Ryan Zimmerman, LF, Washington Nationals
St. Louis Cardinals Killer #3: Ryan Zimmerman. Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
We get the Washington Nationals for seven games early in the season — 3 at home at the end of April and 4 in D.C. in May — so Zimmerman bears mentioning. For his career, he’s a .285 hitter in 50 at bats against the St. Louis Cardinals, but he padded those numbers in 2015. Only LeMahieu (.500) had a higher batting average among opposing hitters with 25 or more at bats against the Redbirds.
Zimmerman not only hit .444 against St. Louis, he also hit four homers and drove in nine runs for the Nats. He didn’t hit more long balls against any other opponent, although Zimmerman did hit over .600 in six games against the Colorado Rockies. Seriously, who doesn’t?
Like most hitters with power, Zimmerman is most effective when he can extend his arms and really get a good swing going. Bust him low and inside, and the left fielder is a dead duck. He’s also vulnerable to the high fastball.