BATTERS: Lefty-righty splits, 2018

Let's take a look at the batters who have posted the most significant lefty/righty production and batting eye splits so far in 2018.

This exercise can help you adjust your daily lineups accordingly, and can also help us to spot guys who may be one adjustment away from taking a big step forward.

First, the following bats own the widest LH/RH OPS splits:

  • OPS, vs. LH/RH*
    
    Name                League  Position  OPS vs. RH  OPS vs. LH  Diff
    ==================  ======  ========  ==========  ==========  =====
    Nimmo, Brandon          NL        LF     1.082       .613     +.469
    Duffy, Matt             AL        3B      .914       .474     +.440
    Shaw, Travis            NL        3B      .958       .523     +.435
    Santana, Domingo        NL        RF      .767       .352     +.415
    Flores, Wilmer          NL     3B/1B      .876       .489     +.387
    Gordon, Alex            AL        LF      .772       .396     +.376
    Freese, David           NL        3B      .893       .546     +.347
    Votto, Joey             NL        1B      .985       .640     +.345
    Moncada, Yoan           AL        2B      .794       .465     +.329
    Iannetta, Chris         NL         C      .855       .562     +.293
    Martinez, J.D.          AL        RF     1.103       .810     +.293
    Bradley, Jackie         AL        CF      .639       .347     +.292
    Parra, Gerardo          NL        LF      .795       .510     +.285
    Nunez, Eduardo          AL  2B/3B/LF      .700       .419     +.281
    Benintendi, Andrew      AL        LF      .991       .723     +.268
    Martin, Leonys          AL        CF      .850       .587     +.263
    Puig, Yasiel            NL        RF      .877       .615     +.262
    Peralta, David          NL        LF      .935       .675     +.260
    Heredia, Guillermo      AL        CF      .850       .591     +.259
    Lucroy, Jonathan        AL         C      .737       .481     +.256
    Moustakas, Mike         AL        3B      .869       .613     +.256
    Kinsler, Ian            AL        2B      .736       .489     +.247
    Sanchez, Yolmer         AL     3B/2B      .782       .538     +.244
    Gardner, Brett          AL        LF      .804       .560     +.244
    Altuve, Jose            AL        2B      .918       .680     +.238
    Bour, Justin            NL        1B      .893       .661     +.232
    Ramirez, Jose           AL     3B/2B     1.063       .836     +.227
    Rizzo, Anthony          NL        1B      .817       .592     +.225
    Hosmer, Eric            NL        1B      .916       .692     +.224
    Pillar, Kevin           AL        CF      .796       .573     +.223
    Choo, Shin-Soo          AL        RF      .917       .696     +.221
    Inciarte, Ender         NL        CF      .721       .501     +.220
    Pujols, Albert          AL     1B/DH      .741       .522     +.219
    Gonzalez, Carlos        NL        RF      .811       .601     +.210
    Piscotty, Stephen       AL        RF      .719       .511     +.208
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    Name                League  Position  OPS vs. RH  OPS vs. LH  Diff
    ==================  ======  ========  ==========  ==========  =====
    Villanueva, Christian   NL        3B      .586      1.306     -.720
    Bryant, Kris            NL     3B/RF      .751      1.344     -.593
    Goldschmidt, Paul       NL        1B      .728      1.255     -.527
    Cain, Lorenzo           NL        CF      .731      1.200     -.469
    Stanton, Giancarlo      AL        RF      .684      1.126     -.442
    Merrifield, Whit        AL  2B/1B/CF      .656      1.091     -.435
    LeMahieu, D.J.          NL        2B      .645      1.074     -.429
    Arenado, Nolan          NL        3B      .794      1.211     -.417
    Stassi, Max             AL         C      .670      1.027     -.357
    DeShields Jr, Delino    AL        CF      .516       .853     -.337
    Canha, Mark             AL        CF      .638       .960     -.322
    Hundley, Nick           NL         C      .664       .980     -.316
    Marte, Ketel            NL     2B/SS      .593       .904     -.311
    Soler, Jorge            AL        RF      .754      1.064     -.310
    Sanchez, Gary           AL         C      .647       .957     -.310
    Castellanos, Nick       AL     3B/RF      .742      1.048     -.306
    Kepler, Max             AL        RF      .649       .949     -.300
    Cruz, Nelson            AL        DH      .779      1.076     -.297
    Escobar, Alcides        AL        SS      .502       .787     -.285
    Ahmed, Nick             NL        SS      .601       .875     -.274
    Russell, Addison        NL        SS      .646       .919     -.273
    Suarez, Eugenio         NL        3B      .867      1.137     -.270
    Springer, George        AL        RF      .795      1.065     -.270
    Gomes, Yan              AL         C      .662       .928     -.266
    Murphy, John            NL         C      .694       .960     -.266
    Story, Trevor           NL        SS      .791      1.057     -.266
    Pinder, Chad            AL  LF/2B/3B      .579       .844     -.265
    McCann, James           AL         C      .577       .840     -.263
    Longoria, Evan          NL        3B      .623       .882     -.259
    Desmond, Ian            AL     1B/LF      .579       .835     -.256
    Field, Johnny           AL        RF      .638       .880     -.242
    Duvall, Adam            NL     LF/1B      .599       .839     -.240
    Trout, Mike             AL        CF     1.086      1.300     -.214
    Candelario, Jeimer      AL        3B      .778       .989     -.211
    Profar, Jurickson       AL  SS/LF/2B      .685       .894     -.209
    *min 50 AB vs. LH/RH

