Three-year samples used when possible
These tables all exclude 2011 stats
(Favors means the split is +/- .020 points)
Matchup favors LHP: Saltalamacchia, Ortiz, Gonzalez, Pedroia, Crawford, Drew
Matchup favors RHP: Ellsbury, McDonald, Youkilis, Scutaro, Varitek
Matchup is a push: N/A
(Credit to Chris St. John for the data)
Adrian Gonzalez is one of the best hitters in baseball for many reasons. One of which is he can hit the ball out of the park in any direction –it’s true, he once fouled a pitch over the rest of the stadium (no he didn’t)— but there is an exploitable aspect to Gonzalez’s batted ball tendency and it’s pretty easy to spot (Graphic from Texas Leaguers.com):
And with that information, consider the following shift kinds the Rays have employed before (graphic pulled from TPR11):
Given the teams are playing in Fenway, where the left fielder is a brief sprint away from third base, there’s no sense in pulling out the Pronk Shift, instead, it looks like the Rays could throw the same defense at Big Papi and Gonzalez with success.
I would also reference TPR11’s chapter on defending Carl Crawford.