Monday, March 18, 2013

MIZZOU MATCHUP: Arkansas State Red Wolves

Head Coach: Tommy Raffo 
(127-118-1 in 5th season as Arkansas State Head Coach)

Taylor Stadium – Columbia, MO
Tuesday @ 6 PM CT
Wednesday @ 4 PM CT

Arkansas State (14-6, 3-0 Sun Belt) @ Missouri (6-9, 1-2 SEC)

Arkansas State comes to Columbia with a modest four game winning streak, having swept Sun Belt foe Arkansas-Little Rock over the weekend. Their 19-9 conference record last year was good enough for second, but lost in their conference championship game. They have a 5-3 record on the road so far in 2013.

Position Players

First baseman Logan Uxa has been the Red Wolves’ best hitter so far this season, leading the team in multiple offensive categories from the cleanup spot. His .346 average comes with power, as he leads the team with 9 extra base hits, 7 of them doubles.

Some production has come from the bottom of the order with second baseman Alex Potts. Potts has started all 20 games for Arkansas State, and although he was slotted in the bottom third of the order for the Red Wolves over the weekend, he is close behind Uxa for the team leader in average, hitting .344. The difference between the two is the lack of power that Potts provides. Of his 21 hits so far, only 3 have come for extra bases (all doubles), keeping his slugging percentage under .400.

The team’s power has been, for the most part, supplied by centerfielder Collin Massanelli. While his slugging percentage (.537), and his team leading RBI total (14), seem impressive, it shows a stereotypical power-hitter downside. Of his 67 AB, he has struck out 21 times, while drawing only 4 BB.

On the flip side, right fielder Ryan Emery is the most patient hitter in the Red Wolves’ lineup. Over a quarter of his plate appearances results in a walk, as he has drawn 25 of them in 20 games in 2013, 10 more than his closest teammate. The Tiger pitchers will have to go right after him, as Uxa follows him in the order.

PROJECTED LINEUP
LF Austin Baker (L) .250
CF Collin Massanelli (L) .328
RF Ryan Emery (L) .317
1B Logan Uxa (L) .346
3B Claude Johnson (R) .301
2B Alex Potts (R) .344
C Ryan Roberts (L) .212
DH Ethan Yeo (S) .158
SS Dustin Jones (R) .205

Pitchers

Both of my projected starters for Arkansas State this week have only started one game apiece this year, but they have been dominant early in the season. They have combined for 16.2 innings so far and have given up a mere one earned run apiece. Their starts both came against Missouri State last week, who have started at a strong 13-5 record.

Projected Matchups
Tuesday: RHP Alec Rash (1-1, 0.00 ERA) vs. RHP Derek Birginske (0-0, 1.17 ERA)
Wednesday: RHP Jace James (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. RHP Cody Woodhouse (0-0, 1.00 ERA)

Matchup Wrap-up

The Red Wolves’ boast a lineup that has six lefties and a switch hitter, which can be trouble for Mizzou’s pitching staff that has a limited amount of southpaws. One thing that Arkansas State has trouble doing is stealing bases. They have only 7 so far this year, being caught just as many times.

Other SEC games this week:
Alabama @ Samford 3/19
Jacksonville State @ Alabama 3/20
Alabama State @ Auburn 3/19
Auburn vs. Southern Mississippi 3/20
North Florida @ Florida 3/19
Furman @ Georgia 3/19
Western Kentucky @ (10) Kentucky 3/19
Northwestern State @ (7) LSU 3/20
Alcorn State @ (19) Mississippi State 3/19
(5) South Carolina @ The Citadel 3/19
Western Carolina @ Tennessee 3/20
Dallas Baptist @ Texas A&M 3/19
(2) Vanderbilt @ Middle Tennessee State 3/20
Idle: (21) Arkansas, (6) Mississippi

Rankings from Baseball America

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