Personal history and numbers don't always guide on-field performance, but they can give us a quick insight into who carries the advantage -- if ever so slight -- into a particular game. Tale O' Tape breaks down the starting pitchers to find an edge.
Personally - It was a roller-coaster campaign for Myers this season, low-lighted by a trip to the minor leagues. It did seem to work, however, because once he returned he put together an incredible eight game stretch. From late July through September 5th, Myers went 6-1 with a 1.23 ERA, with 54 strikeouts and only 10 walks in 58 1/3 innings. He also threw a complete game gem over the Brewers on September 14th, however, the other three outings after the 5th were subpar, including an abominable 10 earned run outing on the 19th against the Marlins. His last outing was a seven inning victory over the Brewers in the NLDS, where he allowed only two hits, three walks, and two earned runs. Control has been the biggest issue. If he's throwing strikes, the Phils are in for a good night.
Home Splits - Good thing for Phils fans he's going at home. The home ERA is 3.01 compared to 6.21 on the road. He's certainly comfortable within the confines of Citizen's Bank Park. He's even less susceptible to the long-ball at home.
History against LA - This season Myers has only allowed three earned runs in 14 innings against the boys in blue -- which figures to a 1.93 ERA. He's struck out 16 and walked five. It should be noted that both his outings came during his hot stretch, and both came after the Dodgers had already remade their lineup with Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake.
Vs. specific hitters - Please note these are all career numbers. Manny Ramirez has two doubles and a home run, but that's in 19 at-bats, and those are his only three hits (.158). The .713 OPS for Manny against Myers is quite below his norm. On the other hand, Jeff Kent owns Myers ... sporting a .368 average and 1.113 OPS in 21 plate appearances. Don't be surprised if Joe Torre goes with Kent over Blake DeWitt tonight, who has never faced Myers (generally, if you've never faced each other, that's advantageous for the pitcher). Andre Ethier is 1-7, while Casey Blake and James Loney are both 1-6 against Myers. Russell Martin is 3-9, and Matt Kemp is 4-10 with an HR. Finally, Rafeal Furcal has 28 at-bats against Myers, and only sports a .214 average and .313 OPB.
Personally - The 24 year-old started to flash his enormous promise this season, especially in the second half. He ended 16-10 with a 3.14 ERA and 201 strikeouts in 200 2/3 innings, yet if you wipe out his first four starts those numbers would be 16-6 with a 2.75 ERA. He whipped the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLDS, only giving up one earned run in 6 2/3 innings ... he struck out seven and walked only one.
Road Splits - He's a lesser pitcher on the road, but not by a ton. His record stands 6-6, but that's hardly the best measuring stick of a pitcher. His ERA is a very solid 3.33 on the road. He does give up more home runs, walk more, strike out less, and give up more hits ... but the gaps in production aren't big enough for huge concern.
History against Philly - He took the loss in his only outing against the Phillies this year, going six innings, walking five, giving up seven hits, and allowing three earned runs. The outing occurred in the middle of a good streak for Billingsley, too, on August 15.
Vs. specific hitters - Very small sample sizes here, but we'll take a gander at the career numbers. Pedro Feliz is 4-12 (.333) with a double and home run. Pat Burrell is 3-10 with two doubles and two RBI. Jimmy Rollins is 3-9 with a double and a triple. Ryan Howard is 2-6 with a home run. Chase Utley is 2-5 with two walks (.571 OBP). Only Shane Victorino's 1-5 clip looks promising for the Dodgers at this point. I'll predict that Carlos Ruiz gets the nod behind the dish, as he's gone 2-5 with a double against Billingsley.Edge
We're dealing with a very small sample size for Billingsley, but the edge, based upon most numbers we have, points to the Phillies' Brett Myers.