STARTERS: BPV vs. LH/RH, 2016

This is the first of a three-part series on starting pitchers who may be one split away from taking a big step forward.

Here, let's look at the BPV posted by SP vs. RH and LH bats to find which guys dominate which sided batters the most.

This analysis can help you find hidden skills before they blossom, which can especially be helpful when looking at young SP. It can also help you set your rotations based on the lineups your pitchers are facing.

First, the SP who own the best skills against RH bats:

100+ BPV vs. RH Bats*

Name                League  Throws  Ctl  Dom   HR/9  GB%  H%   S%   hr/f  Ball%  BPV
==================  ======  ======  ===  ====  ====  ===  ===  ===  ====  =====  ===
Fernandez, Jose         NL     RHP  1.9  14.9   0.5  35%  34%  81%    8%    33%  231
Scherzer, Max           NL     RHP  0.4  12.2   1.4  32%  20%  56%   16%    25%  219
Kershaw, Clayton        NL     LHP  0.4  10.1   0.5  51%  25%  78%    8%    30%  200
Syndergaard, Noah       NL     RHP  0.5   9.8   0.3  56%  29%  81%    5%    30%  196
De La Rosa, Rubby       NL     RHP  1.4  11.2   2.1  49%  32%  68%   25%    32%  191
Walker, Taijuan         AL     RHP  1.5  11.1   1.1  49%  43%  85%   16%    34%  187
Nola, Aaron             NL     RHP  0.9   9.9   0.7  55%  31%  76%   12%    28%  187
Hellickson, Jeremy      NL     RHP  0.5   9.4   1.4  51%  30%  61%   19%    32%  185
Fulmer, Michael         AL     RHP  3.1  12.9   2.0  46%  35%  72%   26%    37%  171
Gee, Dillon             AL     RHP  0.4   9.0   1.7  42%  30%  71%   17%    29%  170
Teheran, Julio          NL     RHP  1.3   9.9   0.4  46%  28%  85%    6%    32%  166
Kluber, Corey           AL     RHP  1.6   9.9   0.7  51%  31%  65%    9%    31%  164
Strasburg, Stephen      NL     RHP  2.2  11.2   0.7  39%  38%  77%    8%    32%  161
Chacin, Jhoulys         AL     RHP  2.1  10.3   0.3  51%  37%  66%    7%    32%  159
McHugh, Collin          AL     RHP  0.9   8.6   0.6  42%  38%  67%    5%    32%  152
Velasquez, Vincent      NL     RHP  2.5  11.4   1.3  35%  32%  75%   13%    33%  150
Price, David            AL     LHP  2.4  11.0   1.0  40%  35%  62%   12%    33%  150
Eovaldi, Nathan         AL     RHP  1.4   8.1   0.7  62%  28%  69%   12%    32%  146
Arrieta, Jake           AL     RHP  2.2   9.0   0.4  61%  18%  79%    9%    34%  142
Maeda, Kenta            NL     RHP  1.5   8.7   0.6  47%  30%  66%    8%    33%  141
Shoemaker, Matt         AL     RHP  2.6  10.2   1.1  46%  43%  78%   12%    34%  139
Lackey, John            NL     RHP  1.6   9.2   1.3  38%  23%  69%   15%    31%  139
Ramirez, Erasmo         AL     RHP  0.7   6.6   0.7  62%  23%  71%   13%    30%  139
Wood, Alex              NL     LHP  2.4   9.7   0.8  51%  31%  81%   14%    35%  138
Matz, Steven            NL     LHP  1.7   8.5   0.8  50%  27%  82%   11%    31%  136
Nolasco, Ricky          AL     RHP  1.9   9.2   1.1  44%  36%  59%   11%    35%  136
Harvey, Matt            NL     RHP  1.5   7.8   1.2  53%  34%  67%   18%    29%  133
Pomeranz, Drew          NL     LHP  4.0  11.7   0.7  51%  28%  76%   10%    37%  133
Colon, Bartolo          NL     RHP  1.3   7.7   0.3  48%  39%  82%    5%    30%  128
