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Tampa Bay Rays’ Bullpen Splits and the 3-Batter Rule

Jose Alvarado (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Jose Alvarado (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
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Bullpen Splits – Page Three

Jalen Beeks LHP – 2019 Batting Average Against

vs. Right: .268

vs. Left: .318

Andrew Kittredge RHP – 2019 Batting Average Against

vs. Right: .237

vs. Left: .317

Kittredge was destroyed by lefties with a .915 OPS while he held righties to .619.

Trevor Richards RHP – 2019 Batting Average Against

vs. Right: .247

vs. Left: .252

Trevor Richards’ experience as a starting pitcher helped him keep steady numbers against both righties and lefties last season.

Brendan McKay LHP – 2019 Batting Average Against

vs. Right: .284

vs. Left: .220

If McKay is going break into the rotation and contend for the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 2020 he has to do a better job against right-handed hitters. Last season he was fantastic against lefties with a .570 OPS against him. The problem, 69% of the batters he faced in 2019 were right-handed. Righties slugged .527 with a .344 OBP against McKay last year.

Conclusion

The Rays’ bullpen was obviously very good against righties last season since they took the number one spot in bullpen ERA. How did the team, as a whole, compare to the major leagues against lefties?

Across all of Major League Baseball in 2019, relief pitchers posted a 4.46 ERA with a .245/.330/.419 slash line. The Rays’ bullpen finished with the third-best ERA in Major League Baseball with a 3.38 ERA against left-handed hitters. Lefties slashed .218/326/.368 against the Rays in 2019. The Rays are entering as one of the top bullpens regardless of which side of the plate the hitter stands. If Jose Alvarado returns to form in 2020, then the Rays could be the favorites to re-take the bullpen ERA crown.

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Do you think the new three-batter minimum will be a positive or a negative for the Rays in 2020?

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