Current Batting Splits

I was curious about some of the Cardinals situational hitting as well as how bad they actually had been against lefties (Hint: really bad) so I started going through the NL league splits over at baseball-reference. I decided to go through them all and divide them up into categories according to the team’s proficiency with each. Below I have split them up into 5 categories relative to the rest of the league – way above average, above average, average, below average, and way below average. The team’s NL rank is in parentheses. You’ll notice that the ranks are not consistently placed into categories b/c it’s possible to be 2nd or 3rd in the league in a category but still be relatively close to league average. I would, therefore, have classified that split as above average instead of way above average, for example. I used OPS as the barometer for comparison.

WAY ABOVE AVERAGE

  • vs. RHP (2)
  • April (2)
  • July (5)
  • First basemen (1)
  • 3rd place hitters (1)
  • 9th place hitters (5)
  • 3-1 counts (3)
  • 1-2 counts (3)
  • 3-2 counts (2)
  • after 2-0 counts (2)
  • after 2-1 counts (1)
  • after 3-1 counts (3)
  • after 0-2 counts (3)
  • 3 balls (1)
  • runner on 3rd, less than 2 outs (2)
  • no outs (2)
  • tie game (1)
  • extra innings (1) – only 19 PAs
  • vs. relievers (3)
  • in Domes (1) – only 291 PA

ABOVE AVERAGE

  • as right handed batters (5) (thank you, Albert!)
  • Away (7)
  • Catchers (4)
  • 2nd Basemen (9)
  • Pitchers (8)
  • 1st batter of the game (5)
  • leading off an inning (4)
  • 1st place hitters (8)
  • 2nd place hitters (7)
  • 0-2 counts (4)
  • 2-2 counts (6)
  • after 0-1 counts (3)
  • after 2-2 counts (2)
  • 2 strikes (4)
  • runner on 1st (5)
  • runner on 2nd (5)
  • runners on 1st and 2nd (6)
  • bases loaded (3)
  • scoring margin greater than 4 runs (7)
  • 3rd inning (6)
  • 4th inning (5)
  • 5th inning (7)
  • 6th inning (5)
  • 7th inning (5)
  • vs. starter, 2nd time through the order (3)
  • vs. starter, 3rd time through the order (3)
  • vs. power pitchers (7)
  • in day games (6)

AVERAGE

  • as left handed batters (7)
  • June (9)
  • starters (7)
  • subs (9)
  • 2-0 counts (8)
  • after 3-0 counts (9)
  • after 1-1 counts (7)
  • after 1-2 counts (9)
  • w/ runners in scoring position (8)
  • w/ no one on base (7)
  • w/ runners on base (7)
  • runners on 2nd and 3rd (9)
  • 1 out (7)
  • within 1 run (7)
  • within 2 runs (9)
  • within 4 runs (7)
  • high leverage (9)
  • medium leverage (6)
  • low leverage (5)
  • 1st inning (8)
  • 9th inning (8)
  • vs. fly ball pitchers (8)
  • vs. ground ball pitchers (9)
  • open roof stadiums (8)

BELOW AVERAGE

  • at home (12)
  • Shortstops (9)
  • Center fielders (9)
  • Right fielders (10)
  • Pinch hitters (12)
  • 5th place hitters (11)
  • 8th place hitters (11)
  • on the 1st pitch (9)
  • 3-0 counts (12)
  • 0-1 counts (13)
  • 1-1 counts (10)
  • runner on third (11)
  • w/ 2 outs (14)
  • late and close situations (11)
  • within 3 runs (11)
  • in the 8th inning (10)
  • at night (11)

WAY BELOW AVERAGE

  • vs. left handed pitchers (16)
  • in May (13)
  • Third basemen (14)
  • Left fielders (13)
  • 4th place hitters (15)
  • 6th place hitters (14)
  • 7th place hitters (14)
  • 1-0 counts (15)
  • runners on 1st and 3rd (14)
  • runner on third and 2 out (16)
  • 2 outs and runners in scoring position (15)
  • 2nd inning (16)
  • vs. starting pitchers, 1st time through the order (16)
  • vs. finesse pitchers

The bottom line – we’re an average offensive team…but only b/c we have Pujols. We have some big holes in the order and, in fact, it’s tough for the team to score once we get past the 3rd spot in the order. Hopefully Ludwick’s heating up and that will change somewhat. We’re neither very good nor very bad in the clutch – we’re good in tie games but not w/ 2 outs and runners in scoring position, for example. But we’re average. We’re average against fly ball pitchers AND ground ball pitchers. We’re average in high, medium, and low leverage situations. Our starters are average and so are our subs.

Going into this exercise we probably already knew where we were especially weak (vs. lefties and at 3B) and where we were especially strong (1B) but we might not have known how bad we are the first time through the order – simply awful! Any idea why? We’re below average on the first pitch and yet we’ve put more first pitches in play than any other team in the NL. Does this make sense? I don’t have a lot of new answers here. I was just hoping that condensing this info would stimulate some discussion until the game arrives at 1:00. It’s a rubber game and we’re facing a lefty. You probably don’t need to look at the info above to know how we’ve fared against lefties but did you know we were above average in day games? Hopefully that helps us today (and this weekend!)

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