Script Splits: Using Advanced Stats to Rank OF vs RHP

Reddick is more than a "careless whisper" but has his swagger back slashing 307/356/560 vs RHP
Reddick is more than a “careless whisper” but has his swagger back, slashing .307/.356/.560 vs RHP

There were some great outfielders to target in the Splits series against left-handed pitching, but as I turn my attention to which ones to target against right-handed pitchers, it becomes a little riskier. Whereas nine outfielders have an OPS above 1.000 against southpaws, only Yasiel Puig and J.D. Martinez have the same success against right-handed pitchers. Of course this can be due to volume of at bats, but it is something to observe when constructing daily lineups. Targeting weak left-handed pitchers may be easier to predict as opposed to righties. This is one of the reasons that the Colorado pitching staff is one to target when possible due to their volume of left-handed pitchers. Of course Chris Sale and David Price are exceptions to this rule, it is food for thought. However, this is a look at how outfielder’s splits against right handed pitchers. Again, here are the parameters I am using to judge the outfielders using the following variables:

wOBA: Weighted On Base Average represents all the ways a player gets on base (HBP counts in this metric). It is used to measure a player’s overall offensive value.

ISO: Isolated Power  is simply a player’s slugging percentage minus his batting average.

OPS: On base plus Slugging is exactly what it’s surname suggests, adding together both statistics (OBP and SLG%). In the daily game being getting on base via the extra base hit is preferred.

AB/HR: A simple stat. How many homers does a player hit between each at bat? The fewer the better.

wRC+: Weighted Runs Created Plus A measure of how many runs a player creates. The “+” accounts for differing ballpark factors. So a player who’s home park is Coors is weighted to equal one in Citi Field, for example.

Because sites require three outfielders to be active, I will list the top twenty in each category before I rank them based on the average finish across all categories.

Outfielders versus right-handed Pitching (minimum 100 plate appearances):

wOBA:
1. Yasiel Puig .437
2. J.D. Martinez .429
3. Michael Brantley .422
4. Mike Trout .418
5. Andrew McCutchen .416
6. Corey Dickerson .410
7. A.J. Pollock .410
8. Kevin Kiermaier .400
9. Josh Reddick .396
10. Seth Smith .390
11. David Peralta .385
12. Danny Santana .383
13. Brett Gardner .382
14. Matt Kemp .381
15. Jose Bautista .379
16. Carlos Gomez .375
17. Ryan Braun .375
18. Jason Heyward .373
19. Giancarlo Stanton .370
20. Melky Cabrera .370

There are some interesting names to note here. Intriguing targets are emerging, one of them being Josh Reddick. The A’s outfielder has been red hot since his return from the disabled list. Another player who is making his way back from injury is A.J. Pollock. Kevin Kiermaier has also been quietly emerging in Tampa Bay. Even though Kiermaier has been hitting ninth, he provides great value in daily lineups against right-handed pitchers. The last player I will highlight in this list is David Peralta of the Diamondbacks who is not only a great story, but a favorite of longtime scout Bernie Pleskoff. With all of the injuries in Arizona, he may be a great player to target for teams who are pending the loss of Andrew McCutchen.

ISO:
1. Mike Trout .278
2. J.D. Martinez .269
3. Nelson Cruz .263
4. Yasiel Puig .259
5. Corey Dickerson .256
6. Josh Reddick .253
7. George Springer .251
8. Colby Rasmus .243
9. Kevin Kiermaier .242
10. Giancarlo Stanton .240
11. Brett Gardner .234
12. Andrew McCutchen .226
13. Brandon Barnes .221
14. Carlos Beltran .221
15. Ryan Braun .219
16. A.J. Pollock .216
17. Seth Smith .215
18. Michael Brantley .215
19. Oswaldo Arcia .204
20. Justin Upton .201

While it is no surprise to see Mike Trout at the top of the list, how about taking some time to recognize how good Brett Gardner has been this year? It was discussed on our podcast if he could hit 20 home runs this year, I said yes. Will he do it again next year? I am not willing to pay for it but it has happened before with a one-year power spike. Two boom or bust plays are on this list in Colby Rasmus and Oswaldo Arcia. Both have great power and in tournament play are interesting chances to take against a weak right handed pitcher.

OPS:
1. Yasiel Puig 1.014
2. J.D. Martinez 1.000
3. Mike Trout .979
4. Michael Brantley .971
5. Andrew McCutchen .967
6. Corey Dickerson .960
7. A.J. Pollock .941
8. Kevin Kiermaier .928
9. Josh Reddick .916
10. Seth Smith .895
11. David Peralta .884
12. Danny Santana .882
13. Brett Gardner .879
14. Matt Kemp .871
15. Giancarlo Stanton .870
16. Jose Bautista .867
17. Ryan Braun .864
18. Carlos Gomez .853
19. Melky Cabrera .843
20. Jason Heyward .841

I understand why some baseball people can be turned off by Yasiel Puig, but he has been proving he is no fluke. Love him or hate him, he is one of the only two with a 1.000+ OPS against righties along with surprise J.D. Martinez. It will be interesting to rank J.D. next year. He has tailed off some from his hot start after being promoted and his sustainability will be questioned.