Here are the hitters who have posted the widest LH-RH batting eye ratio splits:

  • Eye ratio (BB/K), vs. LH/RH*
    
    Name                League  Position  Eye vs. RH  Eye vs. LH  Diff
    ==================  ======  ========  ==========  ==========  =====
    Markakis, Nick          NL        RF     1.62         0.50    +1.12
    Camargo, Johan          NL        3B     1.22         0.30    +0.92
    Kinsler, Ian            AL        2B     1.21         0.50    +0.71
    Benintendi, Andrew      AL        LF     1.03         0.33    +0.70
    Rizzo, Anthony          NL        1B     1.00         0.38    +0.62
    Santana, Carlos         NL        1B     1.33         0.73    +0.60
    Freeman, Freddie        NL        1B     1.07         0.47    +0.60
    Votto, Joey             NL        1B     1.39         0.83    +0.56
    Difo, Wilmer            NL  2B/3B/SS     0.75         0.20    +0.55
    Ramirez, Jose           AL     3B/2B     1.23         0.75    +0.48
    Conforto, Michael       NL        LF     0.77         0.32    +0.45
    Bruce, Jay              NL        RF     0.69         0.25    +0.44
    Mazara, Nomar           AL     RF/DH     0.58         0.17    +0.41
    Bradley, Jackie         AL        CF     0.44         0.05    +0.39
    Kepler, Max             AL        RF     0.92         0.53    +0.39
    Shaw, Travis            NL        3B     0.88         0.50    +0.38
    Rosario, Eddie          AL        LF     0.44         0.07    +0.37
    Span, Denard            AL        CF     1.09         0.73    +0.36
    Moustakas, Mike         AL        3B     0.61         0.25    +0.36
    Choo, Shin-Soo          AL        RF     0.76         0.41    +0.35
    Gardner, Brett          AL        LF     0.76         0.42    +0.34
    Heredia, Guillermo      AL        CF     0.93         0.60    +0.33
    Martinez, Victor        AL        DH     0.88         0.57    +0.31
    Smith, Mallex           AL        CF     0.45         0.15    +0.30
    Gentry, Craig           AL        LF     0.63         0.33    +0.30
    Galvis, Freddy          NL        SS     0.50         0.20    +0.30
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    Name                League  Position  Eye vs. RH  Eye vs. LH  Diff
    ==================  ======  ========  ==========  ==========  =====
    Cain, Lorenzo           NL        CF     0.67         2.50    -1.83
    Posey, Buster           NL      C/1B     0.52         2.00    -1.48
    Simmons, Andrelton      AL        SS     1.83         3.25    -1.42
    Braun, Ryan             NL        LF     0.19         1.50    -1.31
    Almora, Albert          NL        CF     0.28         1.50    -1.22
    Kiner-Falefa, Isiah     AL     3B/2B     0.30         1.43    -1.13
    Machado, Manny          AL     3B/SS     0.64         1.60    -0.96
    Taylor, Chris           NL  CF/SS/2B     0.27         1.17    -0.90
    Flores, Wilmer          NL     3B/1B     0.78         1.67    -0.89
    Cano, Robinson          AL        2B     0.71         1.50    -0.79
    Franco, Maikel          NL        3B     0.24         1.00    -0.76
    Arenado, Nolan          NL        3B     0.58         1.33    -0.75
    Robertson, Daniel       AL  SS/2B/3B     0.56         1.30    -0.74
    Suarez, Eugenio         NL        3B     0.46         1.18    -0.72
    Panik, Joe              NL        2B     1.29         2.00    -0.71
    LeMahieu, D.J.          NL        2B     0.36         1.00    -0.64
    Sanchez, Gary           AL         C     0.39         1.00    -0.61
    Turner, Trea            NL        CF     0.50         1.10    -0.60
    Anderson, Brian         NL        3B     0.34         0.92    -0.58
    Pirela, Jose            NL     2B/LF     0.24         0.80    -0.56
    Hoskins, Rhys           NL     1B/LF     0.45         1.00    -0.55
    Profar, Jurickson       NL  SS/LF/2B     0.46         1.00    -0.54
    Castro, Starlin         NL        2B     0.27         0.77    -0.50
    *min 50 PA vs. LH/RH

Let's take a closer look at some bats who own significant lefty-righty production and batting eye splits.
 

