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Batter Performance vs. Pitcher Clusters

Managers are always attempting to optimize their lineups for success. Whether they make in-game decisions like double-switches and lefty-righty matchups, or choose to change things up based on recent or historical performances, every move is meant to give their team the competitive advantage. What if they also made alterations based on pitcher groupings? In this article, I will attempt to determine if batter performance is impacted by pitcher clusters that are organized by pitch speed and pitch proportion.

The parameters used to cluster pitchers are below:

  • Proportion of Pitch Thrown
  • Average Pitch Speed

These statistics were calculated for the following pitch types:

  • Changeup
  • Curveball
  • Eephus
  • Cutter
  • Four-seam fastball
  • Sinker
  • Two-seam fastball
  • Knuckle-curve
  • Knuckleball
  • Slider
  • Splitter

*All data in this study is from 2010-July 2017 (MLB Gameday). Read the rest of this entry »