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Mathletics by Wayne L. Winston

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THE PLATOON EFFECT

For most right-handed pitchers, the curve ball is an important part of their pitching repertoire. A right-handed pitcher's curve ball curves in toward a left-handed batter and away from a right-handed batter. In theory, when facing a right-handed pitcher, a left-handed batter has an edge over a right-handed batter. Similarly, when a left-handed pitcher is on the mound, the right-handed batter appears to have the edge. Managers take advantage of this alleged result by platooning batters. That is, managers tend to start right-handed batters more often against left-handed pitchers and start left-handed batters more often against right-handed pitchers. Ignoring switch hitters, Joseph Adler found that 29% of batters who face ...

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