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By Jon Weisman
With Zack Greinke pitching Saturday and Clayton Kershaw looming Sunday, San Francisco’s most favorable matchup in this weekend’s Dodgers-Giants series might be tonight’s, when Madison Bumgarner faces Hyun-Jin Ryu.
But even this one is practically a tossup.
- Ryu: 3.5 WAR, 3.16 ERA, 2.60 FIP*, 3.02 xFIP**, 8.23 K/9, 1.16 WHIP
- Bumgarner: 3.5 WAR, 3.02 ERA, 2.94 FIP, 2.93 xFIP, 9.09 K/9, 1.16 WHIP
*Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) measures what a player’s ERA would look like over a given period of time if the pitcher were to have experienced league average results on balls in play and league average timing.
*Expected Fielding Independent Pitching (xFIP) is calculated in the same way as FIP, except it replaces a pitcher’s home run total with an estimate of how many home runs they should have allowed given the number of fly balls they surrendered while assuming a league average home run to fly ball percentage (between 9 and 10% depending on the year).
Ryu is Bumgarner’s equal in Wins Above Replacement, despite throwing 46 fewer innings so far in 2014.
Perhaps more impressively, Ryu ranks second in the National League behind Clayton Kershaw in FIP. In xFIP, the NL top five goes as follows: Kershaw, Stephen Strasburg, Zack Greinke, Bumgarner and Ryu.
Bumgarner has had an interesting past couple of weeks. He struck out 25 in two starts August 21 and August 26, including 13 in a one-hit shutout of Colorado. But at Detroit on Saturday, he didn’t strike out anyone in six innings.
The last time Bumgarner faced the Dodgers, there was this.
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