Hammel, Jason           NL     RHP  1.4   7.8   0.5  45%  24%  80%    6%    32%  128
Ross, Joe               NL     RHP  1.3   7.3   0.8  51%  23%  76%   10%    35%  126
Kennedy, Ian            NL     RHP  2.5   9.8   1.4  39%  28%  87%   15%    35%  126
Pineda, Michael         AL     RHP  2.4   9.3   2.4  43%  35%  51%   23%    35%  124
Porcello, Rick          AL     RHP  1.6   7.7   1.6  50%  33%  66%   19%    36%  123
deGrom, Jacob           NL     RHP  2.6   9.3   0.7  48%  31%  85%    9%    30%  123
Guerra, Junior          NL     RHP  1.3   7.8   0.4  39%  28%  61%    5%    29%  123
Bumgarner, Madison      NL     LHP  2.9   9.9   0.8  43%  31%  88%    9%    35%  121
Roark, Tanner           NL     RHP  2.5   8.1   0.7  63%  31%  71%   19%    35%  121
Gonzalez, Gio           NL     LHP  2.3   8.8   1.3  45%  32%  77%   14%    38%  119
Hendricks, Kyle         NL     RHP  1.6   6.8   0.5  60%  24%  54%    8%    34%  119
Foltynewicz, Mike       NL     RHP  1.8   7.5   0.9  53%  29%  80%   13%    32%  118
Nova, Ivan              AL     RHP  1.5   6.7   1.1  60%  34%  77%   17%    35%  118
Hill, Rich              AL     LHP  4.4  12.1   0.4  40%  33%  82%    5%    37%  116
Zimmermann, Jordan      AL     RHP  1.2   7.3   0.9  38%  32%  82%    7%    31%  116
Sale, Chris             AL     LHP  2.0   8.5   0.8  39%  24%  80%    9%    33%  115
Straily, Dan            NL     RHP  2.7   9.4   0.9  41%  30%  84%   11%    36%  114
Lester, Jon             NL     LHP  2.0   8.2   1.0  43%  26%  81%   11%    35%  114
Feldman, Scott          AL     RHP  1.8   7.5   0.4  48%  35%  68%    6%    35%  113
Martinez, Carlos        NL     RHP  2.0   7.5   0.0  52%  26%  84%    0%    35%  112
Norris, Bud             NL     RHP  2.4   8.5   0.7  45%  35%  70%    8%    34%  112
Quintana, Jose          AL     LHP  2.3   8.9   0.4  34%  32%  81%    3%    37%  111
Cueto, Johnny           NL     RHP  2.0   7.7   0.4  49%  27%  81%    5%    34%  111
Tomlin, Josh            AL     RHP  0.8   6.6   1.7  36%  30%  72%   14%    31%  110
Peavy, Jake             NL     RHP  2.2   7.9   2.2  49%  30%  44%   21%    34%  110
Archer, Chris           AL     RHP  3.5  10.0   2.5  45%  36%  73%   26%    37%  109
Samardzija, Jeff        NL     RHP  1.9   7.6   0.6  46%  27%  81%    8%    34%  108
Eickhoff, Jerad         NL     RHP  2.0   8.1   1.0  36%  25%  78%   11%    36%  108
Gray, Jonathan          NL     RHP  3.5   9.3   0.0  57%  34%  60%    0%    36%  108
Kazmir, Scott           NL     LHP  3.5  10.4   1.8  36%  28%  76%   18%    36%  107
Sanchez, Aaron          AL     RHP  2.5   7.2   0.3  66%  29%  66%    8%    33%  106
Santana, Ervin          AL     RHP  2.7   9.1   1.4  37%  37%  69%   15%    37%  106
Hamels, Cole            AL     LHP  3.7   9.7   1.8  51%  32%  83%   24%    39%  105
Wright, Steven          AL     RHP  3.2   9.4   0.2  43%  30%  74%    3%    35%  104
Hernandez, Felix        AL     RHP  2.9   8.3   1.2  54%  25%  80%   17%    37%  104
Tanaka, Masahiro        AL     RHP  2.2   7.5   1.0  48%  27%  72%   11%    35%  102
Dean, Pat               AL     LHP  2.5   8.6   1.6  34%  36%  79%   15%    35%  101
*min 20 IP

