Saturday, October 08, 2011

Tigers Look to Take Advantage of Rangers Lefties

The Rangers have a very heavily left-handed starting rotation in place for the League Championship Series.  CJ Wilson, Matt Harrison and Derek Holland are all lefties while Colby Lewis is the lone right-hander. This is good news for the Tigers, who batted .287 with a .786 OPS versus southpaw starters and .272 with a .767 OPS versus righties during the regular season.  They also

Several Tigers batters hit lefties significantly better than righties over the course of the year.  This includes Ramon Santiago (.832 OPS vs LHP, .662 vs. RHP), Ryan Raburn (.807, .681), Brandon Inge (.717, .449), Austin Jackson (.732, .672) and Magglio Ordonez (.716, .581).   Other hitters such as Miguel Cabrera (.990, 1.047) and Victor Martinez (.823, .861) hit well against both right-handers and left-handers.  The player who could be hurt the most by the Rangers staff is Alex Avila (.779, .939).  overall, the Ranger right-handedness seems like a small but real advantage for the Tigers.

The Tigers staff, on the other hand, is heavily right-handed.  In fact, all their starters are right-handed.  Fortunately, the Rangers do not have a distinct advantage versus right-handers  (.802 OPS versus LH starters and .799 OPS vs. RH starters).  They do have some hitters who enjoy facing right-handers, most notably slugging outfielder Josh Hamilton (.825 vs. LHP, .904 versus RHP).  Others include Mitch Moreland (.783, .577) and David Murphy (.809, .507).

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