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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Causal Sports Fan: Williams: New York is Lefty Land

Troster moves? More washed-up left-handed bats!

It’s no coincidence that both homers went to right field off of left-handed bats. Here are the home/road home run splits for the Yankees lefties in 2012:

  •Cano: 22/11
  •Granderson: 26/17
  •Swisher (as a lefty): 7/12
  •Teixeira (as a lefty): 7/7
  •Ibanez: 14/5
  •Chavez: 7/9
  •Suzuki: 5/0
  •Dewayne Wise: 2/1
  •Chris Dickerson: 1/1

That’s good for a 91/63 split combined. Facing a righty, the Yankees’ lineup could feature as many as seven left-handed bats. That’s not normal — it’s almost surely intentional. The Yankees are built to fit their park. Indeed, they had the best home record in baseball in 2012 at 51-30 (though six teams trailed at 50-31).

What makes it interesting is that there’s no reason this should hurt the Yankees on the road particularly, meaning that the Yankees have a real advantage that isn’t available to most other teams and isn’t balanced out when they travel (though losing Jeter, their best right-handed bat, may have had a bigger effect than one would expect since he’s relatively more valuable on the road). The Tigers, for example, have good defensive outfielders this year (once Quintin Berry and Andy Dirks got regular playing time) to fit their big park, but they give up some power in the outfield with that personnel. Indeed, the Tigers had a 50-31 record at home but a bad road record of 38-43. If they played in Fenway, Cabrera would probably do his Manny impression in left field, opening up another power position at third base, but hurting them on the road in bigger parks.

There are surely other teams with similar advantages, but the Yankees seem most obvious. For example, check out some ESPN Home Run Tracker pictures for Yankees hitters with Comerica Park overlaid (Granderson, Cano, Yankee Stadium as a whole).

Repoz Posted: October 21, 2012 at 05:58 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics, tigers, yankees

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   1. bobm Posted: October 21, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4278022)
All of MLB: 1007 Home Runs in 2012, Home Games and as LHB:

194 Batters
Curtis Granderson 26
    Robinson Cano 22
      Chris Davis 22
    Josh Hamilton 22
        Jay Bruce 21
      Jason Kubel 18
   Prince Fielder 18
     Josh Reddick 18
        Adam Dunn 18
  A.J. Pierzynski 18



NYY 91
BAL 61
CLE 49
OAK 47
ATL 45
CHW 44
COL 42
WSN 40
TEX 39
DET 39
PHI 38
BOS 38
SEA 35
PIT 35
NYM 33
TBD 32
CIN 32
ARI 31
HOU 28
TOR 28
KCR 25
STL 24
CHC 24
MIN 20
SDP 16
LAD 16
MIL 16
SFG 15
ANA 13
FLA 11


   2. The District Attorney Posted: October 21, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4278027)
Causal Sports Fan
Sports analysis focusing on causation and common sense
Thank God, he didn't just misspell "casual."
   3. bobm Posted: October 21, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4278033)
All of MLB: 1480 Home Runs in 2012, Home Games and as RHB 

       Miguel Cabrera 28
           Ryan Braun 24
    Edwin Encarnacion 23
           Corey Hart 22
      Josh Willingham 21
        Adrian Beltre 20
        Wilin Rosario 18
          Nelson Cruz 18
           B.J. Upton 17
          Ian Desmond 16
            Alex Rios 16
       Ryan Zimmerman 16
         Ryan Ludwick 16
    Giancarlo Stanton 16
           Mike Trout 16


MIL 103
CHW 76
TOR 74
CIN 71
TEX 69
ANA 69
BAL 66
WSN 61
COL 58
ARI 53
DET 53
STL 52
HOU 51
TBD 50
BOS 50
MIN 49
NYY 47
OAK 45
PHI 44
FLA 44
LAD 43
CHC 41
KCR 37
NYM 34
PIT 32
SDP 31
ATL 25
SEA 21
SFG 16
CLE 15





   4. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: October 21, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4278056)
I mean, I know that New York City is fairly liberal, but it's not like the whole state is "lefty"!
   5. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: October 21, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4278103)
Mmmmm...take my hand
And come with me to lefty land!
   6. John DiFool2 Posted: October 21, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4278117)
They weren't terribly vulnerable against lefty hurlers either-avg/OB about the same, lost 23 points of slg.

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