Playing the splits: Batters worth starting against lefties
Hitters on the wrong side of a platoon don't make for great must-owns in Fantasy, but a few widely-available players can be useful to stream during certain stretches.
In our debut edition of the Daily League Roundup segment on Fantasy Baseball Today, I recommended the Marlins' Jeff Baker as a viable start for daily league owners on Wednesday, as long as he gets the nod against Dodgers' lefty Paul Maholm. That's because Baker has a .725 OPS this season against southpaws (and a career .868 mark). Those are respectable numbers for a second baseman, and Maholm is not among the better lefty starters whom he is likely to face.
Baker is owned in one percent of the leagues on CBSSports.com, and while he is not a must-own even in NL-only formats, he has his uses in daily leagues and even during entire weeks when the Marlins will face a majority of lefties. Here are three other hitters who deserve consideration when lefties will be on the mound.
Mike Olt, 1B/3B, Cubs: We don't have a large sample of major league plate appearances to work with, but so far this season, Olt has done most of his damage against lefties. While he has struck out in nearly half of his at-bats against righties, he has just seven Ks in 33 at-bats versus left-handed pitchers. He may not maintain a .242/.342/.697 slash line against lefties, but his splits have been dramatic enough to trust for the time being.
Derek Norris, C, Athletics: Norris is enjoying a surge in popularity due to his extended hot streak, but even when he cools off, he'll be worth streaming against lefties. While he is a career .204 hitter against righties, Norris has hit .291 against lefties with a .511 slugging percentage.
Chris Iannetta, C, Angels: Are you in a deep league in which Norris is no longer available? Give Iannetta a try behind the plate, at least when he's facing lefties. He's not a markedly better power hitter against them, but he makes more frequent contact against lefties (and also hits with a higher BABIP), so his decent power numbers will be accompanied by a tolerable .250ish batting averge -- as opposed to the .227 mark he has put up against righties over his career.
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