AB/HR:
1. George Springer 13.9
2. Giancarlo Stanton 16.7
3. Colby Rasmus 16.8
4. Mike Trout 17.8
5. J.D. Martinez 17.8
6. Josh Reddick 18.8
7. Corey Dickerson 19.5
8. Josh Willingham 20.3
9. Carlos Gonzalez 20.6
10. Brett Gardner 21.4
11. Kevin Kiermaier 21.9
12. Jose Bautista 22.8
13. Kole Calhoun 23.3
14. Marlon Byrd 23.4
15. Matt Kemp 23.4
16. Travis Snider 23.9
17. Michael Brantley 24.1
18. Justin Upton 24.4
19. Torii Hunter 24.5
20. Seth Smith 25

In the boom or bust section are George Springer and Colby Rasmus. They appear in the power lists as they can run into a fastball at any time and hit one out. However, to rely on them on a day-to-day basis is tough due to their propensity to strike out or not make solid contact. With the injury to Andrew McCutchen, Travis Snider may see an uptick in his playing time against right-handed pitchers which coincides with his recent hot streak. Kole Calhoun and Michael Brantley are two players that represent a high floor against right-handed pitchers and are nice players to target on a daily basis.

wRC+:
1. Yasiel Puig 188
2. Michael Brantley 175
3. J.D. Martinez 174
4. Mike Trout 174
5. Andrew McCutchen 172
6. Kevin Kiermaier 162
7. A.J. Pollock 161
8. Josh Reddick 157
9. Seth Smith 155
10. Corey Dickerson 149
11. Matt Kemp 149
12. Danny Santana 146
13. David Peralta 144
14. Brett Gardner 142
15. Jason Heyward 140
16. Jose Bautista 139
17. Kole Calhoun 139
18. Carlos Gomez 139
19. Ryan Braun 138
20. Giancarlo Stanton 137

Although there are many familiar suspects, one player I have yet to highlight is Corey Dickerson who is having a great season in Colorado. He and Seth Smith represent great plays when they are at home against right-handed pitching.

Overall Rankings Based on Aggregate Averages (2014 Stats vs. RHP included):
1. J.D. Martinez – 160 AB, 24 R, 9 HR, 32 RBI, 2 SB, 350/382/619
2. Mike Trout – 302 AB, 51 R, 17 HR, 63 RBI, 11 SB, 311/389/589
3. Yasiel Puig – 301 AB, 51 R, 1 HR, 48 RBI, 7 SB, 339/416/598
4. Corey Dickerson – 215 AB, 37 R, 11 HR, 32 RBI, 6 SB, 321/383/577
5. Josh Reddick – 150 AB, 28 R, 8 HR, 26 RBI, SB, 307/356/560
6. Kevin Kiermaier – 153 AB, 20 R, 7 HR, 19 RBI, 4 SB, 314/373/556
7. Michael Brantley – 289 AB, 51 R, 12 HR, 51 RBI, 10 SB, 353/403/567
8. Andrew McCutchen – 337 AB, 49 R, 13 HR, 56 RBI, 16 SB, 323/418/549
9. A.J. Pollock – 139 AB, 19 R, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 6 SB, 338/389/554
10. Brett Gardner – 278 AB, 54 R, 13 HR, 41 RBI, 14 SB, 281/364/514
11. Seth Smith – 275 AB, 40 R, 11 HR, 26 RBI, SB, 295/386/509
12. Giancarlo Stanton – 334 AB, 55 R, 20 HR, 62 RBI, 8 SB, 266/364/506
13. George Springer – 233 AB, 33 R, 16 HR, 38 RBI, 3 SB, 242/315/493
14. Matt Kemp – 257 AB, 34 R, 11 HR, 36 RBI, 5 SB, 304/369/502
15. Colby Rasmus – 202 AB, 27 R, 12 HR, 28 RBI, 2 SB, 233/276/475
16. David Peralta 151 AB, 22 R, 4 HR, 20 RBI, 3 SB, 331/361/523
17. Danny Santana – 140 AB, 22 R, 4 HR, 21 RBI, 3 SB, 336/361/521
18. Jose Bautista – 296 AB, 52 R, 13 HR, 50 RBI, 5 SB, 274/397/470
19. Ryan Braun – 256 AB, 38 R, 10 HR, 50 RBI, 2 SB, 293/352/512
20. Carlos Gomez – 327 AB, 53 R, 11 HR, 40 RBI, 20 SB, 303/364/489

Bonus Plays:
1. Jason Heyward – 306 AB, 43 R, 7 HR, 34 RBI, 9 SB, 304/397/444
2. Melky Cabrera – 335 AB, 55 R, 9 HR, 40 RBI, 5 SB, 322/368/475
3. Adam Eaton – 261 AB, 40 R, HR, 21 RBI, 9 SB, 299/363/410

Do not let David Peralta slip under your radar. He is an undervalued source of HR/SB & will play in Arizona
Do not let David Peralta slip under your radar. He is an undervalued source of HR/SB and will play in Arizona

Even though J.D. Martinez made it to the top of the list based on the overall rankings averaged out, I am hesitant to roster him going forward. The league has adjusted to him and now it is up to him to adjust back. In the bonus plays section, Melky Cabrera plays in a high-octane offense and when Edwin Encarnacion comes back hitting second is really beneficial to him. Adam “Spanky” Eaton has been on fire lately and like Cabrera, hitting ahead of Jose Abreu has proven to be valuable as Eaton will score runs and steal bases ahead of him. These are great guys to have in case you are playing a Colby Rasmus or George Springer type with the hope of a home run as they provide a solid base of points with runs and hits. Many targets have been talked about so there are plenty of good plays in this group. With Yasiel Puig and Mike Trout’s price points, it is tough to get them with top pitching plays in daily fantasy so knowing who the bargains (David Peralta, Josh Reddick, Kevin Kiermaier) are allow for roster flexibility.

Statistical credits: Fangraphs.com, ESPN.com
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/UrV6Li (Reddick), http://goo.gl/BDjtqD (Peralta)

Greg Jewett is The Sports Script’s senior fantasy baseball writer. Follow him on Twitter @gjewett9!

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