As a baseball, I liked what Shaun Marcum did last year but was surprised to see him in trade this offseason. Though it made sense since he was coming off his best season and still in his arbitration years, I could see why he wouldn’t be a long term fixture in the Jays’ rotation. He gave up a few too many homers and didn’t profile to be dominant and I think the Jays saw they would eventually be too expensive to keep him. Still, he provided solid value last season which continued into this season as evidenced by his 3.73 FIP and 2.7 fWAR in 33 starts over 200 innings. It’s probably all the more impressive because he sits 86-87 mph with his fastball which is about 4-5 mph slower than the average. As you might expect, he gets the job done by mixing his pitches as he throws each of his offering at least 10% of the time. Marcum consistently throws changeups to both lefties and righties, much like Cole Hamels, so that gives you an indication of how confident he is in that pitch. It makes sense since he big whiff rates to both sides with his changeup. His slider is brutal on righties (24.8 whiff rate) and still very effective on lefties (15.8% whiff rate). You can also expect a cutter and a curveball from Marcum as well. He’s a solid Number 3 starter who fits neatly behind Greinke and Gallardo in the Brewers rotation.
Josh Collmenter made a big splash this season by not allowing any runs in his first MLB start against the Dodgers. Many people know him by his unorthodox delivery, but he was able to provide good value in the middle of the rotation behind Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson. He’s primarily a fastball, changeup, curveball guy working a fastball/changeup combination 94% of the time and essentially attacks righties and lefties the same way. Though his FIP against righties stands at 3.04 with predictably good peripherals, lefties tag him for a 4.59 with a HR/9 rate of 1.18. A match-up with this Brewers lineup actually might bode well for Collmenter despite their offensive prowess due to the lack of lefthanded hitters than can do real damage. Obviously, Prince Fielder might hit the ball a long way against him but if Collmenter can limit walks (which he’s done all year) and baserunners, I’m sure manager Kirk Gibson will be fine with a solo shot from Fielder.
The Diamondbacks haven’t done much against from a hitting standpoint all year and they’re facing a guy who mixes his pitches effectively. It could be close, even low scoring, but I think the Brewers will be booking their NLCS hotel and plane reservations sooner rather than later.