Finding the arch-nemeses of every American League team

Down with Mathis - photo credit - Jim Rogash

Which players hit your team more than they hit anyone else? Thanks to Baseball-Reference.com, we can figure it out.

Paul Goldschmidt had 859 major-league plate appearances through April 24, 2013. He is a career .283/.361/.494 hitter. If you take his numbers against the Giants out of his career total, he becomes a .279/.351/.476 hitter. If you take his numbers against Tim Lincecum out of his career numbers, he becomes a .277/.355/.471 hitter.

Goldschmidt's slugging percentage goes down 23 points if you take away his 14 at-bats against Tim Lincecum. He is, at this young stage of his career, a Giant killer. And it fascinates me.

Actually, the whole idea of certain players killing specific teams fascinates me. So with the help of Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index, below are the nemeses for all the American League teams. This is based on two stats: raw OPS and tOPS+, with a minimum of 100 at-bats. The first one is obvious, but the second one compares a player's performance against a specific team with his overall performance.

Or, more specifically, the raw OPS leaders should be filled with Hall of Famers and All-Stars because they're good against just about everyone. The tOPS+ leaders will be filled with players who killed that team in a way you wouldn't expect from their career stats.

Star-divide

Baltimore Orioles (Full table)
OPS: Ted Williams (1.196)
tOPS+: Mike Lieberthal (189)

A lot of teams will have hilarious players near the top. But Tony Batista is one of the better ones. If you don't remember Batista, he had a hilarious stance and would swing at anything. It must have been frustrating as all heck to watch him do well against your team.

Rk Player PA HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+
1 Mike Lieberthal 123 7 25 .376 .439 .706 1.145 .382 189
2 Tony Batista 130 15 31 .320 .354 .746 1.100 .289 183
3 Harry McCurdy 115 1 14 .400 .469 .580 1.049 .411 182
4 Cory Snyder 217 16 37 .332 .356 .673 1.030 .331 181
5 Tom Umphlett 190 2 24 .333 .394 .456 .850 .346 180
6 Larvell Blanks 124 2 14 .339 .388 .477 .865 .354 171
7 Larry Herndon 238 13 40 .335 .395 .594 .989 .330 168
8 Greg Briley 120 6 17 .315 .350 .568 .918 .322 166
9 Pat Kelly 178 4 23 .322 .395 .507 .902 .395 166
10 Jack Perconte 119 1 7 .362 .414 .467 .880 .398 164

And it turns out that SI wasn't off when it came to the Orioles. Cory Snyder really was that good!

Star-divide

Boston Red Sox (Full table)
OPS: Nelson Cruz (1.162)
tOPS+: Nelson Cruz (180)

Babe Ruth is second to Cruz, which is kind of obvious if you believe in fate. But Ruth was no Nelson Cruz.

Rk Player PA HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS tOPS+
1 Nelson Cruz 141 10 29 .373 .440 .722 1.162 180
2 Johnny Grubb 279 11 48 .370 .464 .609 1.073 174
3 Tommy Harper 233 9 27 .345 .433 .543 .976 171
4 Jerry Remy 126 1 11 .330 .400 .477 .877 168
5 Chico Salmon 183 9 27 .299 .346 .527 .873 168
6 Kurt Bevacqua 116 3 15 .330 .377 .466 .843 166
7 George Alusik 153 7 27 .316 .399 .602 1.000 165
8 Whitey Platt 185 7 37 .324 .368 .543 .911 164
9 Angel Mangual 129 6 16 .286 .328 .496 .824 161
10 Alex Gordon 152 4 23 .354 .434 .585 1.019 157
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/25/2013.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Cruz on the Red Sox in a year or two, to be honest. Seems like a pretty good fit for the Green Monster.

Star-divide

Chicago White Sox (Full table)
OPS: Babe Ruth (1.154)
tOPS+: Karim Garcia (188)

Apparently 18 percent of Karim Garcia's career home runs came against the White Sox.

