For years, even decades, MLB managers have obsessed about platoon splits.
In crucial late-game situations, they always want a righty pitcher if the hitter is right-handed, and a southpaw on the mound when there is a dangerous lefty-hitting slugger at the plate.
If the pitcher is a lefty, they often have a lot of righties in the lineup, and vice versa.
The Houston Astros, however, don’t worry about that too much, particularly on the pitching side.
They have carried few, or zero, lefty relievers for most of the playoffs and here they are: undefeated and in the World Series.
They get excellent results with their approach and roster construction.
“No, the Astros haven’t carried a lefty reliever for most of the season. They used a lefty reliever less than any MLB team (194 BF). But their bullpen still held LHB to a .209/.289/.306 line. Maybe Phillies get another lefty bat on roster, but Astros have weapons,” Philadelphia Phillies insider Matt Gelb tweeted.
No, the Astros haven’t carried a lefty reliever for most of the season. They used a lefty reliever less than any MLB team (194 BF). But their bullpen still held LHB to a .209/.289/.306 line. Maybe Phillies get another lefty bat on roster, but Astros have weapons.
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) October 26, 2022
The Astros Trust Their Weapons
When a reliever, or a pitcher in general, is dominant, it doesn’t matter which hand he throws with.
When you have relief aces like Ryan Pressly, Hector Neris, Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero, Ryne Stanek, and Cristian Javier (among others), you go to sleep and rest easy knowing that they will have a great chance of retiring both lefties and righties because they have overpowering stuff.
They also have that incredible bullpen; and perhaps the best lineup in the game: Yordan Alvarez, Yuli Gurriel, Jose Altuve, Jeremy Pena, Alex Bregman, Kyle Tucker, and Chas McCormick are all difference-makers with the bat,
They even have impact defenders in Martin Maldonado, Altuve, Pena, Bregman, Gurriel, and Tucker.
They have no weaknesses ahead of the World Series against the Phillies.