Hey dads, hope you had a great Father’s Day barbecuing with your kids. If you don’t have kids, hope you had a great day barbecuing with your dad. If you don’t have kids or a dad, hope you had a great day with tons of barbecued food. Not to leave any female readers out in the cold, hope you had lots of burgers and good times too.
Owned in only 7% of ESPN leagues, week 12′s Creeper is Ryan Doumit. In Yahoo leagues he’s 27% owned, and his OF eligibility in Y! leagues is probably the reason there’s such a large discrepancy in ownership rates between the two sites. The Twins will be on the road for six games, playing 3 games to open the week against the Pirates at PNC Park, and closing the scoring period with a 3-game set against the Reds at Great American Ballpark. PNC, while overall favoring pitchers, is fair to left-handed bats — Fangraphs and Statcorner show neutral park factors in HR and extra base hits. From 2009-2011, while playing for the Pirates, Doumit hit .266 with 19 HR in 477 AB at home. During those same seasons, Doumit hit 3 HR to go along with a .293 AVG in 58 AB at Great American Ballpark. Unlike PNC, Great American is a bandbox, generous to hitters from both sides of the plate. It’s one of the best parks in baseball for offense.
Doumit has fared pretty well in nearly 1600 career AB against RHP, hitting .274 with a homerun every 26.5 at-bats, good for a .795 OPS. A switch hitter, his power is not as evident from the right side of the plate, putting balls in the seats every 43 AB. With only one LHP on tap this week, Doumit will be spending most of the week on his favored side of the plate. Taking a look at Ryan’s BABIP and batted ball rates brings more good news — his .278 rate this season is 23 points lower than his career average, and the biggest drivers of BABIP, line drive (positive) and infield fly rates (negative), are career bests. His plate discipline, contact, and HR/FB percentages are all in line with his career numbers, so I’d expect his BABIP to improve moving forward. With 23.3% of his batted balls consisting of line drives, last season’s .331 average on balls in play could be duplicated.
Of the 5 right-handers slated to face the Twins, 4 look to be vulnerable to damage from Doumit. Kevin Correia has been pretty dreadful this season, walking more LHH than he’s struck out, and allowing 1.57 HR per 9. He hasn’t been much better in his career against opposite-handed hitters, putting up a 4.77 FIP and coughing up 1.06 HR per 9. Moving from PETCO has been less than kind to Mat Latos, who, outside of an elevated line drive rate (and thus, higher BABIP) against LHH, enjoyed a near even platoon split during his time with the Padres. This still rings true for Latos, but one thing has changed — his HR/FB against lefties has doubled, to 16.3%. Homer Bailey doesn’t struggle against LHH in comparison to RHH, but he has had issues pitching at home. Bailey’s given up 2.41 HR per 9 at home this season and 1.29 HR/9 in his career, contrasted with a 0.87 rate in 238 career road innings. Johnny Cueto is another potential target, as he’s prone to allow homers to left-handed bats (1.17 HR/9 career, all 5 HR allowed this season).
The two tough matchups for Doumit will come against Erik Bedard and James McDonald. He was terrible in 2011, but McDonald has been tough on lefties in 2012, generating a 2.99 FIP and allowing only 2 HR in 42.2 IP. Bedard’s K/BB is actually better versus righties, as are his career FIP/xFIP. He’ll also have the spacious confines of PNC Park’s left field to his advantage, which depresses home runs at about the same rate as Busch and Citi Field (before the fences were moved in).
If Doumit has OF eligibility in your league, he’d make for a good 4/5 OF in week 12. If you’re rotating catchers, plug him in. If you need a spark from your utility slot, he’d play there as well.