Rk Player PA HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+
1 Karim Garcia 109 12 25 .330 .339 .708 1.047 .303 188
2 Marco Scutaro 164 3 18 .385 .448 .587 1.035 .409 183
3 Bob Bailor 150 1 14 .328 .419 .430 .849 .345 168
4 Mike Cameron 178 10 31 .303 .433 .600 1.033 .358 163
5 Brant Alyea 122 8 24 .318 .393 .598 .992 .333 163
6 Alcides Escobar 154 3 17 .347 .382 .486 .868 .388 160
7 Steve Hovley 123 2 18 .306 .390 .472 .862 .316 159
8 Darrell Porter 348 16 56 .328 .416 .573 .990 .339 158
9 Milt Galatzer 124 0 6 .378 .434 .441 .876 .382 158
10 Gregg Zaun 162 6 20 .329 .420 .514 .934 .354 155

But it looks like Marco Scutaro was the David Eckstein for the White Sox. (As in, every team assumed that David Eckstein killed them and them only, except for the White Sox, who were too busy being annoyed with Scutaro)

Star-divide

Cleveland Indians (Full table)
OPS: Babe Ruth (1.200)
tOPS+: Felix Mantilla (206)

Mantilla was a Swiss Army knife from the '50s and '60s who played the infield and outfield. In eight career years in the NL, he hit .243/.298/.352. In three seasons in the AL, he hit .287/.369/.474. Apparently the Indians were the difference.

Rk Player PA HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+
1 Felix Mantilla 135 11 28 .370 .437 .697 1.135 .340 206
2 Oddibe McDowell 184 6 23 .405 .446 .595 1.041 .463 189
3 Elvis Andrus 144 3 22 .379 .454 .532 .986 .419 185
4 Billy Smith 110 5 21 .307 .346 .554 .900 .329 182
5 Leon Wagner 219 19 50 .352 .411 .663 1.074 .327 167
6 Alejandro De Aza 145 4 24 .347 .438 .565 1.002 .382 166
7 David Murphy 130 7 21 .373 .419 .644 1.063 .394 165
8 Guy Curtright 149 3 14 .341 .441 .537 .978 .394 165
9 John Ellis 131 3 19 .359 .412 .513 .925 .411 163
10 Luke Scott 118 8 27 .375 .398 .705 1.104 .386 162

Lots of Rangers for whatever reason.

Star-divide

Detroit Tigers (Full table)
OPS: Bobby Bonilla (1.300)
tOPS+: Steve Brye (213)

Let's stop for a moment and bow our heads in respect to Bobby Bonilla for hitting .448/.500/.800 against the Tigers in his career.

Rk Player PA HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+
1 Steve Brye 150 9 26 .375 .426 .640 1.065 .389 213
2 Bobby Bonilla 125 9 35 .448 .500 .800 1.300 .413 209
3 Jerry Terrell 140 1 12 .368 .410 .480 .890 .381 200
4 Alex Cole 129 2 14 .407 .476 .528 1.004 .457 183
5 Tommie Reynolds 166 4 20 .324 .398 .453 .850 .336 183
6 Ron Karkovice 258 17 45 .303 .369 .593 .962 .309 182
7 Aaron Robinson 150 11 30 .354 .450 .654 1.103 .378 178
8 Angel Berroa 346 8 36 .357 .391 .531 .922 .399 171
9 George Binks 157 2 27 .347 .373 .483 .856 .374 165
10 Shane Mack 229 11 47 .376 .449 .640 1.089 .396 164


Brye hit 30 home runs in his career, and nine came against the Tigers. But for sheer volume, check out former Rookie of the Year Angel Berroa. He put up HOF numbers against the Rangers in almost a half-season's worth of at-bats.

Star-divide

Houston Astros (Full table)
OPS: Nomar Garciaparra (1.104)
tOPS+: John Boccabella (.867)

Just missing at #11: Jeff Francoeur, a career .320/.366/.586 hitter against the Astros.

