Platoon. The word fantasy baseball owners hate and the word that makes no sense in its context to anyone outside of baseball. The word that makes you wish death upon all left handed pitchers and maybe all lefties in general. (Don’t worry, they die earlier than us pure breeds anyway. Seriously…look it up!)  (There’s also a tool for all platoon splits.)

And as we wish death to lefties, we think to ourselves… is the platoon a death sentence for your fantasy player in a shallow league? How much does it really even affect your player’s value? Well, let me do the dirty work for you.

In this write up, I show you which teams are expected to see the most lefty pitchers for their 162 game season based on the percentage of likelihood they face a lefty in any given game. It sounds like a lot, but I am the king of taking shortcuts. Instead of looking at projected starting pitchers for all 15 NL teams, I used probabilities (based on % lefties in a given teams’ rotation), to identify which platooners might be spending the most and least times on the bench.

Now if your head isn’t spinning by now, then I failed at my job. Take a look for yourself and hopefully it makes more sense:

NL WEST

Team # LHP LHP % Estimated LHP Faced- Division Estimated LHP Faced- NL Rank
Giants 1 20% 30 42 1
Dodgers 3 60% 23 35 6
Rockies 1 20% 30 42 1
Padres 2 40% 27 39 3
D-Backs 2 40% 27 39 3

NL EAST

Team # LHP LHP Percent Estimated LHP Faced- Division Estimated LHP Faced- NL Rank
Braves 0 0% 15 33 10
Marlins 2 40% 8 26 15
Mets 1 20% 11 29 12
Phillies 0 0% 15 33 10
Nationals 1 20% 11 29 12

NL CENTRAL

Team # LHP LHP Percent Estimated LHP Faced- Division Estimated LHP Faced- NL Rank
Cubs 1 20% 19 35 6
Reds 1 20% 19 35 6
Brewers 0 0% 23 39 3
Pirates 3 60% 11 27 14
Cardinals 1 20% 19 35 6

As you can see, most players who are on the right side of a platoon can expect to lose anywhere from 26-42 games started in the NL alone. In a roto league with a shallow bench and limited adds (such as the ones I am in), this could be a deal breaker and you might want to look for a trade partner before this article is over.

So which fantasy players in the NL lose the most and least value based on the platoon? I picked two situations in particular to focus on that are extremely fantasy relevant for everyone reading this article:

Gerardo Parra / Ryan Raburn

Just last year, Ryan Raburn slashed .325/.415/.589 against Lefties. Meanwhile Gerardo Parra slashed .238/.269/.362 against Southpaws. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, or even a dumbass baseball coach to figure this one out. With two other potential All-Stars in Cargo and Blackmon, Parra likely finds himself the odd man out in Colorado and set up for platoon duties. And with the Rockies projected to face 42 LHP in the NL alone, this really hurts Parra’s fantasy value in 2016. Put him on da block now before others start noticing!

Michael Conforto / Juan Lagares

Just last week, Terry Collins (who happens to be my 3rd favorite Collins behind Phil, Tom, and my buddy Cody) was quoted saying “We’re in a situation where we’re trying to win games. This is not a time to develop players,” when referring to Conforto’s platoon situation. Geez, a simple no would have worked. Maybe he isn’t even in my top 5 anymore. Dick! So what does this mean for Conforto owners? Well…when lefties are on the mound, fully expect Conforto to see the bench while Golden Glover, Juan Lagares, takes over CF duties. But not all platoon news is bad news, friends! Conforto is projected to see only the 12th most lefties NL and his value isn’t hurt as much as you think.

 

 
  1. Regan says:
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    Blackburn just hit the DL. How does this play out now? Does Rayburn play everyday now?

    • Hodysseus

      Hodysseus says:
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      @Regan: Ya talk about crazy timing for this article. This does affect Parra for the meantime and I would expect he isn’t affected by the platoon until Blackmon is back.

  2. Scott says:
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    Sure hope no one bailed on Grichuk. *looks around, slowly backs out of room*

  3. Scooter G says:
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    Can you give me any insight on the cubs and cards platoon situations? They seem to have all kinds of lineup changes based on who is pitching.

    • Hodysseus

      Hodysseus says:
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      @Scooter G: I don’t even know if the Cards or Cubs could give you insight to their platoon situation. It is wild. But my assumption is Soler platoons with Baez (who hits lefties well) once Baez is off injury. As far as the Cards are concerned, it is just something that needs to be monitored. Hazelbaker has started out on fire but I don’t expect it to last

  4. Hodysseus

    Hodysseus says:
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    I don’t even know if the Cards or Cubs could give you insight to their platoon situation. It is wild. But my assumption is Soler platoons with Baez (who hits lefties well) once Baez is off injury. As far as the Cards are concerned, it is just something that needs to be monitored. Hazelbaker has started out on fire but I don’t expect it to last.

  5. Wacha wacha says:
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    I play in a ten team 5×5 obp league

    How much of an upgrade would Donaldson be over arenado?

    Trade arenado and c-mart for donaldson

    • Hodysseus

      Hodysseus says:
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      @Wacha wacha: He is a definite upgrade but I have C-Mart as my staff pick NL Cy Young so no way would I do that trade.

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