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By The Numbers

by Fred Zinkie
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

With a little more than one month remaining in the season, getting every little statistical advantage has to be the goal of owners who are still competing to win their leagues. For most owners, the best area to target right now is using the splits generated over the past 4.5 months to find the right streaming options during each scoring period. The following 12 men have shown splits this year that give them massive value shifts in various situations.
.968 OPS vs. RHPDavid Peralta, Outfielder (D-backs): Peralta is having the best season of his five-year career (.891 OPS), but his excellence has not been caused by an improved ability to handle left-handers. Always better against righties, the outfielder has taken his skills in those scenarios to new heights by batting .323 with 18 homers across 310 at-bats in those scenarios. Peralta should be part of three-outfielder lineups when a series of righties is on the slate, especially considering that he has been on fire (1.267 OPS) in August.
.910 OPS vs. RHPJoc Pederson, Outfielder (Dodgers): Pederson owns some of the most pronounced splits in baseball this season, registering a .910 OPS against right-handers that dwarfs his .373 mark versus lefties. All 18 of his homers and 44 of his 46 RBIs have come against righties, making him one of the most volatile week-to-week assets, depending on the scheduled starters on the Dodgers’ slate.
.903 OPS vs. RHPEduardo Escobar, Third baseman, (D-backs): A switch-hitter, Escobar is an unlikely candidate to have massive splits. Over the course of his career, the utilityman’s splits are completely balanced. But his breakout season has largely been spurred by figuring out a way to punish righties, against whom he has posted a .903 OPS. He has hit 15 of his 18 homers when a right-hander is on the bump, making him a DFS consideration only in these instances.
.641 OPS vs. RHPKyle Seager, Third baseman (Mariners): Throughout his career, Seager has fit the typical profile of a left-handed hitter who enjoys most of his success against righties. His down year in 2018 can be easily explained, as this year he has logged a lowly .197 average and .641 OPS versus right-handers. In fact, the southpaw slugger has been notably better against same-sided hurlers this year (.789 OPS). Until he rediscovers his stroke against right-handers, Seager will remain a marginal mixed-league asset.
.645 OPS vs. RHPIan Desmond, First baseman (Rockies): Desmond has traditionally been at his best against southpaws, but his career splits are not especially large and he owns a respectable lifetime .260 average against right-handers. But Desmond has bottomed out against righties this year, batting .200 with a .645 OPS in those matchups. Although he has been a useful power-speed asset (19 homers, 14 steals), Desmond can be benched in shallow leagues when a string of right-handers is on his docket.
.618 OPS vs. RHPKetel Marte, Second baseman (D-backs): Marte owns massive splits this year, with a .932 OPS against left-handers and a .618 mark vs. righties. In this case, the splits could have long-term playing time implications. The D-backs have a handful of players who can field multiple infield positions, meaning that manager Torey Lovullo has the luxury of sitting Marte against many righties while his team scratches and claws for every potential victory in their narrow postseason race.
1.130 OPS vs. LHPChristian Villanueva, Third baseman (Padres): Villanueva has had an inconsistent rookie season, but the one constant has been his remarkable success against southpaws. In fact, the youngster currently ranks fourth among qualified hitters with a 1.130 OPS against lefties. When the three names in front of him on the list are Nolan Arenado, Mookie Betts and Eugenio Suarez, you know he is incredibly adept in those situations. Those in daily-transaction leagues would be wise to stream Villanueva against lefties for the remainder of the season.
.961 OPS vs. LHPMark Canha, Outfielder (A’s): Canha is quickly earning a reputation as a lefty masher, posting a .961 OPS in those matchups this season. His power against southpaws is extreme, as he has produced 11 homers across 123 at-bats in those scenarios. Like Villanueva, Canha is one of the sneakiest streaming options down the stretch, with those in daily leagues able to use him against lefties and keep him on the bench most of the time.
.872 OPS vs. LHPJosh Reddick, Outfielder (Astros): Reddick owns some of the strangest splits in baseball this season. Usually much more proficient against righties, the veteran has flipped the script by posting an .872 OPS against southpaws that exceeds his .635 mark versus right-handers. In my eyes, his current splits provide an optimistic picture for his rest-of-season value. We already know that Reddick can hit righties, he has proven that skill often during his career. Now that he has figured out left-handers, he could put everything together at some point and have a dominant string of performances.
.503 OPS vs. LHPGerardo Parra, Outfielder (Rockies): The lazy fantasy script on Parra is to use him at his hitter-friendly home park and bench him on the road. But this script won’t lead to much success this year, as he has logged an inferior .630 OPS at Coors Field (.781 OPS on the road). The smart money this year is on ignoring the venue and instead focusing on his opposing starter. The veteran has been solid against right-handers (.789 OPS) but completely overwhelmed by lefties (.503 OPS). In fact, when combining his huge splits and the Rockies’ deep outfield, Parra seems highly likely to be subbed in and out of games the rest of the way.
.507 OPS vs. LHPYoan Moncada, Second baseman (White Sox): Moncada’s potential as a table-setter is being seriously hampered by his inability to hit left-handers. The 23-year-old has been solid against righties this year (14 homers, 10 steals across 337 at-bats), but he has been completely inept (.165 average, one homer, one steal) against southpaws. To put it simply, the switch-hitter will not reach the lofty expectations of fantasy owners until he learns how to hit lefties.
.592 OPS vs. LHPEric Hosmer, First baseman (Padres): Hosmer was arguably last winter’s worst signing, as he is in the first season of a lucrative eight-year deal and is barely performing better than a replacement-level player (.723 OPS). The left-handed-hitting veteran is holding his own against righties (.785 OPS) but he has been so bad against same-sided hurlers (.592 OPS) that he would be a platoon candidate if not for his massive contract. Fortunately, fantasy owners don’t have the same problems, and they should bench Hosmer for any week in which he does not have a handful of mediocre righties on his slate.

Fred Zinkie
Fred Zinkie is a baseball writer for Rotoworld and BaseballHQ. You can find him on Twitter @FredZinkieMLB.