Next, the guys with the best skills vs. LH bats, keeping in mind that many SP have not reached the 20 IP threshold vs. LH bats yet:

75+ BPV vs. LH Bats*

Name                League  Throws  Ctl  Dom   HR/9  GB%  H%   S%   hr/f  Ball%  BPV
==================  ======  ======  ===  ====  ====  ===  ===  ===  ====  =====  ===
Syndergaard, Noah       NL     RHP  2.1  13.4   0.6  59%  39%  84%   12%    33%  220
Cueto, Johnny           NL     RHP  0.8   8.4   0.3  49%  33%  73%    5%    32%  155
Quintana, Jose          AL     LHP  0.4   7.1   0.0  57%  26%  73%    0%    32%  151
Strasburg, Stephen      NL     RHP  2.8  10.8   0.8  52%  25%  80%   11%    33%  149
Pineda, Michael         AL     RHP  2.7  10.8   1.2  43%  47%  70%   14%    34%  143
Verlander, Justin       AL     RHP  2.7  11.5   0.6  30%  30%  72%    5%    35%  140
Greinke, Zack           NL     RHP  1.5   8.3   1.2  49%  36%  65%   17%    34%  136
Salazar, Danny          AL     RHP  3.6  11.6   0.3  43%  26%  79%    4%    37%  133
Tanaka, Masahiro        AL     RHP  1.1   6.6   0.5  60%  26%  79%   11%    33%  129
Nola, Aaron             NL     RHP  2.5   9.0   1.1  55%  22%  69%   17%    36%  129
Gray, Jonathan          NL     RHP  2.9  10.2   2.1  39%  33%  52%   26%    37%  124
Porcello, Rick          AL     RHP  2.3   8.8   0.8  44%  25%  77%    9%    37%  120
Fiers, Mike             AL     RHP  0.9   6.4   0.9  50%  31%  72%   16%    33%  119
Devenski, Chris         AL     RHP  2.1   8.6   0.4  38%  25%  72%    6%    31%  112
Samardzija, Jeff        NL     RHP  2.4   8.2   0.6  48%  33%  69%    7%    34%  108
Hendricks, Kyle         NL     RHP  2.6   8.1   0.0  52%  31%  88%    0%    33%  107
Eickhoff, Jerad         NL     RHP  1.7   7.0   1.4  47%  36%  67%   15%    38%  106
Bauer, Trevor           AL     RHP  2.2   8.6   1.1  30%  29%  76%   10%    39%  106
Cole, Gerrit            NL     RHP  2.8   9.1   0.4  38%  40%  82%    4%    37%  104
Odorizzi, Jake          AL     RHP  2.0   7.3   0.7  47%  22%  90%    7%    34%  103
Kluber, Corey           AL     RHP  2.3   7.8   1.0  47%  30%  63%   12%    36%  102
Chatwood, Tyler         NL     RHP  1.3   5.4   0.3  61%  26%  70%    4%    36%  101
Shoemaker, Matt         AL     RHP  2.0   8.1   1.3  27%  33%  45%   13%    35%   99
Karns, Nate             AL     RHP  3.4   9.7   0.9  37%  31%  78%   10%    38%   96
Velasquez, Vincent      AL     RHP  3.5   9.7   1.3  36%  33%  77%   13%    37%   96
Nolasco, Ricky          AL     RHP  1.8   6.9   1.5  42%  30%  65%   13%    37%   96
Leake, Mike             NL     RHP  2.1   6.5   2.1  52%  19%  64%   26%    35%   92
Tomlin, Josh            AL     RHP  1.2   5.3   1.6  50%  22%  76%   18%    35%   91
Nicasio, Juan           NL     RHP  3.7   9.6   2.5  41%  37%  74%   25%    36%   90
Eovaldi, Nathan         AL     RHP  3.6   9.1   1.6  42%  34%  76%   15%    35%   88
Sanchez, Aaron          AL     RHP  3.6   8.6   0.7  53%  31%  84%   12%    39%   88
Lackey, John            NL     RHP  3.2   8.4   0.3  46%  27%  73%    5%    35%   88
Wainwright, Adam        NL     RHP  1.7   6.6   0.7  35%  36%  59%    6%    33%   87
Stripling, Ross         NL     RHP  3.3   7.9   0.0  54%  28%  83%    0%    38%   85
Iwakuma, Hisashi        AL     RHP  2.5   7.6   0.8  37%  35%  67%    8%    35%   83
Archer, Chris           AL     RHP  5.0  10.7   0.6  49%  33%  76%   10%    42%   83
Arrieta, Jake           NL     RHP  4.2   9.0   0.3  53%  28%  89%    5%    37%   80
Cain, Matt              NL     RHP  2.0   6.7   0.8  34%  39%  69%    8%    34%   79
Gray, Sonny             AL     RHP  3.1   7.2   0.7  54%  34%  58%   10%    37%   78
Stroman, Marcus         AL     RHP  3.0   6.4   0.7  62%  31%  63%   12%    38%   75
*min 20 IP

