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Baseball Splits -- Lefty vs Righty

   by Matt Fargo - 06/20/2007

Starting pitching is one of the biggest factors when lines are set in baseball but one thing not often taken into consideration is what side of the mound the pitcher is throwing from. Some teams have greater success against left-handed pitching than right-handed pitching and vice versa and it is important to take that into consideration when capping games. We have gone through over 40 percent of the season and have some very solid numbers and statistics to look at.



The top five teams in hitting against left-handed pitching:



Detroit Tigers .314


New York Mets .309


Los Angeles Angels .294


Seattle Mariners .288


Boston Red Sox .286



Does this translate into wins? The records of those five teams against left-handed starters:



Detroit Tigers 14-6


New York Mets 11-10


Los Angeles Angels 10-7


Seattle Mariners 13-6


Boston Red Sox 11-10



As you can see, all five teams do in fact have winning records so a great average against southpaws can lead to some nice wins. On the flip side, here are the five worst teams against left-handed pitching:



Chicago White Sox .218


Arizona D-Backs .229


San Francisco Giants .240


Chicago Cubs .245


Philadelphia Phillies .247



Those are some pretty ugly averages and pertaining to records against lefty starters, they are as follows:



Chicago White Sox 5-12


Arizona D-Backs 11-10


San Francisco Giants 10-10


Chicago Cubs 6-11


Philadelphia Phillies 10-17



Overall, it’s not good even though San Francisco and Arizona are sitting around the .500 mark. The same holds true for teams facing right-handed pitching although the records are not as extreme either way. The reason for that is there are more right-handed starters and the law of averages tends to even those out. There are exceptions however. The best team in baseball against right-handed starters is the Red Sox at 34-15 with the Angels possessing a 35-20 mark as the second best team.



In the National League, both Colorado and Arizona have 30 wins against right-handed starters to lead the circuit. Baltimore and Texas are at the bottom of the pack with just 18 wins followed closely by the Reds with only 19 victories. Teams fall into these grooves, whether good or bad, and tend to stay in that pattern throughout the year. Trades, injuries, call-ups and demotions can affect the success or failure but for the most part, the streakiness of baseball falls in line here also. Make sure you keep an eye on this the remainder of the season.

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