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May 13, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake (44) pitches during the second inning against the San Diego Padres at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Starter Report: RHP Mike Leake vs RHP Stephen Strasburg

Tonight in Washington the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals will begin a new series. The Reds will send RHP Mike Leake to the mound to try and get the series started off with a win. The Nationals will counter with RHP Stephen Strasburg.

Reds Starter: RHP Mike Leake

2014 Season Stats
W L ERA IP HR BB K
2 3 3.09 58.1 6 11 34

Scouting Report

Pitch  Velocity  Usage
Fastball 92 MPH 47%
Change Up 85 MPH 11%
Cutter 91 MPH 18%
Slider 82 MPH 11%
Curveball 80 MPH 13%

Mike Leake has thrown harder all season than he has for his entire career, especially over his last three starts here in the month of May where he has averaged 93 MPH with his fastball. As the season has gone along he has continued to use his fastball less and his cutter more (50% FB and 13% cutter in April, 38% FB and 33% cutter in May). He has slightly cut down on the usage of his curveball, slider and change up over the month of May, though it is only 1-2 for each pitch per game.

Nationals Starter: RHP Stephen Strasburg

2014 Season Stats
W L ERA IP HR BB K
3 3 3.48 54.1 4 15 70

Scouting Report

Pitch Velocity Usage
Fastball 95 MPH 56%
Change Up 89 MPH 20%
Slider 87 MPH 5%
Curveball 80 MPH 17%

Strasburg is one of the best pitchers in baseball and has been since he took the mound in the big leagues. He works off of one of the hardest fastballs among starters in the game (though it has dropped in velocity each season) while mixing in a change up and slider about the same amount and sprinkling in a slider a few times per game. Surprisingly, his fastball has been slightly below-average pitch this season for the first time in his career. The curveball and change up are both above-average pitches and have been very good for his career. The slider is a below-average offering. He pounds the strikezone and gets a lot of swings and misses. If the Reds are going to have success against Strasburg it will likely come off of the fastball.

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Tags: Cincinnati Reds Mike Leake

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