Guys to Target Using Pitch Usage and Pitch Values

Last week I listed some guys to target and avoid in daily, salary-cap formats based on platoon splits. That’s just one factor to consider when picking a daily cap lineup, and a commenter mentioned another interesting factor worth considering:

FG Comment

This seemed like a great idea, so below I’ll be identifying the certain pitcher-hitter matchups to exploit in daily cap formats.

The first step was to figure out which pitchers throw a high percentage of a certain pitch. To do this I simply sorted by pitch percentage for all starters with at least 300 innings from 2010-2012. From there, I listed each pitcher’s pitch value per 100 pitches. As an example, the pitch values for four seamers below are listed in the column titled wFA/C. This was done to avoid recommending that you start hitters against pitchers who use a pitch a lot but who use it effectively.  An explanation of the pitch value statistic can be found here. The short version is that the number indicates the number of runs saved for each 100 pitches thrown. The only other thing you need to know is that zero is average; anything positive is above average and anything negative is below average.

To keep this post from being “unscrollably” long, I’ve decided only to look at four-seamers, sliders, curves, and changes. Below are the pitchers who use a pitch at a percentage that is at least one standard deviation above the mean and whose pitch value is below average. I’ve only listed starters that currently have a spot in a major league rotation. After that we’ll cover the hitters who hit certain pitches particularly well.

Four Seamers

Name

FA%

wFA/C

Max Scherzer

61.00%

-0.15

Brandon Morrow

58.90%

-0.12

Ervin Santana

57.30%

-0.95

Ivan Nova

53.90%

-0.47

James McDonald

48.50%

-0.47

Bud Norris

47.80%

-0.73

Edwin Jackson

47.20%

-0.49

 

Sliders

Name

SL%

wSL/C

Jason Marquis

29.90%

-0.31

Kevin Correia

26.30%

-0.39

 

Curves

Name

CU%

wCU/C

Yovani Gallardo

19.80%

-0.03

Phil Hughes

18.30%

-1.18

Josh Beckett

17.70%

-0.07

 

Changeups

Name

CH%

wCH/C

Jeff Francis

28.10%

-0.44

Mark Buehrle

24.70%

-0.02

Jonathan Sanchez

19.80%

-0.75

 

To determine which hitters perform better against certain pitches, I listed all batters with 750+ PA from 2010-2012 and then sorted according to runs created per 100 pitches for the four pitches discussed above. Unsurprisingly, stud hitters primarily topped the list for each pitch. The hitters who created runs per 100 pitches at a rate at least two standard deviations or more above the mean are listed below for each pitch. There is also a list for each pitch of all players who are currently owned in less than 100% of ESPN leagues who created runs per 100 pitches at a rate at least one standard deviation or more above the mean.

The basic idea is that you should pick the hitters listed below when they are facing pitchers listed in the corresponding tables above. This is just one factor to consider when picking salary cap lineups and should be considered along with other things such as platoon splits. But this should help you identify some players who can return some value in the right matchups.

Fastballs

Two+ StDev Above Mean

Owned in less than 100%

Name

wFB/C

Name

wFB/C

Joey Votto

2.82

Carlos Quentin

1.95

Paul Konerko

2.46

Corey Hart

1.71

Josh Hamilton

2.38

Matt Joyce

1.53

Ryan Braun

2.33

Alfonso Soriano

1.43

Jose Bautista

2.21

Mark Teixeira

1.39

Miguel Cabrera

2.15

Victor Martinez

1.37

Prince Fielder

2.13

Carlos Pena

1.35

Matt Kemp

1.97

Alejandro De Aza

1.29

Carlos Quentin

1.95

Carlos Ruiz

1.28

Geovany Soto

1.21

 

Sliders

Two+ StDev Above Mean

Owned in less than 100%

Name

wSL/C

Name

wSL/C

Maicer Izturis

4.53

Maicer Izturis

4.53

Robinson Cano

3.03

Ryan Hanigan

3.03

Ryan Hanigan

3.03

John Mayberry

1.8

Jose Bautista

2.54

Nick Markakis

1.56

Mike Trout

2.13

A.J. Pierzynski

1.28

Prince Fielder

1.83

Michael Brantley

1.18

John Mayberry

1.8

Jon Jay

1.15

Daniel Murphy

1.15

Mark Teixeira

1.07

Victor Martinez

1.04

David DeJesus

1.02

Josh Reddick

1.02

John Jaso

0.96

Carlos Ruiz

0.92

Alexi Casilla

0.91

Chris Denorfia

0.86

Brian McCann

0.82

Chris Heisey

0.79

 

Curveballs

Two+ StDev Above Mean

Owned in less than 100%

Name

wCB/C

Name

wCB/C

Aramis Ramirez

4.04

Travis Hafner

2.78

Matt Holliday

2.8

John Mayberry

2.32

Travis Hafner

2.78

Jeff Francoeur

2.24

Adrian Beltre

2.48

Placido Polanco

1.93

Derek Jeter

2.46

Will Venable

1.91

Reed Johnson

1.89

David Murphy

1.86

Stephen Drew

1.81

Raul Ibanez

1.73

Vernon Wells

1.69

Mark Ellis

1.66

Mark Reynolds

1.61

Lucas Duda

1.58

Marco Scutaro

1.53

Nick Markakis

1.52

Chris Getz

1.45

Chris Young

1.44

Peter Bourjos

1.4

Denard Span

1.37

 

Changeups

Two+ StDev Above Mean

Owned in less than 100%

Name

wCH/C

Name

wCH/C

Edwin Encarnacion

6.02

Justin Morneau

3.89

Mike Trout

5.58

Reed Johnson

2.94

Buster Posey

4.29

Dayan Viciedo

2.91

Michael Cuddyer

3.9

Nate Schierholtz

2.24

Justin Morneau

3.89

Ike Davis

1.81

Giancarlo Stanton

3.67

Miguel Cabrera

3.37

Ryan Zimmerman

3.19

Reed Johnson

2.94

Dayan Viciedo

2.91



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You can find more of Brett's work on TheFantasyFix.com or follow him on Twitter @TheRealTAL.

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Benzedrine
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Benzedrine

Some real coin-flipping happens when I have two guys with unremarkable pitch values, nice to see who the remarkable hitters are on pitches. Well done.