Come One Come All: Baseball's Oddities
Ladies and Gentleman, boys and girls, Daily Fantasy players of all legal ages…..I present to you the most puzzling, the most freaky, the most wondrous human oddities only baseball can offer to you. In place of the Bearded Lady of Geneva, Lionel-The Lion faced boy, or even Wang-The Human Unicorn, I bring to you the MLB’s “finest” performers.
Okay, these players aren’t quite comparable to those previous mentioned, but the season thus far has produced several statistical abnormalities. The variation in performance from playing Home/Away, hitting vs. Left/Right, or even playing Day/Night games can be mind boggling. I’ve gathered a couple of the most drastic differences together for your viewing pleasure and/or enlightenment.
The data I am pulling from to measure hitter performance is once again OPS. Sabermetrics at its best as it measures players overall productivity. This season the average OPS in baseball is around .725. Freaks of nature such as Babe Ruth had a MLB career best 1.1638 OPS mark, while Barry Bonds enhanced season netted him a record 1.4217 OPS.
We’ve just arrived to the All-Star break and it’s safe to say that stats are definitely trending. Perhaps only psychic Sylvia Brown knows if the players will turn it around or make adjustments in the second half. So step right up folks and grab your popcorn and crackerjacks. Without further ado, it’s time to present to you, Baseballs “Finest” Performers.
Act 1: Catchers
Brian McCann – Brian kicks things off here with a performance like none other. He just happens to be the worst hitter in baseball with an OPS of .291 during day games. It’s only 49 AB’s but he’s only mustered 4 hits. Perhaps it’s fatigue from the previous night games or maybe he just stays out a little too late? Or just maybe he’s a vampire and his eyes are sensitive to light. Whatever the case Brian McCann Not hit during the day.
Matt Wieters – Wow if Wieters could just could just take on Righties with the same gusto he uses against Lefties. The man has an OPS of 1.063 against the southpaws and an OPS of .667 vs. Righties.
Act 2: 1st Basemen
Justin Morneau – Justin has brought hitting Lefties to a whole new level and is surely one of our “finest”. He currently has 8 hits in 82 AB’s bringing his OPS down to .321. Whether it is due to his previous concussions or some other malady I have no clue. The only thing that’s certain is he should continue to get “more no’s” when it comes to line up considerations.
Ike Davis – Ike makes this list just because he’s so god awful playing at Home. His OPS is an “incredible” .416. There aren’t many hitters out there worse in their own ballpark than this. While I am a fan of Mike and Ike’s candy, I’m not a fan of this particular 1st baseman.
Act 3: 2nd Basemen
Robinson Cano – I don’t know what the deal is with Cano but he is still struggling with the Lefties. He only has an OPS of .629 compared to his 1.143 numbers vs. Righties. His past 3 year stats reveal he’s pretty consistent across the board. So for now we would just have to think this is an abnormality.
Aaron Hill – Aaron is another one of those freaky players that has stats are very luring. A Home matchup*(1.023 OPS)* against a Lefty*(1.038 OPS)* looks very appetizing and worth the price. Playing Away*(.689 OPS)*and against Righties*(.797 OPS)* is a bit risky as he’s only an average option.
Act 4: 3rd Basemen
Mike Moustakas – Moustakas is another oddball performer. He only has a .601 OPS vs. Lefties and only slightly above average on the Road with a .747 OPS. He’s crushing the Righties with a .921 OPS and .927 OPS at Home. Also he’s apparently an early riser because his OPS during the day is .950.
Pedro Alvarez – Pedro is absolutely lights out when the sun is up. Somehow I’ve missed this about Alvarez in the past. His OPS during the day is 1.218! During night games he has a measly .587 OPS. He has hit 12 of his 16 homers in HALF as many AB’s! I’ll now be looking at this guy in a whole new way. Indeed he is one of the finest on this list.
Act 5: Shortstop
Derek Jeter – Jeter remains a top act at SS just because he continues to hit Lefties so well with a .957 OPS. He has a steep drop off when it comes to Righties*(.686 OPS*)and hitting uncharacteristically low at Home*(.676 OPS)*.
Jimmy Rollins – Rollins gets the other nod at this position just due to his anemic .577 OPS Away stats. He turns it around when he heads home to a respectable .860 OPS.
Act 6: Outfield
Logan Morrison – It’s pretty tempting to put a freak like McCutchen on this list so I will resist and go with Logan. Logan is another one of those fellas that just smashes during the day*(1.000 OPS)*compared to his night stats. It’s not the influx of power, it’s just overall hitting. A hideous batting average of .181 at night baffles me and leads to a .638 OPS at night.
Michael Cuddyer – Cuddy has me all caught up in his day stats as well. Not only does he have a .557 OPS during the day, but he is second to last out of all outfielders with at least 100 plate appearances in hits. Cuddy has 19 while Michael Saunders has 18. Now that is impressive.
Paul Goldschmidt – There isn’t another player that I’ve noticed to have a more Jekyll and Hyde performance than Goldschmidt. His splits between Left and Right handed pitching are unparalleled. Against the Lefties he has a HOF looking 1.284. Against Righties he is a below average hitter with a .716 OPS. That is a difference of .568! What’s even more mind bending is that he hit Righties considerably better last year!!
So what will happen in the second half this year? I am sure new performers will emerge and some of the old will exit. The beauty of fantasy baseball is all freaks are welcome with open arms. Following statistical variances and having them work out in our favor is the reward we all seek. So step forth out of the shadows and into the sun. The fantasy season has only just begun.