February 14, 2017
Welcome to Splitsville
This is the outfield edition of Welcome to Splitsville, where we discuss players at the position from both a daily and seasonal perspective. For an introduction and catcher week, click here. For first-base week, click here. For second-base week, click here.For third-base week, click here. For shortstop week, click here.
Outfielders as a whole hit at a level slightly below league average in 2016, with a 98 wRC+. The breakdown is 97 for left fielders, 96 for center fielders, and 101 for right fielders. Outfield was the third least productive position as a group in baseball by wRC+, behind catcher and shortstop.
There are a few prominent outfielders who have been massively productive against one particular handedness that fantasy owners can target in daily leagues. The first one that jumps out is Nelson Cruz against lefties. Cruz has a 181 wRC+ (1.038 OPS) and .313 ISO vs. LHP in the last three seasons. He is the second most productive hitter in baseball against left-handed pitchers since 2014, and most productive outfielder. Cruz will be 37 in 2017, so he’s going to slow down at some point, but he hasn’t shown signs of it yet. Giancarlo Stanton—if healthy—is generally another elite play against below average left-handed pitchers. Stanton has a 180 wRC+ (1.054 OPS) and .345 ISO against LHP since 2014.