Lohse vs. Dempster – Start ‘em or sit ‘em?

I decided to take a look at the Cardinals’ past numbers against Saturday Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster and the Cubs’ hitters success facing Cards starter Kyle Lohse. Since there is a large enough body of work for each, I am sharing them here.

Cards vs. Dempster

At first blush, it looks like the Cardinals should have another good day with the bats, but note Dempster’s considerable improvement last season. It occurred across the board as the right-hander had a career season at age 31, but especially in his three starts against the Cardinals. He spent his most of his three-plus previous seasons as Chicago’s closer.

As far as the offense is concerned, I wonder if Jason LaRue can play in the outfield? With Ryan Ludwick and Chris Duncan both hot at the plate and with good career marks against Dempster, the only serious lineup question for the outfield should be Rick Ankiel vs. Colby Rasmus in center.

Dempster G/Starts IP W-L ERA WHIP OBA
Career vs. StL 37/11 93 6-5 4.65 1.58 0.288
2008 vs. StL 3/3 18 2/3 2-0 2.89 1.29 0.268
Start ’em
Chris Duncan 2-for-4 (.500) 1K
Jason LaRue 5-for-13 (.385) 1HR, 1BB, 2K
Ryan Ludwick 5-for-10 (.500) 1HR, 1K
Yadier Molina 4-for-12 (.333) 2BB
Albert Pujols 8-for-30 (.267) 2HR, 3BB
Skip Schumaker 7-for-18 (.389) 2K
Sit ’em
Khalil Greene 1-for-10 (.100) 4K
Rick Ankiel 1-for-4 (.250) 1K

Cubs vs. Lohse

Unfortunately, the Cubs hitters should be licking their chops. In aggregate, they are batting .303 vs. Lohse. Even the sitters have a decent OBP against him.

Despite improving his results overall in 2008, Lohse actually pitched worse against the Chicagoans last season than previously. The one positive is that the former Cubs prospect has pitched extremely well in his nine career innings at Wrigley.

Lohse G/Starts IP W-L ERA WHIP OBA
Career vs. ChC 7-7 36 2/3 1-2 5.15 1.53 0.303
2008 vs. ChC 3-3 18 1/3 0-1 6.38 1.58 0.303
Career at Wrigley 2-2 9 1-0 1.00 0.89 0.188
Start ’em
Kosuke Fukudome 2-for-7 (.286) 1K
Reed Johnson 3-for-9 (.333) 1BB
Derrek Lee 6-for-15 (.400) 1BB, 5K
Aaron Miles 5-for-10 (.500) 1K
Aramis Ramirez 7-for-11 (.636) 1HR
Alfonso Soriano 13-for-38 (.342) 2HR, 4K
Geovany Soto 3-for-8 (.375) 1BB, 1K
Ryan Theriot 9-for-17 (.529)
Sit ’em
Milton Bradley 3-for-12 (.250) 2BB, 4K
Mike Fontenot 1-for-6 (.167) 1HR, 4BB