The first hurdle every hitter has to clear to make it into a daily contest lineup of mine is whether they are facing a pitcher of the opposite handedness (with a few exceptions for guys with reverse splits). With pitchers and platoon splits, I mainly look at how the team they will be facing performs against pitchers of the same handedness of the pitcher I am considering. But I’ve never given enough thought to left-right splits of individual pitchers.
I took a look at all qualified pitchers from the start of 2012 to see who had the biggest splits versus lefties and righties. Below is a list of the pitchers who had an xFIP of 4.00 or less versus hitters of the same handedness and an xFIP much higher versus hitters of the opposite handedness. Guys like Aaron Harang aren’t listed because even though Harang is much better vs. RHH than LHH, he still only has a 4.11 xFIP versus RHH.
You should avoid these pitchers when they face the teams with a wRC+ above 100 against pitchers of the same handedness. Today that means you should be avoiding Bartolo Colon and Bud Norris. They are right-handers facing the Cardinals and Angels who are both top three in wRC+ vs. RHP.
The Daily Five
Matt Harvey, $20,814 – I’m really putting my “spend big on pitching” theory to the test today. Harvey is the most expensive pitcher of the day, and I’ll also be picking Hisashi Iwakuma ($16,626 – 3rd most expensive SP) and James Shields ($15,093 – 5th most expensive SP). The three right-handers have match ups that range from good to average as they’ll face the Nationals (88 wRC+ vs. RHP), Cubs (89 wRC+) and Twins (96 wRC+). With a full slate of games, I can find enough bargain hitters to fill my lineup.
Ryan Flaherty, $5,502 – Admittedly, I’d never heard of Flaherty prior to last week, but he can be useful. He doesn’t hit for much average and only runs a little, but he has some pop. He has 348 PA since being called up last season and has 11 home runs. 319 of those 349 PA have come agsaint right-handers, and all 11 homers have come against right-handers. Today he’ll face right-hander David Phelps at home in Baltimore where he has hit seven of his 11 home runs.
Gregor Blanco, $6,352 – Blanco is hot. He’s hitting .337 over the last 30 days and .396 over the last 15. Blanco is a left-hander who, as you might expect, is much better against right-handed pitching. Today he’ll face right-hander Jhoulys Chacin in Coors Field. For his career, Chacin allows a .333 wOBA to left-handers compared to a .290 wOBA allowed to right-handers. And his career ERA in Coors is 4.33 compared to 2.91 on the road. Blanco isn’t the only Giant lefty I’ll be using today. I’m also fielding Brandon Crawford ($4,320) and Andres Torres ($4,557).
Mitch Moreland, $5,636 – Moreland has 12 home runs this year. 11 of them have come off right-handers. He’s facing a right-hander today, albeit a good one, in Johnny Cueto. His price is depressed because he’s struggled since coming back from injury, so there’s value in this price given what he’s done this year and what he is projected to do for the rest of the season.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, $4,586 – Tell me if this analysis sounds familiar. Salty is much better against right-handers as seven of his eight homers have come off righties, and his average against them is .279 compared to .184 against left-handers. Today he’ll face right-hander Josh Johnson.
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