Daily Fantasy Baseball: The Dangers of Split Stats
Over the first three seasons of his big-league career, Anthony Rizzo was straight doggy doo against left-handed pitching. And this wasn't the fake doo you use to scare party goers; this was of the stank variety.
Those three seasons saw Rizzo record 320 at-bats with south paws on the mound; he managed to turn that into a whopping 62 hits, a .194 batting average. He was basically a younger version of Henry Blanco, which is far from the most flattering comparison for a former top prospect.
Apparently Rizzo was none too fond of his label as a platoon hitter who could only face righties.
After those rough first three seasons, Rizzo went on a tear in 2014 and 2015, recording an on-base percentage above .400 in both seasons. He didn't have quite the same pop as he showed against righties, but in just one season, he had gone from a ghoul against lefties to a borderline-savant.
If you were basing your daily fantasy baseball decisions around Rizzo's early-career platoon marks, you'd avoid him like he's an old classmate at the grocery store over Thanksgiving break. You're not only skipping that aisle, but you're likely sprinting out of the store screaming. Ain't no way you want that nastiness in your life.
The problem becomes that you'd be missing out on some seriously acceptable production if you simply wrote off Rizzo against lefties due to a sample of 320 at-bats. And this isn't some rare incident with splits being misleading; it happens all the time.
At the same time, split stats can be immensely valuable when we implement them correctly. This means we can't disregard them. Doing so would put us at a major disadvantage.
Because of this, let's dissect why split stats are tricky and what we can do to combat it, allowing us to fully bask in the advantages they provide without falling prey to their pitfalls.
Why Split Stats are Risky
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