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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Drysdale = Koufax v. RHB

Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale pitcher their entire careers for the Dodgers.  Both started in Brooklyn at age 19.  Both achieved Hall of Fame status in Los Angeles.

Sandy Koufax
Sanford Koufax (The Left Arm of God) 
born Sanford Braun
Position: Pitcher
Bats: Right, Throws: Left 
Height: 6' 2", Weight: 210 lb.
Born: December 30, 1935 in Brooklyn, NY

Debut: June 24, 1955 (Age 19.2)
Last Game: October 2, 1966 (Age 30.3)
Inducted into the Hall of Fame by BBWAA as Player in 1972 (344/396 ballots).


Don Drysdale
Donald Scott Drysdale (Big D or Airedale)
Position: Pitcher
Bats: Right, Throws: Right 
Height: 6' 5", Weight: 190 lb.
Born: July 23, 1936 in Van Nuys, CA

Debut: April 17, 1956 (Age 19.3)
Last Game: August 5, 1969 (Age 33)
Inducted into the Hall of Fame by BBWAA as Player in 1984 (316/403 ballots). 
Died: July 3, 1993 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada (Aged 56.4)
Cremated


Koufax was better than Drysdale.  Here's something interesting: against right handed batters (RHB) Drysdale was dead even with Koufax in On Base Plus Slugging (OPS) averages against them by opposing batters.  PA is plate appearances against them.


OPSKoufaxDrysdale
RHB.594.595
LHB.597.711
Tot.594.645
PA9,49714,097
RHB7,4798,023
%RHB78.75%56.91%
%LHB21.25%43.09%

Koufax had no platoon advantage.  Which meant that switch hitters had no advantage against Koufax, I think mainly because Koufax threw overhand.  Drysdale was just the opposite, a tall sidearmer.  Drysdale was really tough on RHB but no tougher than Koufax.

Here is some anecdotal data for six RHB, 3 LHB and one switch hitter.  Frank Robinson and Billy Williams are listed, not (Jackie or Brooks) or Ted, none of whom batted against Koufax or Dyrsdale in the regular season.


OPSKoufaxDrysdale
Mays.962.978
Aaron1.077.925
Banks.599.724
Robinson.879.749
Clemente.905.830
Cepeda.835.559
OPSKoufaxDrysdale
Mathews.788.610
McCovey.4271.117
Williams.758.720
OPSKoufaxDrysdale
Rose.410.816

It looks like Koufax had a bit more trouble against these top hitters.

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