Scouting Playoff Matchup: Holland vs. Jackson

Starting pitchers are perhaps the biggest factor in whether a team succeeds in the postseason. For that reason, some of the most detailed scouting reports are compiled on these opposing starters. Here's a look at the pitching matchup in game four of the World Series between the Cardinals' Edwin Jackson and the Rangers' Derek Holland.

Derek Holland


Fastball: 93-96 MPH
Slider: 82-85 MPH
Curveball: 75-78 MPH
Changeup: 84-86 MPH

The Skinny: On a staff full of pitchers with outstanding raw stuff, you could make the case that Holland has better stuff than any of them. He's proven he can miss bats consistently with his mid 90s fastball. Couple that with a plus breaking ball and quality changeup and Holland has become a handful for hitters from both sides of the dish.

Fastball location is a big key for him. He still tends to make some mistakes up and out over the plate, but his plus velocity allows him to get away with some of them. Something to watch for will be willingness to pitch inside on righty hitters. He's been almost exclusively pitching away with his plus fastball and allowing righty hitters to look there and drive the ball out to right-center field. That approach almost surely will get him in trouble against a hitter like Albert Pujols.

Edwin Jackson


Fastball: 94-97 MPH
Slider: 87-90 MPH
Changeup: 85-88 MPH
Curveball: 79-83 MPH

The Skinny: Edwin Jackson is going to live and die on his fastball and slider command. If he can prove to hitters he can throw them both for strikes at any given time he can be nearly unhittable. But, if his command is not there for either one of them he can become highly predictable.

Don't expect to see many changeups or curveballs from Jackson. He does have a quality curveball but he's primarily a fastball/slider type pitcher. If he can establish the changeup or curveball early on it will only help him, but his first two pitches are so electric when he's right, that's what you'll see him go to mostly. Against this Texas lineup, however, he'll need to be razor sharp with his command.

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