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Saturday, May 28, 2022
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Hitter Splits for 2022 Fantasy Baseball


Make sure we want to answer the question that all daily league managers themselves consider once and for all: Do rifts matter? The concept has been around for years and depends on some real strategy in the big leagues. Many hits have strong separations seen in the construction of the major league series and the choice of a pinch. So, logic would follow, that fantasy managers could look for separations and simply set up two less sexy names and play the series game. With the ability to choose which games a player starts; we can take two unannounced guys (say Adam Duvall and Austin Hays) to build an all-star hitter (maybe Aaron Judge). It sounds so easy! Time to (re) prove that idea in this week’s battle profiles.

The split:

In the early NFBC ADP we had Adam Duvall comes off the plate to pick 225 and Austin Hays a few slots earlier in the 215 series. Duvall is known as a master of right-handed throwing in his career with 115 of his 151 career long balls coming from that poor right wing with his split being even worse in 2021. Hays on the other hand had more balanced results including 2021, but compared to Duvall and a large part of the league, he is a magician when facing the south legs. Let’s look at those divisions below.

Adam Duvall
G R HR RBI SB AVG
vs. Rightis 133 54 32 89 5 0.245
vs. Links 71 13 6 24 0 0.178
Austin Hays
G R HR RBI SB AVG
vs. Right 118 41 11 41 4 0.221
vs. Links 85 32 11 30 0 0.308

Although we know that split games will double, the combination of these two gentlemen is quite interesting. Maybe we’re able to turn around a fairly small profit with that limited draft day investment.

Build-A-Hitter:

As our introduction indicates, we are trying to build an all-star use for ourselves Aaron Judge as a comparison to an early ADP around choice 40. It’s quite a leap from these two guys that can be picked up late in the draft. Let’s just go with the assumption that their managers know what they are doing and were selective in their starting assignments. If we make that leap, we can simply add up their stats to create Adam Hays or Austin Duvall, right?

G R HR RBI SB AVG
Duvall + Hays 95 43 119 5 0.277
Aaron Judge 148 89 39 98 6 0.287

Here’s where the Build-A-Hitter concept comes from in its simplest form. Add up the statistics and see where we land. We created an all-star with a little homework and rushed through the season! However, is it really that simple? Of course not.

Where it falls apart:

No matter how nice statistics are, it can always be used to tell a story and that’s what we did here. Shared stats are obviously flawed for fantasy analysis, as they look at the pitcher facing the pitcher rather than the pitcher starting the match. If we could put our teams through batting, that would be great, but we respond to the best information at hand when teams close, which would be the projected beginner. So, after a little digging and manual adjustment of each beginner for each match that Adam Duvall and Austin Hays played in 2021, we find that together they started 143 games over the season in the favorable side of their separations. The numbers below are divisions based on the starter rather than our traditional divisions by jar.

G R HR RBI SB AVG
Adam Duvall 87 41 24 76 3 0.226
Difference (13) (8) (13) (2) (.019)
Austin Hays 56 36 12 30 1 0.269
Difference 5 1 0 1 (.039)

The story is noticeably different from the actual divisions we see for both gentlemen in the first graph above. Hays has fairly even splits, though relative to others in the league, as he has handled left-handers fairly well, so fitting in with the starter does not limit his upside as he does with Duvall. In general, there is nowhere near the benefit we first expected could exist.

Will the real beater please get up?

So, we did not build Aaron Judge as we really hoped, but considering how horrible Duvall was against leftists, should there be an advantage? Really, go back and look at that first graph, Duvall scored .178 last season with 6 homers against lefts. Let’s compare this more realistic version of Adam Hays (Austin Duvall) with good …Adam Duvall.

G R HR RBI SB AVG
Duvall + Hays 143 81 38 111 4 0.236
Adam Duvall 146 67 38 113 5 0.228

At the end of the day, the Build-A-Hitter concept is interesting and there are certainly times where it has merit, but we have to be careful because it is not one size fits all. When a leftist starts a match, there will inevitably be times when a referee comes in from the bullpen and vice versa. If there is a single spot in the series and two goals to fill, there is no reason not to follow the rifts. However, making it a core part of your strategy without spending hours adjusting the stats to how our fantasy games roll is probably not the wisest decision.



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