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MLB DFS: Taking Advantage of Hitters With Big Right vs Left Splits

In any DFS sport, one of the best things a good player can do is pick the most underpriced players. I’ve touched on a few ways to find underpriced players using Stadiums as a factor, as well as the impact of players moving up in the lineup. There’s another set of statistics that are simple to fit into your analysis: The disparity a player has in their performance against left handed pitchers compared to their performance against right handed pitchers.

A player’s price is based mostly on his fantasy points per game, which is dependent on getting on base and hitting the ball well, factors relatively well described by OPS. But most players tend to have discrepancies in their OPS based on the whether the pitcher is a righty or a lefty. Right handed batters tend to have a higher OPS against left handed pitchers, and left handed batters tend to have a higher OPS against right handed pitchers. When the discrepancy is large, it means the player will be underpriced against their higher OPS split, and overpriced against their lower OPS split. (On a side note, a player with a large left vs right split where they perform significantly better against lefty’s will be much more undervalued than the converse, because most plate appearances a player has will be against right handed pitchers, and a players performance against right handed pitchers will  therefore dominate their price)

This data can be found on multiple websites, but I used fangraphs.com for my data on right left splits. I simply took the OPS of players over a 3 year period vs right handed pitchers, and subtracted it by their OPS vs left handed pitchers. I chose 3 years to have some reflection of improvements in a players approach against their weak side, but a big enough sample to not encounter variance induced big splits.

Here are the top 20 guys for lefties and righties.

Jordy Mercer-0.406
Ed Lucas-0.388
Starling Marte-0.316
Jeff Baker-0.306
Wilin Rosario-0.29
Anthony Rendon-0.275
Bobby Wilson-0.271
Matt Wieters-0.271
Derek Norris-0.263
Derek Jeter-0.261
Danny Valencia-0.254
Kevin Frandsen-0.251
Casper Wells-0.24
Franklin Gutierrez-0.233
Cody Ransom-0.231
Cody Ross-0.221
Brian Dozier-0.221
Buster Posey-0.218
Andrew McCutchen-0.214
Devin Mesoraco-0.212
Ike Davis0.349
Garrett Jones0.348
Wilson Betemit0.343
David DeJesus0.333
John Jaso0.325
Brian Bogusevic0.318
Justin Morneau0.3
Andre Ethier0.296
Christian Yelich0.286
Shin-Soo Choo0.276
Chris Coghlan0.271
Jason Castro0.265
Didi Gregorius0.264
Ryan Howard0.254
Adam Lind0.25
Daniel Nava0.245
Tony Cruz0.245
Seth Smith0.243
Matt Joyce0.241
Nate Schierholtz0.239

As a reminder, strong positive values represent a player much better against rightys than leftys, and strong negative values mean the opposite.

The way to use these statistics is simple: Use a player who is good against right handed pitchers against right handed pitchers and ones who are good against left handed pitchers against left handed pitchers. This should not be your only reason to use a player, but it can make the difference when choosing between a few similar players.

View all posts by Daniel Steinberg
Daniel Steinberg

About the Author

Daniel Steinberg Daniel Steinberg is a former bond trader at a multi-billion dollar proprietary trading firm in Chicago. He uses his knowledge of statistics and his creativity from his career as a poker professional to create the most advanced Daily Fantasy statistical analysis that you will find anywhere. Follow him on twitter @DanielSingerS

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