J.A. Happ doesn’t have overwhelming numbers against left handers, but they are strong enough to beat weaker opposition. Left handers are slashing .266/.305/.385 against Happ in 2012 with just 2 HR’s and 4 BB’s. He’s been victim to some poor luck this season and is due for an overall correction and the perfect recipe is a heavy dosage of players that struggle vs. southpaws. His next two opponents, Chicago and Pittsburgh, are two of the league’s worst vs. lefties.
Chicago’s best power hitter (Bryan LaHair) does not play vs. left handers, neither does Pittsburgh’s power bat Garrett Jones. There are land mines sprinkled within each lineup. Chicago has Starlin Castro, Geovany Soto, and Alfonso Soriano, the latter two of which hit well vs. leftiers while Pittsburgh has only Andrew McCutchen. However, the rest of each lineup is either a below average hitter or putrid vs. lefties.
Additional reason not to be concerned? His periph’s suggest a correction is on its way. His SIERA, xFIP, and tERA are all over a run lower than his actual ERA. His K%, BB%, SwStrk%, LD%, and GB% are the best he’s had his entire career while his BABIP and HR/FB do not match career norms and his velocity is the highest it’s ever been. This is the profile of a sub 4.00 ERA/1.30 WHIP pitcher that strikes out a player per inning, in other words – Anibal Sanchez, a pitcher routinely selected in the top 40 starting arms in March.
Take advantage of his favorable two starts coming up and you should consider keeping him around afterwards too. He has the profile of a post hype sleeper finally coming into his own.