Sports Reference Blog

Play Index Split Finders

Posted by Neil on April 2, 2013

Now that the season is upon us, here's a reminder about our Play Index Split Finder tools, which we believe will add an incredible new element to your research capabilities:

So, what can you do with these?

Each is set up in a similar fashion, so let's use the Player Batting Split Finder as an example. For starters, you can tell it to find Individual Seasons, Totals Spanning Seasons, or Career Totals, depending on your preference, and set the usual range of PI options -- year ranges, teams, age, season, active/retired, etc. The big attraction of this finder, though, is on the right side of the form, which allows you to choose split types and stats to sort on.

The split types are any of those which you can find on a player's split's page, and you can just sort on those if you want. For instance, here are the lefty batters who had the most HR against left-handed pitchers in the last 30 years.

Even cooler is the ability to select the "Compare this split to the player's season/career totals" option, which calls up a dialog where you can set a minimum overall requirement (playing-time or otherwise) and the choice to sort by the percentage of the player's total within the given split. An example of this would be, among batters in the last 30 years with 30+ HR in the whole season, who had the highest percentage of their HRs in the second half of the season.

There's also an option to find the difference between the player's stat in the split and his overall number, which works best for rate stats. For example, which hitters had the biggest boost in OPS vs "power pitchers" compared to their overall career OPS?

The Pitching Split Finder works the same way, but it also adds the option to view the output in the form of traditional pitching stats (IP, ERA, etc), the opponent's batting line, or both.

The team finders are similar in function, allowing you to find things like the teams who got the most IP from pitchers age 36 or older, or teams whose leadoff hitters created the highest percentage of their runs.

Needless to say, these examples barely scratch the surface of the kinds of queries you can run with these new tools, so please play around with it and have fun finding incredibly obscure splits! And as always, email us with your questions, comments, and bug reports.

3 Responses to “Play Index Split Finders”

  1. Tim Says:

    Wow, this is pretty cool. Did you know that Arod is still one home run short of having the most homers career wise as a shortstop. He trailed Ripken by one when he moved to third base, and he's still there. Only question is why players like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig don't show up. They were after 1916.

  2. greg Says:

    Barry Bonds had some absurd splits.

    In 2002, he hit .384/.556/.976/1.532 OPS vs. LHP. That's a lefty hitter hitter who is hitting lefties at higher than Babe Ruth levels. How can you stop a lefty who mashes lefty relievers?

    In 2004, Bonds hit .395/.652/.957/1.609 OPS vs RHP (1.096 OPS vs. Lefties). 1.600 OPS vs RHP is crazy. That meant most RHP starters are essentially useless vs. Bonds. At home, he hit .412/.638/.962/1.600 OPS at home. This is a ballpark that is known as a pitchers park and is supposed to suppress lefties yet Bonds hit with Ted Williams average and Babe Ruth power.

  3. Neil Says:

    #1 - I don't think they have those splits because while gamelogs go back to 1916, PBP only goes back to 1945.

    #2 - This is why Bonds was intentionally walked 249 times in the 3 years from 2002-04. (Just typing that, it's so crazy I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.)