their heat map against him:
As you can see, they can get to his stuff when he throws it over the plate because he doesn't have traditionally overpowering stuff.
And as you will see below, Keuchel thrives on his sinker.
This chart breaks down each pitch in his arsenal by percentage used. The sinker is far and away, his most reliable and most thrown pitch.
This chart shows the difference in velocity. As I already said, his fastball isn't overpowering with averages at just around 90 mph but his sinker also averages around the same velocity. There's a 10 mph difference between his fourseamer/sinker and his slider/changeup. He also has that cutter but if it floats over the plate, it can be hit.
In the two games the Yankees faced Keuchel (6/25 in Houston and 8/25 in New York), this is what Keuchel's called strike percentage looked like against Yankee lefties:
And what it looked like against righties:
Fun fact: Yankee righthanded batters hit .174 against Keuchel while lefties hit .100.
Overall this is where Keuchel's pitches go:
He likes the bottom corners or shall I say, his sinker likes the bottom corners of the zone.
This is where he pitches lefties:
And this is where he pitches righties:
He likes to bust righties inside and/or low. And he also likes to get them to chase balls low and away.
So what do the Yankee batters (lefty and righty) need to do in order to get to Dallas Keuchel and somehow win tonight's Wild Card game? You know, short of praying and/or resorting to voodoo? Laying off the sinker which is easier said than done.
Everyone just cross your fingers...
[Information courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info and Brooks Baseball]