Tim Anderson isn't one to hold back his feelings.
It was no surprise then that the Chicago White Sox's star shortstop questioned A's manager Bob Melvin for starting left-hander Jesús Luzardo in Game 1 to begin the AL Wild Card Series.
Tim Anderson on A's starting Jesús Luzardo Game 1: "It's a lefty so we'll take it. Nothing against him, but we have been doing good against lefties. I guess they haven't done their homework so hopefully we can go out and continue to do what we've been doing against lefties."— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) September 28, 2020
The right-handed-heavy White Sox lineup has crushed lefties all season long. They're 14-0 when left-handers start against them, and they lead the majors in Weighted Runs Created Plus against southpaws. Luzardo can be an ace, but this won't be easy against Chicago.
Anderson, who hit .322 this season, hit a ridiculous .449 with six homers and a 1.509 OPS against lefties. Yasmani Grandal hit .286 with a .905 OPS vs. lefties, but surprisingly, Jose Abreu, Eloy Jiminez and Nick Madrigal all had better splits against right-handers than left-handers.
So, what about the other side? How did right-handers hit against Luzardo?
Lefties actually had a better batting average -- .260 vs. .256 -- off Luzardo, but right-handers had much better power numbers off the A's young starter. Righties hit eight homers off Luzardo, who only allowed one to a left-handed hitter. They also had a .432 slugging percentage and .757 OPS off him, while left-handed batters had a .420 slugging percentage and .703 OPS.
The White Sox have yet to lose against a lefty, and they'll look to keep the streak alive. Melvin, though, believes in Luzardo, who could be Chicago's equalizer in the playoffs.