For all the hype around the Texas Rangers' lineup, one small fact has eluded the World Series bettors: They have not been the same offensive juggernaut against left-handed starters. Texas was 96-66 in the regular season, a full 30 games over .500.
But against lefty starters, they were 26-21.
“Stats are important, but in one game during the World Series, small things matter and stats can go out the window,” said Mike Pickett of OddsShark.com. “If I were betting the Rangers, I would be more concerned with the fact they are underdogs, a situation where they did not excel in 2011.”
Indeed, during the regular season, Texas was 73-41 as a favorite. As underdogs, they were just 23-25. The Cardinals meanwhile thrived as chalk, going 65-47.
Back to our concern over LHP pitching. In the playoffs, the Rangers are 1-1, losing 9-0 to Tampa rookie Matt Moore, before rallying to beat David Price later in the same series win over the Rays.
But let’s dig deeper. Josh Hamilton hits 65 points lower against LHP than RHP but just about every other major bat in the Rangers' lineup is better vs. lefties (including Nelson Cruz who hit .340 vs LHP during the regular season and just .243 vs RHP). David Murphy hits 81 points lower vs. LHP, but you’re not too worried about your 8-hitter, whether he is on the Game 2 player prop betting menu or not.
More concerning are the road splits for Ian Kinsler (.214 vs. .296 at home) and Cruz (.233 on the road vs. .293 at home). The Cardinals have won 13 of 17 at home.
Check out more World Series stats and run your own pitcher searches in the online baseball database at OddsShark.com.