Rk Player PA HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+
1 John Boccabella 158 6 19 .286 .353 .514 .867 .327 195
2 Eric Owens 110 2 11 .382 .427 .520 .947 .398 184
3 John Bateman 137 6 14 .341 .353 .530 .883 .348 182
4 Mark Whiten 145 9 32 .336 .441 .622 1.063 .365 179
5 Spike Owen 161 4 12 .305 .421 .496 .918 .319 175
6 Dick Bertell 139 3 10 .333 .391 .452 .844 .364 173
7 Chris Young 180 10 40 .333 .406 .609 1.015 .359 168
8 Mark Parent 140 8 22 .278 .333 .524 .857 .287 164
9 Duffy Dyer 146 1 9 .317 .404 .405 .809 .402 161
10 Ramon Hernandez 135 7 24 .333 .407 .558 .966 .340 158

Boccabella's career OPS+ is 62. His career WAR is -0.3. Yet he demolished a team that played in the Astrodome.

Star-divide

Kansas City Royals (Full table)
OPS: Randall Simon (1.161)
tOPS+: Randall Simon (208)

Randall Simon came here to kick some Royals ass and attack some sausages. And it looks like he's all out of sausages.

Rk Player PA HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+
1 Randall Simon 109 7 32 .410 .431 .730 1.161 .378 208
2 Glenn Wilson 110 4 14 .377 .391 .632 1.023 .400 187
3 Bobby Crosby 171 9 36 .327 .382 .583 .966 .344 182
4 Herbert Perry 132 9 22 .348 .405 .678 1.083 .316 176
5 Miguel Olivo 156 6 27 .347 .374 .558 .932 .391 170
6 Erick Aybar 185 0 19 .363 .399 .544 .943 .405 165
7 Gerald Laird 184 6 24 .319 .372 .515 .888 .343 165
8 Scott Rolen 139 7 25 .383 .475 .643 1.118 .374 162
9 Dustin Pedroia 210 9 30 .374 .452 .631 1.084 .374 160
10 Robert Fick 174 9 26 .308 .408 .548 .956 .313 160

This list trends toward the last couple decades, almost as if the Royals haven't had good pitching for a while. Hmmm ...

Star-divide

Los Angeles Angels (Full table)
OPS: Mike Napoli (1.329)
tOPS+: Mike Napoli (204)

Say, that trade didn't go well.

Rk Player PA HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+ ▾
1 Mike Napoli 134 12 25 .396 .500 .829 1.329 .405 204
2 Bob Randall 122 0 7 .361 .408 .481 .890 .375 186
3 Joel Skinner 132 4 19 .303 .348 .471 .819 .376 181
4 Scott Cooper 124 5 18 .360 .419 .595 1.014 .380 178
5 Joe Simpson 113 1 12 .333 .369 .431 .801 .344 164
6 Bobby Del Greco 133 4 18 .280 .421 .477 .898 .299 163
7 Pat Kelly 203 9 28 .326 .369 .527 .896 .359 163
8 Luis Alicea 172 5 19 .340 .420 .510 .930 .363 160
9 Fred Valentine 181 5 29 .311 .410 .507 .917 .320 160
10 Bobby Bonds 155 8 30 .347 .471 .585 1.056 .384 158

Right now, there's an Angels fan, shaking his/her head and screaming, "I KNEW PAT KELLY WASN'T THAT GOOD AGAINST ANYONE ELSE." He wasn't. And even though Bobby Bonds had a Hall of Nearly Great career, he was at his best against the Angels.

Mike Napoli, though. Here's a spoiler: Napoli has a higher OPS versus the Angels than any other player has against any other AL team, min. 100 at-bats.

Pat Kelly is probably a career .330/.400/.510 hitter for his career based on the Angels and Orioles. Let's check ... say, no, that's not true at all. He was a career .249/.307/.369 hitter, but against the Angels and Orioles, he was a career .324/.381/.518 hitter.

If you take those two teams out of his career line, Kelly was a .234/.292/.339 hitter.

Star-divide

Minnesota Twins (Full table)
OPS: Jose Bautista (1.269)
tOPS+: Jose Molina (204)

That would be a career .861 slugging percentage for Bautista against the Twins. And I'm sure Molina has a .440 BABiP because of all the infield hits.