Finally, here are the SP with the widest skill splits when facing RH and LH bats:

BPV vs. RH/LH Bats*

Name                League  Throws  BPV vs. RH  BPV vs. LH  Diff
==================  ======  ======  ==========  ==========  ====
Scherzer, Max           NL     RHP         219          45  +174
Fernandez, Jose         NL     RHP         231          61  +170
Teheran, Julio          NL     RHP         166          -3  +170
De La Rosa, Rubby       NL     RHP         191          38  +154
Miller, Shelby          NL     RHP          49        -102  +151
Hellickson, Jeremy      NL     RHP         185          45  +140
Hammel, Jason           NL     RHP         128         -10  +138
Ross, Joe               NL     RHP         126           9  +117
Walker, Taijuan         AL     RHP         187          74  +114
Peavy, Jake             NL     RHP         110           1  +109
Ventura, Yordano        AL     RHP          43         -65  +108
Straily, Dan            NL     RHP         114           6  +108
Harvey, Matt            NL     RHP         133          25  +108
Buchholz, Clay          AL     RHP          54         -49  +102
Maeda, Kenta            NL     RHP         141          44   +97
Kennedy, Ian            AL     RHP         126          29   +97
Chacin, Jhoulys         AL     RHP         159          62   +97
Santana, Ervin          AL     RHP         106          22   +84
McHugh, Collin          AL     RHP         152          72   +79
Wright, Steven          AL     RHP         104          25   +79
Hernandez, Felix        AL     RHP         104          31   +73
Colon, Bartolo          NL     RHP         128          57   +71
Roark, Tanner           NL     RHP         121          49   +71
Rea, Colin              NL     RHP          68          -3   +71
Zimmermann, Jordan      AL     RHP         116          51   +65
Wilson, Tyler           AL     RHP          90          26   +65
Arrieta, Jake           NL     RHP         142          80   +62
Kluber, Corey           AL     RHP         164         102   +62
Dickey, R.A.            AL     RHP          82          24   +58
Lewis, Colby            AL     RHP          98          40   +58
Nola, Aaron             NL     RHP         187         129   +58
Eovaldi, Nathan         AL     RHP         146          88   +58
deGrom, Jacob           NL     RHP         123          67   +56
Martinez, Carlos        NL     RHP         112          57   +55
Velasquez, Vincent      AL     RHP         150          96   +54
Lackey, John            NL     RHP         139          88   +51
----------------------------------------------------------------
Gray, Sonny             AL     RHP          12          78   -66
Bauer, Trevor           AL     RHP          42         106   -64
Stripling, Ross         NL     RHP          23          85   -61
Chatwood, Tyler         NL     RHP          42         101   -60
Verlander, Justin       AL     RHP          85         140   -55
Wainwright, Adam        NL     RHP          32          87   -55
Salazar, Danny          AL     RHP          83         133   -50
*min 20 IP vs. LH, RH bats

