We’re more than a third of the way through the MLB season which means our sample size is getting larger! We all know the bigger the sample size, the more accurate our data is. In general it isn’t wise to draw conclusions from smaller collections of data, but here we’re going to do just that: Split up some team hitting stats and look into how teams fare against left-handed pitching and right-handed pitching, respectively.
We’re going to sort our lefty/righty splits by wOBA & wRC+. If you aren’t familiar with these, here are MLB.com’s definitions:
wOBA is a version of on-base percentage that accounts for how a player reached base (instead of simply considering whether a player reached base). The value for each method of reaching base is determined by how much that event is worth in relation to projected runs scored (example: a double is worth more than a single).
wRC+ takes the Runs Created statistic and adjusts that number to account for important external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.
Here’s a table that includes teams’ overall stats and their stats vs LHP & RHP, respectively. Note how all teams have fewer PA vs LHP.
|wdt_ID||Team||PA||wOBA||wRC+||PA vs L||wOBA vs L||wRC+ vs L||PA vs R||wOBA vs R||wRC+ vs R|
It’s hard not to notice the Yankees being the 4th-best team vs RHP (by wRC+) with a 115, but only the 25th-best vs LHP, at 81.
The Diamondbacks are another team who jump out: They’re below average vs RHP (89) but they’re one of the best teams in baseball vs LHP (126, which ranks 3rd in the league).
It’s important to remember these numbers will fluctuate (especially the ones vs LHP) as we get more data. Which teams jump out to you?