Rk Player PA HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+
1 Jose Molina 111 4 12 .370 .422 .540 .962 .440 204
2 Jose Bautista 131 18 26 .330 .408 .861 1.269 .274 190
3 Gary Sutherland 114 3 11 .350 .404 .466 .870 .347 190
4 Rick Leach 165 5 20 .354 .412 .585 .997 .359 182
5 Deron Johnson 172 11 30 .331 .398 .610 1.008 .381 174
6 Felix Fermin 214 1 26 .344 .393 .439 .832 .348 174
7 Felix Mantilla 148 10 16 .316 .385 .609 .994 .296 168
8 Dan Pasqua 209 12 34 .328 .407 .623 1.030 .381 166
9 Norm Zauchin 128 8 37 .318 .406 .573 .979 .321 165
10 Candy Maldonado 142 8 25 .328 .394 .602 .996 .386 164

Felixes tend to do well against the Twins, too. #sabermetrics

Star-divide

New York Yankees (Full table)
OPS: Miguel Cabrera (1.161)
tOPS+: Roger Cedeno (182)

There you go. This is what Roger Cedeno is the best at.

Rk Player PA HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+
1 Roger Cedeno 113 4 16 .365 .411 .596 1.007 .400 182
2 Travis Snider 117 6 17 .360 .385 .640 1.024 .486 176
3 Dan Pasqua 149 8 24 .349 .430 .620 1.050 .363 172
4 Luis Rivera 162 6 25 .277 .358 .489 .848 .308 170
5 Curt Blefary 257 13 35 .313 .414 .592 1.007 .310 169
6 Ray Morgan 157 2 19 .346 .416 .459 .875 .341 166
7 Jody Reed 285 2 25 .357 .448 .477 .925 .364 165
8 Scott Bradley 134 3 19 .344 .371 .488 .859 .345 165
9 Ed Stroud 161 4 11 .301 .356 .500 .856 .325 165
10 Dick Stuart 153 7 29 .380 .418 .620 1.038 .402 159

Pasqua was a Yankees product who took offense to his trade to the White Sox, apparently.

Star-divide

Oakland Athletics (Full table)
OPS: Barry Bonds (1.258)
tOPS+: Vance Law (181)

I'm only half of the way through this, but I'm pretty sure that Bonds is going to be the only player showing up on a team's list from a different league.

Rk Player PA HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+
1 Vance Law 117 3 13 .350 .431 .560 .991 .372 181
2 Grady Hatton 147 2 24 .336 .486 .518 1.004 .350 176
3 Carroll Hardy 152 2 16 .318 .401 .455 .856 .370 171
4 Chuck Stevens 131 1 9 .305 .438 .457 .896 .337 170
5 Dick Nen 122 4 21 .290 .369 .467 .836 .307 168
6 Cam Carreon 115 1 12 .385 .434 .471 .905 .398 166
7 John Shelby 168 4 26 .318 .352 .510 .861 .374 165
8 Clyde Vollmer 334 15 64 .318 .414 .559 .974 .336 162
9 Bob Johnson 206 6 33 .342 .381 .540 .921 .387 162
10 Bob Lemon 149 4 15 .323 .375 .511 .886 .358 162

The best part of this? Bob Lemon, Hall of Fame pitcher. Goodness, that must have been annoying.

Star-divide

Seattle Mariners (Full table)
OPS: Carlos Delgado (1.191)
tOPS+: Carlos Martinez (176)

Looks like the Mariners had to deal with a lot of ... Carlosses.

Rk Player PA HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+
1 Carlos Martinez 127 4 22 .361 .378 .529 .907 .394 176
2 Ken Singleton 314 24 77 .341 .452 .690 1.142 .330 175
3 Corey Patterson 124 5 13 .345 .382 .569 .951 .380 174
4 Mike Cubbage 146 5 21 .362 .421 .531 .951 .378 172
5 Aurelio Rodriguez 134 5 18 .300 .338 .508 .847 .323 168
6 Mike Lamb 139 3 23 .374 .432 .553 .985 .410 163
7 Oddibe McDowell 171 5 19 .315 .396 .541 .938 .369 160
8 Al Woods 129 2 13 .357 .409 .513 .922 .368 158
9 Dave Revering 182 10 31 .325 .387 .583 .970 .319 157
10 Dan Pasqua 250 16 42 .313 .402 .590 .991 .347 156

Hey, Pasqua again. He must have been hot garbage against the rest of the AL. But of all the names on the list, no one was more frustrating than Corey Patterson, I'd imagine.

