A Possible Lineup Vs. Left Handers


I thought I’d take a look at our possible lineups for the 2015 season. I did the lineup versus right handers here. Today I’ll examine the lineups versus left handed pitchers, or lhp’s.

1) Matt Carpenter  3B – Carp hit .262 versus lefties last year with a .364 obp. Carp is solid versus both lefties and righties. While his average against lefties decreased from the year before (it was in .294 2013 and  .262 2014) his obp increased form .353 in ’13 to .364 in ’14, indicating better place discipline. If his average rebounds some and his plate discipline stays the same, we’ll have a lefty masher at the top of our lineup.

2)  Jon Jay CF – In 88 AB’s versus lefties last year, Jay hit .375 with a .404 obo and a .455 slugging percentage. Like below, this is a Small Sample Size alert, but if you look at his career splits, he has done pretty well versus lefties with a .288 average a .353 obp, solid numbers. I think last year was in line with his career and his down year in ’13 was an aberration. His lack of power makes him a good fit for the #2 spot in the lineup.

3) Yadier Molina C – Yadi hit .278 versus lefties with a .352 obp and a .443 slugging percentage in ’14. I’ve argued in the past that Yadi would fit well in the two hole but it seems that he’d fit better in the third hole versus lefties. His lack of speed doesn’t hurt him here, and his all around offensive game is otherwise good against them, even in a down year like last year. I’m betting he’ll rebound a bit and hit closer to .300. Combine that with his solid obp and slugging numbers and that makes him a good fit for the third spot against lefties.

4) Matt Holliday RF – In 133 AB’s versus lefties last year, Holliday hit .301 with a .440 obp (!) and a .564 slugging percentage. This continues a career trend for him, as he’s hit .302 against them with a .405 obp and a .505 slugging percentage, making the perfect guy to slot in at number four, as we don’t have anybody with a higher slugging percentage against lefties.

5) Jhonny Peralta SS – Peralta his .265 with a .401 obp and a .478 slugging percentage in 113 AB’s versus left handers. The average is ok, but the obp versus lefties last year was higher than i expected it to be. His average was in line with his career average vs. lefties (.262) but that obp was much higher than his career average of .344. Given that aberration, I’m not comfortable slotting him any high than fifth.

6) Kolten Wong 2B -Batting Avg versus lefties in 2013 .315, obp .324 (Small Sample Size Alert! He did this in 76 AB’s.) This one is wierd…Wong had a higher obp versus lefties than he did against righties (.324 to .285)due to the .315 average he had vs. lefties as opposed to the .234 average he had against righties. He also slugged .466 against lefties, with 3 homers as opposed to 4 against righties in .329 AB’s. I wouldn’t read anything into it just yet though, due to the SSS Alert mentioned above. Something to keep an eye on though in the future to see if the high average/low walks/pitcher bashing thing versus lefties continues, or if it was just a SSS abnormality.

7) Matt Adams – Adams had  a weakness versus lefties in 2014. He hit .190 versus them with a .231 obp in 121 AB’s. I’m betting though that he’ll improve, as last year was his first as a full-time starter. By how much I can’t say, but Adams is definitely trending upward.

8) Jason Heyward – Another guy with a weakness versus lefties. Heyward only hit .169 versus lefties last year, with a .252 obp, but I want to give him a chance to prove the doubters wrong, so I’m going to let him start the season in the lineup. If he starts cold, we can insert Randal Grichuk in versus lefties. For now though, I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Some would argue that this lineup might need a little more speed at the top. I can understand that, and if Wong average versus lefties proves legit and he can learn to take a walk or three against them while maintaining the power he showed last year, then I’d be willing to move him up to second in the lineup, slotting Jay sixth.

As always, thanks for reading.