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    • Why is Being Left-Handed an Advantage for Pitchers?
  • 12/22/08
  • SemperFiSamurai
A better pickoff move doesn't make you a better pitcher at all. What makes you think left handed is an advantage? It's not as far as I can see....
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  • 12/22/08
  • exmurderer
The majority of pitchers in the league are RHP, so batters get less experience against southpaws.
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  • 12/22/08
  • firebird65

Hey, left is right... well, at least as far as throwing and batting is concerned. ;)

As for why it's like that in baseball, that being lefthanded is an advantage, I'd love to find out why. Never seemed to help me. 'Course, the fact that I su.cked when I played might have had a little something to do with that too.

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  • 12/22/08
  • dav2k5
Left handers are more rare than righties, so that increases their value. Many lefties also have a more lively ball (more tail/sink on their fastballs) than right handers. A lot of left handed hitters also stuggle against lefty pitchers far more so than righties struggling against righties.
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  • 12/22/08
  • marichal51
I think the main advantage might be the natural action of the spin from a lefty makes the ball move in on righthanded batters. This requires the hitter to be a little quicker.
I always thought the ball was easier to see coming from the left side (I'm righthanded), but I'm not sure I ever hit any better off lefthanders.
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  • 12/22/08
  • adddddd

"But RIGHT-HANDED BATTERS STILL HIT BETTER AGAINST LEFTIES THAN RIGHTIES."

SAMPLE SIZE...

More left handed batters do worse against left handed pitchers than right handed batters against right handed pitchers. most teams try and balance LH RH in their lineup, when a lefty pitches, they go for a RH heavy lineup to combat that.

Right handed batters get more time to get better against right handed pitchers because they see the 75-85% of the time. Whereas lefties only see left handed pitchers 15-25% of the time, which is not enough. the RH to LHP advantage is in the ability of the hitter to see the pitch/spin on the ball earlier than against a RHP.

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Message 82298.10 was deleted
  • 12/22/08
  • dav2k5
Actually, the natural movement of a lefty's fastball is to tail away from a right hander. Right Handed fastballs bear in on RH hitters, lefty's tail away.
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  • 12/22/08
  • Opisgod

The only possible reason i can figure is that lefties bat worse against lefties than righties against righties, while opposing dexterities are about equal. A reason behind this would be that lefties see far more righties, and are unused to facing a southpaw, while righties get used to seeing that many righties and learn to hit against them more effectively. I dont know the true comparison between left-left and right-right though, so lets just say they are the same, as they would be theoretically. Pickoffs are also irrelevant. Kenny Rogers is the all time PK leader; his career ERA is 4+, nuff said.

There is nothing special about a lefty throwing compared to a righty, it just defies the laws of physics. If two pitchers were the exact same in every aspect; windup, throwing style, etc. but had opposing dexterity, the only difference would be which side of the plate the ball comes from. Batters can see the release point of an opposite handed pitcher, hence the advantage. Despite this, people think that a southpaw is something special and is automatically better, they are not. If two pitchers of opposing dexterity had identical results in every stat for the season, with identical splits between the dexterity of batters, which one is more valuable? What if the amount of lefties and righties faced were equal, and they posted splits inversely identical? The answer is neither, since both are equally effective against the competition. The question that should actually be asked is who is a better gain for the team, based on age/salary/reliability etc.?

And that is just in theory. In todays game, you have southpaws who have lefties hitting below the mendoza line and righties hitting .300, while others have .230 and .235 splits, and even some who have the inverse of the first example. The same is true for Right-handers. So, unless you are looking for a specialist in the bullpen, the dexterity of a pitcher should be null when it comes to evaluation, and only statistical measurements should have value.

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  • 12/22/08
  • dav2k5

"the dexterity of a pitcher should be null when it comes to evaluation, and only statistical measurements should have value."

Too bad (not really) that will never happen. There are, and will always be lefties that can't hit lefties.

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  • 12/22/08
  • Opisgod
As there are righties who cant hit righties, lefties who cant hit righties, righties who cant hit lefties, and switch hitters who cant hit anything. *rolls eyes*

Edited 12/22/08   by  Opisgod
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  • 12/22/08
  • copperdomebodhi

"I've heard many times that a pitcher is better than another one because he's a left-hander and the other isn't, and stuff like that... Well, first of all, why is it an advantage?"

Well it can be an advantage if the home ballpark of that lefthanded pitcher favors left handed batters. That way, an opposing manager would most likely try and stack his lineup with lefties. But an effective lefty can keep the ball tailing away from lefties in an attempt to limit their ability to pull the ball. And then when they face righties, them pulling the ball would less dangerous because the big part of the ballpark would be in that direction. And I'd imagine that going the other way with power for righties, or anybody really, would be more difficult.

But I do think that the importance of having a lefty is a bit overblown at times.

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  • 12/22/08
  • dav2k5
You haven't played much baseball have you?
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  • 12/22/08
  • peskypole302
It's not just Pitchers... Lefties are simply the superior beings in every aspect......
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  • 12/22/08
  • FooFightersFan
What if I was born a natural lefty but learned to write and throw with my right hand? Am I semi-superior to righties? I still bat left handed.
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Message 82298.19 was deleted
  • 12/22/08
  • peskypole302
Yes, you are definitely semi-superior to righties. I believe I was born a lefty, but now I'm ambidextrous.....
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