Willis Could Own the AL Central in 2008

Tigers Hope Willis Owns the AL Central in 2008

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One of the main advantages that Willis brings to the Tigers (amongst others) is his dominance over left handed hitting.

Willis’ 2007 Lefty (first line) and Righty splits

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And now a three year (2005-2007) set of splits

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Coming from the NL East, where there were a number of top level left handed & switch hitting batters, Willis ended up with a great track record of success. Here’s an example of how the NL East top lefties & switch hitters fared against Willis. I’ve included Thome since he meets the 20 AB criteria, along with his past with the Phillies & his future match-ups in Chicago.

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Over in his new digs, Willis jumps into the left handed heavy AL Central. It would safe to venture that the majority of the top-level batters in the division have trouble with left-handed pitching, as aside from Konerko the top level stars are lefties or switch hitters. Below is a graphic using three year average OPS vs lefty/righty splits.

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This strong mix, along with current MLB scheduling practices gives the Tigers & Willis a built in advantage for the 2008 season.



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