Who is hitting Arrieta and how?
Breaking down all the numbers against Jake Arrieta can be a bit overwhelming. So we decided to boil it down to three main points that need addressing:
- Control the top of the order
- Get ahead in the count
- Thrive under pressure
Let’s start with the first point.
In his seven starts this year, the top two hitters in opposing lineups have feasted on the right-hander. Leadoff men are batting .316/.381/.526 and the two-hole bats come in even hotter at .368/.429/.789 – good for a 213 OPS+.
This goes hand-in-hand with the Cubs’ first-inning woes on the mound. Arrieta has a 12.86 earned run average in the first. To be blunt, it’s near-impossible to have success when you dig yourself a hole like that.
I, personally, think of the first inning as a typically ‘low leverage’ situation. It’s in these situations Arrieta finds the most success, limiting opponents to a .292 OBP this season. We’re probably oversimplifying things, but if he wants to turn things around, the right-hander must take care of business early and settle in.