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Jhoulys Chacin (RHP, LAA) owns a 4.42 ERA after nine starts, leading owners to keep him on the waiver wire in many leagues. As a SP who has never posted anything better than an 80 BPV during the course of a season, it's easy to be pessimistic with Chacin. But his skills so far in 2016 have been impressive: 8.0 Dom, 2.4 Ctl, 53% GB%, 110 BPV. He is completely dominating RH bats: 10.3 Dom, 2.1 Ctl, 51% GB%, 159 BPV. A 37% H% and 66% S% against them has produced his 4+ ERA. One key for Chacin has been a tightened cutter. He's getting a 19% SwK% with that pitch compared to a 10% SwK% with it in 2015. He's someone to use against RH-leaning lineups.

Michael Fulmer (RHP, DET) is emerging as a young SP with breakout potential. Among AL SP, only Taijuan Walker (RHP, SEA) has posted better skills against righties than Fulmer has: 12.9 Dom, 3.1 Ctl, 46% GB%, 171 BPV. In addition, only Jose Fernandez (RHP, MIA) has a higher strikeout rate vs. RHers than Fulmer's 12.9 Dom. Blame a 35% H% and 26% hr/f for his near-5 ERA against them. A strikeout pitch against LH bats (5.3 Dom) is the biggest missing piece to a breakout. He is getting a 15%+ SwK% on two offspeed pitches (18% SwK% on change-up, 15% SwK% on slider), and his 95-mph four-seam fastball is generating more swings-and-misses than that type of pitch normally does. There's a lot to like here.

Dillon Gee (RHP, KC) owns an ugly 4.28 ERA and 1.53 WHIP over 40 IP, and given his long history of mediocrity, he won't generate much interest in most leagues. That said, he was a lot better in May than his 5.53 ERA and 1.63 WHIP would seem to indicate: 9.1 Dom, 2.6 Ctl, 38% GB%, 110 BPV. His strong command was backed by a 10% SwK% and 65% FpK%. And he is one of the game's most lethal pitchers against RH bats: 9.0 Dom, 0.4 Ctl, 42% GB%, 170 BPV. All of his problems have come against lefties (.999 OPS, 1.4 Cmd), partially due to an inflated 41% H% against them. Gee carries some end-rotation value if you can spot start him against righty-heavy lineups.

Michael Pineda (RHP, NYY) owns a horrible 7.80 ERA and 1.50 WHIP against RH bats and a 5.79 ERA and 1.84 WHIP vs. LHers. Neither sets of marks seem to offer much hope for a rebound. But a closer look reveals he is putting up impactful skills against both LHers (143 BPV) and RHers (124 BPV). His stats have been sabotaged by a 51% S% and 23% hr/f against righties, as well as a 47% H% against lefties. You'll want to bench him during his home starts if you can, since his gopheritis gets out of control in Yankee Stadium. But buy-low targets don't get much better than Pineda.

Justin Verlander (RHP, DET) quietly is resembling the rotation anchor he used to be. He was very good in May (3.16 ERA, 0.94 WHIP) and posted solid underlying skills (119 BPV). And he has found his groove against LH batters: 11.5 Dom, 2.7 Ctl, 30% GB%, 140 BPV. His continued flyball tilt (34/20/46 G/L/F) will keep him prone to blowups, but he's a legit mid-3s ERA pitcher with 200-K potential again if he can stay healthy, as his current 13% SwK% is the best of his career.

