The White Sox are having a heck of a 2020 season. They are currently atop the AL Central and have a shot at the best record in the American League. They’ve been crushing it at the plate, and particularly against left-handed pitches. That’s what I want to look at here.
Here we have the top ten teams in OPS against left-handed pitchers. In other words, these are the best ten hitting teams against lefties. The Sox are by far the best in the majors. They are also 7th among teams in OPS against right-handers, which is also very impressive, but a 0.915 OPS against lefties jumps off the page at you so I had to look into it more.
The Sox are batting .030 points higher against lefties and slugging .103 higher. Those are pretty important numbers! As I said earlier it doesn’t mean they’re bad against righties (they’re 7th in the MLB), they are just absolutely crushing left-handers.
Now, if you think about the Sox lineup, it makes sense: it’s righty heavy. Abreu, Jimenez, Anderson, Robert, McCann, Encarnacion. But I was curious which guys are really pushing up that number vs lefties.
Here we can see a breakdown of everyone in the Sox lineup and their righty/lefty splits. We see Tim Anderson hitting .512 against lefties this season! Still hitting .311 vs righties, but .512 is insane! James McCann is hitting .417 vs lefties and only .258 vs righties. Yasmani Grandal is .292 vs lefties and only .223 vs righties. Jose Abreu is actually hitting better against righties. Robert and Jimenez are pretty even both ways.
As we look forward to potential playoff matchups I’m hoping the Sox faceoff with some lefties. If managers bring in a lefty out of the bullpen the Sox should be all over it. I’m really excited about how the Sox are playing right now! They’re a dangerous team against righties and the most dangerous team against lefties. I can’t wait for the postseason to get here!