It’s Friday, and once again, I’m rolling out my highly anticipated MLB/Pop Culture picks. You might not really highly anticipate this, but I really look forward to writing these, and morphing the players from the big leagues, to the men and women from the big screen.
I’ve used up a couple of really popular and great television shows in previous weeks, leaving me at a standstill as to which dramatic set of characters to help cross reference with. However, after much debate, I’ve decided to reach back and time and explore “Lost.”
Catcher: Jonathan Lucroy
Lost character: Walt Lloyd
Here we go with the headscratchers. “Lost” was such an expansive show and covered so many characters that it’s tough to find an exact match without surpassing the potential knowledge of an average viewer. Walt is just like Lucroy though. He plays a relevant part in the show, but he is sort of behind the scenes. While Lucroy busted out last year, he’s quietly been becoming one of the best catchers in baseball. His matchup tonight is not so much about picking on Patrick Corbin (solid left-hander) as it is taking advantage of the platoon splits that Lucroy has sported in his career. He plays a premium position, gets an awesome lineup spot and is playing in one of the best parks for offense – not to mention his career .199 ISO and .369 wOBA against left-handers.
First Baseman: Joey Votto
Lost character: Hugo Reyes
These guys share one major thing in common – kindness. Votto is from Canada, so naturally he’s nicer than you and I, and Hugo is probably the nicest person in the whole show. Votto gets a fantastic matchup with young right-hander Eddie Butler and a positive park shift (is that even possible!?) to Coors Field. He’s regained the power that some thought he lost, and he’s the perfect candidate for cash games thanks to his strong on-base skills.
Second Baseman: Jose Altuve
Lost character: Sayid Jarrah
The comparison here stems from the casual “underrated” vibe that both Altuve and Sayid share. Despite what you might think about them, they’re both really awesome and Altuve has really started to swing it after a slump session prior to the all-star break. Much like catcher, second base is not a deep position and you have to try and take advantage of the better options. Altuve gets a matchup with right-hander Jeremy Guthrie tonight and will be able to capitalize on both his speed and his hit tool.
Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki
Lost character: Sawyer
Yep, you probably guessed it. This comparison stems from their frustrating decision making. Granted, Tulo doesn’t directly control his results as there are fielders that can run down the balls he hits, but he’s equally frustrating when he stinks. He’s playing a game at home against Anthony DeSclafani, and that’s really that. DeSclafani struggles with command and will put baserunners on in front of Tulo, who should take advantage of a weak arm in a great situation. It helps that there are literally 0 other shortstops to consider on a nightly basis.
Third Baseman: Todd Frazier
Lost character: Jack Shephard
Todd Frazier is the people’s champ, and that is exactly what Jack Shephard was to the people on that island. I know I’m piggybacking a lot on the game in Coors Field, but what do you expect? Frazier has been incredible this year against both right-handers and left-handers and shouldn’t have any trouble with Eddie Butler. Any time you can take advantage of a positive park shift from Great American Ball Park, you do so. Frazier homer tonight, I guarantee it.
Outfielder: Ryan Braun
Lost character: John Locke
Not to be a spoiler, but these two sort of fit together because, well, Braun is a cheater. Locke uses some mystical powers to rise to stardom, and Braun did too. He still mashes left-handers though, and much like his pal Jonny Lucroy will get the benefit of facing one tonight in a great environment in Chase Field. Take advantage of the career .294 ISO and .434 wOBA against southpaws.
Starting Pitcher: Corey Kluber
Lost character: Jin-soo Kwon
To be honest, I had no clue who Kluber was amongst “Lost” characters. So – I figured I’d pair him with Jin-soo just to see if you were paying attention. I know there are a lot of great pitchers on the mound tonight, but I love Kluber at home against the White Sox. The White Sox are atrocious, ranking near the bottom in both wRC and wOBA as a team. Put that together with Kluber’s skills and his 10.15 K/9 and you have a recipe for success.