Star-divide

Tampa Bay Rays (Full table)
OPS: Chris Richard (1.059)
tOPS+: Chris Richard (175)

Chris Richard?

Rk Player PA HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+
1 Chris Richard 126 6 17 .343 .440 .619 1.059 .345 175
2 Howie Kendrick 177 4 18 .369 .420 .588 1.008 .451 165
3 Kevin Mench 120 8 23 .321 .400 .623 1.023 .313 160
4 Matt Wieters 243 13 44 .342 .401 .575 .976 .395 160
5 Jose Cruz 265 16 56 .296 .402 .610 1.011 .313 156
6 Chris Gomez 126 0 13 .382 .444 .427 .871 .408 155
7 Dean Palmer 138 11 30 .320 .391 .631 1.022 .364 154
8 Jerry Hairston 290 8 36 .319 .393 .476 .869 .338 149
9 Ivan Rodriguez 347 19 63 .351 .392 .596 .988 .375 146
10 Shawn Green 133 8 21 .333 .424 .614 1.038 .353 144

Chris Richard. Oddly enough, when he tried to come back in 2009 -- six seasons after his last major-league at-bat -- the Rays were the ones giving him the at-bats.

"You want to play ... for us? You haven't called anyone else, have you? We'll sign you. What do you want, three years? Four years?"

Star-divide


Texas Rangers (Full table)
OPS: Mickey Mantle (1.287)
tOPS+: Aaron Rowand (180)

Almost half the time Aaron Rowand put a ball in play against a Rangers pitcher, the ball fell in for a hit.

Rk Player PA HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+
1 Aaron Rowand 116 2 14 .413 .466 .606 1.071 .494 180
2 Geronimo Berroa 189 10 36 .386 .460 .639 1.100 .402 174
3 Carlos May 482 15 96 .350 .446 .554 1.000 .369 166
4 Joe Orsulak 167 4 26 .356 .422 .507 .929 .366 166
5 Denny Hocking 189 3 22 .313 .407 .463 .870 .343 166
6 Craig Grebeck 161 6 29 .280 .399 .515 .914 .301 162
7 Mickey Mantle 392 35 88 .382 .504 .783 1.287 .369 161
8 Mike Epstein 120 9 23 .280 .400 .620 1.020 .244 158
9 Dave McCarty 126 4 16 .299 .341 .538 .880 .352 157
10 Felix Mantilla 152 8 30 .310 .408 .527 .935 .294 155

Now that's a great list. Dave McCarty! But it's worth noting that mixed in with the Hockings and Grebecks, there's Mickey Mantle, who hit the Senators hard even by Mickey Mantle standards.

Star-divide

Toronto Blue Jays (Full table)
OPS: Brett Gardner (1.062)
tOPS+: Brett Gardner (193)

I"m sure this isn't a secret among Blue Jays fans. They're probably punching a wall right now.

Rk Player PA HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+
1 Brett Gardner 192 4 22 .357 .471 .591 1.062 .395 193
2 Freddie Patek 149 1 23 .359 .421 .453 .874 .388 176
3 Bill Almon 116 3 16 .342 .365 .514 .879 .385 170
4 Bill Stein 126 3 19 .336 .397 .527 .924 .343 169
5 Darren Lewis 179 1 20 .335 .412 .445 .858 .398 166
6 Glenn Hoffman 196 2 26 .313 .361 .447 .808 .344 159
7 Sean Rodriguez 162 6 24 .259 .373 .481 .854 .287 157
8 Chris Davis 168 12 31 .313 .387 .639 1.026 .374 156
9 Bobby Crosby 174 6 22 .281 .368 .503 .871 .308 156
10 Gary Alexander 113 8 24 .280 .348 .580 .928 .313 153

There's Bobby Crosby again. Oh, and apparently Chris Davis is the Jays' Paul Goldschmidt. It's good to know we all have the same monsters in our anxiety closet. They just wear different uniforms.

More from Baseball Nation:

What’s wrong with Matt Cain?

Are baseball games too long?

Jean Segura shouldn’t have stolen first after all

Re-doing bad baseball nicknames

Actual baseball celebrities pick the baseball movies they want to see

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.