On Saturday Blake Murphy updated something I looked into awhile back, which was hitters with a reverse platoon split. This reminded me of another unusual split I came across earlier this season. Despite the fact that Arizona has a the 4th most hitter-friendly basic park factor and is the 8th most homer-friendly home run park for right-handed hitters, right-hander Paul Goldschmidt has been better on the road in his career. During his call up season and first full season (2011-2012), Goldy had a .338 wOBA at home and .382 wOBA on the road. Some of that was a strikeout rate that was 3% lower on the road, but that alone isn’t enough to account for a 44 point difference in wOBA.
He has been basically as good at home and on the road this season, but he has still been slightly better on the road. This just seems so strange because the average basic park factor for his road games (weighted for the number of games he has played in each park) is 99.27, and the HR as R factor for his road games is 99.17. That’s compared to a 105 basic park factor and 105 HR as R factor at home in Arizona. In other words, Goldy has had conditions 6% more favorable at home in his career, yet his wOBA is significantly higher on the road.
I don’t really have an explanation for this, and if you have an idea, I’d love to hear about it in the comments. The fact that his K% is quite a bit lower on the road seems peculiar, and it makes me wonder if there’s something about Arizona’s park that makes it hard for Goldy to see the ball. But I don’t have anything to back that theory up. A quick Google search didn’t yield any evidence that this has come up as an issue. But let me know if you’ve heard anything about that or if you have another theory, which I might look into in the future.
As for what this has to do with daily fantasy strategy, I guess I’ll just say that you shouldn’t be thinking Goldy has a little more value when playing at home. I would assume that some people may pick him more often at home because of the park factor, but for whatever reason it doesn’t seem to be helping him.
The Daily Five
Mike Minor, $17,225 – Here is your no-doubt starter of the day. First of all, Minor has been fantastic this year. Fellow Rotographs contributor Ben Duronio labeled him the Braves staff ace months ago. And he has pitched like one. He has the 14th best ERA among qualified starters (2.75), 19th best strikeout rate (23.6%), 14th best walk rate (4.9%), and 17th best swinging strike rate (10.5%). And today he faces the Nationals who have the lowest wRC+ in the league against left-handed pitching. Their wRC+ against lefties (68) is even lower than the Marlins’ league low wRC+ against right-handers (69).
John Lackey, $13,069 – The analysis just used for Minor could basically apply to to Lackey as well. Lackey has been surprisingly great this year with above average strikeout and walk rates and a very good ground ball rate. And his match up today is almost as good as Minor’s. Lackey will face the Astros who have the second worst wRC+ against right-handers and the worst strikeout rate against them by a mile (25%).
Jose Quintana, $11,081 – Quintana will face the Yankees who are awful against left-handers. His own team is equally bad against them, so Andy Pettitte wouldn’t be a bad player today either, especially given that a 12 mph wind is projected to be blowing in from right in Chicago tonight. But Quintana has the better strikeout rate, so go with him over Pettitte.
Kansas City left-handed hitters, varying prices – The Royals face right-hander Kevin Correia and his 1.38 HR/9 today. The Royal lefties with pop are Eric Hosmer ($8,227), George Kottaras ($6,728), and Mike Moustakas ($5,699). Of those three, Kottaras is the most intriguing name. He’s never received consistent playing time, but over the course of his 776 career PA, he has a surprising .201 ISO.
Jonny Gomes, $5,740 – For his career Gomes has a big time platoon split. His wOBA against lefties is 62 points higher than his wOBA against righties. And his slugging percentage against lefties is .501 compared to .423 against righties. Today he’ll face left-hander Brett Oberholtzer who has struggled with the long ball since the beginning of last season. His HR/9 in 77 innings at AA in 2012 was 1.29 and was 1.30 in 89.2 IP at AAA in that same year. It was just about average at AAA before getting called up this year, but he has already surrendered two bombs in 14.1 innings at the big league level. At this price and with all these factors working in his favor, Gomes is a nice value today.
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