Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening — whichever is applicable to you. Nefi Perez was a light hitting middle infield bat whose career spanned 12 years over five teams. As a rather average person myself, I’ve found that I tend to appreciate players like Perez. Those players who do just enough good things to hang around, but also realize just how close the end could potentially be. Over the course of his career, Perez batted an empty .267 accompanied by a rather pedestrian .672 OPS.
While Nefi Perez was doing everything he could just to hang on, Randy Johnson was establishing himself as the elite LHP in the game. Johnson’s quest would ultimately be fulfilled as 10 All-Stars and 5 Cy Young Awards (Including 4 straight) would cement his legacy as the best LHP since Sandy Koufax.
Would anyone happen to know who Nefi Perez posted his highest OPS against using a 40 plate appearance minimum? Randy Johnson would be the answer for those scoring at home. Baseball will often lend itself to unfathomable statistics; that in itself is what makes the game so damn hard to figure out.
For DFS participants, Batter vs. Pitcher and Platoon Splits are old news. Any player devoted to the craft has dedicated some of their time attempting to derive value that others may not know. While this newfound approach has been proven successful, as a whole, this detailed day-to-day evaluation has failed to be embraced by the season long community.
Personally I’m of the mindset that any value potential should be taken full advantage of. Collectively we react so quickly to newly appointed closers, or potential injury replacements; our reason naturally is because of the newfound value that each possess. This same value potential exist within our daily operations, it is simply much more difficult to identify.
Batter vs. Pitcher Splits
Though referenced above, this approach would not be the one I put all my stock in. At best you’re looking at 3-4 PA versus said opponent over the course of a game, and in the best case scenario the overall success rate is going to be below 50%, For those interested, Baseball Reference has a Finder & Advanced Stats tab. That link can lead you to whatever individual matchup data you’d like to see.
With pitching statistics I tend to look more from a big picture perspective. Ideally I target teams who have displayed particular struggles and look to capitalize on it. For example, teams that struggle as a whole vs. LHP and or RHP.
Using OPS as a measuring stick, here are the 10 worst teams vs RHP and LHP, along with the 10 best teams you may be less inclined to throw a marginal pitching option out against.
|vs. RHP||vs. LHP||vs. RHP||vs. LHP|
For most players, both the Rays and Diamondbacks would likely not be deemed good streaming opponents. Both feast off RHP. Since most pitchers are right-handed their box scores would seldom reflect poor showing vs. LHP. Statistically speaking, LHP have fared very well vs. both teams.
Another pitching statistic that often gets overlooked is K potential. Over the last half decade the Royals offense hasn’t necessarily been punchless, but at the same time it brings very little fear along with it. Contact, however, has been its calling card, so even if they were in the midst of another shutout, the much-needed strikeout support wasn’t exactly a given.
Here is a list of the 10 most prolific strikeout opponents as well as the teams that are most strikeout averse.
|Highest K %||Lowest K %|
Five qualified players currently have an OPS above 1.000. They are:
- Aaron Judge 1.150
- Joey Votto 1.040
- Paul Goldschmidt 1.035
- Ryan Zimmerman 1.008
- Bryce Harper 1.002
To put it into context, 20 players are currently sporting an OPS above 1.000 solely vs. LHP while 7 players are sporting an OPS above 1.000 vs. RHP. Now, many of these players are household names, and many are already owned. While this bodes well should you happen to be an owner, it does little to improve upon your team moving forward.
The key for this post is to perhaps identify some players who may be lesser owned. Players who, if given the opportunity, could provide really good value from a very unexpected source. For the purpose of this table I’m solely focused on RH batter vs. LHP and LH batter vs. RHP.
|RH Batter vs. LHP||LH Batter vs. RHP|
| Chris Iannetta
|Albert Almora Jr.
The appreciation for platoon splits have had a history of steering me too far in an effort to over correct. I have found myself, sometimes to a fault, investing in the strong side advantage, when in reality, not everyone fares better vs. the opposite hand. The table below list notable players who don’t necessarily thrive with the favorable matchup.
|RH Batter vs. LHP||LH Batter vs. RHP|
||.679|| Ender Inciarte
First one needs to understand the venues in which this approach could prove to be of value. In leagues shallower than 250 total players and/or those leagues with weekly transactions, this day-to-day approach would prove maddening. The production given would not consistently outproduce what you already had in a shallow league, while the weekly commitment would ultimately result in as many poor matchup performances as it would those with great profit potential – ultimately devaluing the potential goodness to the point it becomes detrimental to your team.
If not hindered by roster restrictions, the potential to extract value from a pool of sameness intrigues me. The process will not be easy, the results will not always be those desired, but at the end of the day, the numbers would suggest that your efforts would not go unnoticed.
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