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Delino DeShields Jr. (CF, TEX) has not delivered consistent production during the regular playing time he has received (.621 OPS in 191 AB). That said, DeShields does own good plate skills (12% bb%, 74% ct%, 0.53 Eye), which helps him put his good wheels (122 Spd) to use. His lack of results stems primarily from his struggles against righties, which has been partly the result of a 24% h% against them. He has a 38% h% against LH bats. If those two marks converge, DeShields could increase his value in the second half.

Guillermo Heredia (CF, SEA) can produce some sneaky value against RHers. He has an .850 OPS against them, and that production hasn't been the result of opening up his swing (0.93 Eye), although it has been helped by a 36% h%. Heredia hasn't been able to do much against lefties (.591 OPS), mostly as a result of a 23% h% vL.

Max Kepler (RF, MIN) showed signs early this season of tapping into his upside (.862 OPS, 105 BPV in April). But both his production in the two following months (.707, .390 OPS) and skills (63, -15) have dropped off significantly. Digging deeper, Kepler has been hurt by a 23% h% against RHers, which has helped to drive his low .649 OPS. His hit rate normalizes against southpaws (32% h%), which has helped his overall production against them to shine (.949 OPS). Don't assume that he won't be able to turn around his recent slide.

Yoan Moncada (2B, CHW) continues to show signs of his former top prospect upside. His problem has been some chronic struggles against lefties. He hasn't hit them for any power (.085 ISO) and has managed only a .465 OPS against them. His power (.218 ISO) and production (.794 OPS) begin to come out against RHers.

Jurickson Profar (SS/LF/2B, TEX) has improved in each month so far this season. Check out his OPS by month: .693, .751, .859. And his surge in June has been paired with some nifty plate skills: 6% bb%, 91% ct%, 0.75 Eye. Those concurrent gains have helped him increase his BPV each month too: 35, 91, 104. While Profar still has work to do against RH bats (.706 OPS, 0.50 Eye vR), he's a must-start against lefties (.894 OPS, 1.00 Eye vL).

Gary Sanchez (C, NYY) still is struggling to get his batting average over the Mendoza Line (.190 BA). He has been victimized by a crazy 17% h% against righties. He owns a 29% h% vL, which has helped to escalate his overall production against lefties (.957 OPS). He's another slow-start bat worth holding.
 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Albert Almora (CF, CHC) continues to carry an impact bat when facing southpaws. He has a .912 OPS and .185 ISO against them. His batting eye vs. LHers has been superb too (1.50 Eye). He struggles to hit the ball with much authority against RHers (.088 ISO, .748 OPS). At age 24 and with his baseball acumen, Almora has time to grow into being an above-average everyday performer. In the meantime, he's a must-start against lefties.

Lorenzo Cain (CF, MIL) is another batter who looks like an upper-tier performer against southpaws. He's hitting them for power (.300 ISO) and production (1.200 OPS). He also has an elite batting eye against them (2.50 Eye). His value becomes diminished against same-sided pitchers (.116 ISO, .731 OPS, 0.67 Eye).

Wilmer Flores (3B/1B, NYM) hasn't caught a break against lefties this year after feasting on them in the past. He has an 18% h% and poor .489 OPS vL. As that hit rate regresses, his production against them should return, as he has shown a great approach against them (1.67 Eye). He owns a 30% h% against RHers, which has helped him post a career-best output against them (.876 OPS) while maintaining good control of home plate (0.78 Eye). There's still a lot to like here.

Brandon Nimmo (LF, NYM) has delivered results at an impact level against right-handers (1.082 OPS in 114 AB), and he hasn't done so by opening up his swing (0.63 Eye) or with the help of an overly-inflated hit rate (34% h% vR). But he's not someone you want in your active lineup against lefties (.613 OPS, 0.37 Eye in 41 AB vL).

Domingo Santana (RF, MIL) is not delivering at the level expected by those who drafted him (101 ADP). After posting a .900+ OPS vL over two of the last three seasons, he has been horrible against them in 2018 (.352 OPS in 45 AB). A low 17% h% vL has been the primary culprit for his struggles. However, his decent production against RHers (.767 OPS) has been fueled entirely by a friendly 43% h%. With some big holes in his swing, expect Santana to continue to be prone to wild performance swings.

Travis Shaw (3B, MIL) has produced a strong follow-up from his 2017 breakout. He has an .839 OPS in 239 AB. That production has been driven entirely by his results vs. RHers: .958 OPS, 0.88 Eye. If you have alternatives, he's not someone you want in there against lefties (.523 OPS, 0.50 Eye vL).

Christian Villanueva (3B, SD) has watched his production slide since his electric April (1.160 OPS in 74 AB). Check out his OPS over the next two months: .650, .358. His only value to you is when lefties are on the mound (1.306 OPS in 59 AB). He has been horrible against RHers (.586 OPS in 132 AB). The window to sell high on Villanueva is closing quickly.


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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.