The Cubs’ Lone Lefty
The Indians are slightly better against right-handed pitching, and the Cubs boast just one lefty in their rotation. Jon Lester is a pretty good southpaw, but at this point, you’ve got to take any advantage you can get.
If you want the advanced stats view, Cleveland faired better against righties in weighted on-base average (seventh) and 15th against lefties.
If you want to use some basic statistics and the eye test, you’ll see two of the Tribe’s best hitters, Francisco Lindor and Carlos Santana are switch hitters, who just so happen to hit better against righties.
Santana blasted 30 of his 34 homers off right-handed pitching. Lindor faired well against both pitches from both angles, but his OPS jumped to .816 against righties, compared to .748 against lefties.
Resident power hitter Mike Napoli also feasts more off righties. Napoli jacked 27 of his 34 homers against righties.
Jose Ramirez, who has struggled this postseason, hit equally well against both lefties and righties during the regular season because he’s also a switch hitter. However, Ramirez had 42 extra-base hits against righties, compared to 18 against lefties.
Don’t kid yourself, the Cubs have some nice righties in the rotation. Jake Arrieta is last year’s Cy Young Award winner, but he’s not exactly tearing through the postseason….yet. Twenty-six year old Kyle Hendricks looked like this year’s Cy Young Award winner after shutting down the Dodgers in Game 6 of NLCS.
It’s not going to be easy, but the righties in the Cubs rotation favors the Indians, and the Tribe’s bats should capitalize off this advantage.