Taijuan Walker (RHP, SEA) is the most skilled SP in the AL when facing RH bats: 11.1 Dom, 1.5 Ctl, 49% GB%, 187 BPV. He has an inflated 1.48 WHIP against them due to a 43% H%. As that regresses, expect his surfaces stats to improve further. He's a legit mid-3s ERA pitcher with rotation anchor potential.
 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Jake Arrieta (RHP, CHC) owns a tidy 1.56 ERA and 0.89 WHIP after 11 starts, leading most of his owners to view him as an anchor and not thinking twice about riding him out. That said, his skills have been more near-elite than superb (117 BPV). A 22% H%, 84% S%, and 7% hr/f are the reasons for his tiny ERA. His near-3 xERA is a better barometer of the ERA we can expect from him at his current skill output. Digging deeper, he has been saved by a tiny 18% H% against RH bats. As that mark regresses, expect his surface stats to erode. He's someone to consider selling high on if you have a top-heavy staff and can get top dollar for him.

Rubby De La Rosa (RHP, ARI) is on the disabled list due to another elbow issue. When he was healthy, he has been one of the game's most dominating arms against RH bats. His skills against them trailed only those from anchors Fernandez, Scherzer, Kershaw, and Syndergaard: 11.2 Dom, 1.4 Ctl, 49% GB%, 191 BPV. His bugaboo remains lefty bats, against whom he shows poor command: 7.0 Dom, 4.5 Ctl, 56% GB%, 38 BPV. Given his excellent change-up, it would seem that De La Rosa has the raw tools to improve against lefties. He remains an attractive high-risk/reward target if his elbow issue turns out to be minor.

Jonathan Gray (RHP, COL) is another young SP with rotation-anchor upside. Only 13 SP own a 100+ BPV against both lefty and righty bats; this is one. He has been saddled with a 6.95 ERA vs. LHers due to a 52% S% and 26% hr/f against them. With an overall near-10 Dom supported decently by a 10% SwK%, he's someone whose ERA stands a great shot to come down closer to his 3.26 xERA.

Matt Harvey (RHP, NYM) has been a mess so far this season. Most of his struggles can be attributed to a very rough time vs. lefties (6.14 ERA, 1.81 WHIP, 25 BPV). His skills surge against RHers: 7.8 Dom, 1.5 Ctl, 53% GB%, 133 BPV. With good health and a return of velocity on all of his pitches, Harvey could be in store for a big second half.

Jeremy Hellickson (RHP, PHI) is one of the most electric SP in MLB when facing RH bats: 9.4 Dom, 0.5 Ctl, 51% GB%, 185 BPV. Those marks have been hidden by a low 61% S% and inflated 19% hr/f. As those marks regress, Hellickson's overall ERA should dip lower into the 3s.

Shelby Miller (RHP, ARI) is the worst SP in MLB against LH bats, and it's not even close. Check out his horrible skills against them: 4.1 Dom, 7.5 Ctl, 48% GB%, -102 BPV. And he's not really roster worthy against RHers either (49 BPV). Miller isn't someone you want anywhere near your active lineup, even when he comes off the DL.

Dan Straily (RHP, CIN) is a post-hype pitcher who can have value against RH-stacked lineups: 9.4 Dom, 2.7 Ctl, 41% GB%, 114 BPV. You don't want him anywhere near your active roster when he faces lineups with good lefty bats: 7.3 Dom, 5.3 Ctl, 39% GB%, 6 BPV. As a guy with a long history of struggling against lefties as well as chronic gopheritis, Straily is a high-risk investment, especially given his HR-friendly home park. There's more downside than upside here.

Julio Teheran (RHP, ATL) has been filthy so far against RH bats, both on the surface (1.54 ERA, 0.85 WHIP) and beneath it: 9.9 Dom, 1.3 Ctl, 46% GB%, 166 BPV. He has struggled a ton against lefties though: 5.6 Dom, 4.6 Ctl, 42% GB%, -3 BPV. The '13-'14 version of Teheran was driven by his 2.7+ Cmd against lefties; he owns a Cmd of 1.4 and 1.2 against them the last two seasons. Until he makes an adjustment against them, a 4.00 ERA will be more likely than his near-3 mark.


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