There’s no better feeling than when your guy is on the MLB mound and he’s got one of the nastiest pitches in baseball. Everyone in the stadium knows it’s coming and everyone knows there’s not a thing the hitter can do about it.
On the flipside, there’s no worse feeling than when one of the best hitters in the league steps up to the plate and you’re just hoping your guy doesn’t throw thatpitch because he’s going to absolutely crush it.
Thanks to Statcast’s Pitch Arsenal Stats leaderboard, we can quantify which pitchers have the best and most effective pitches in the league (and which hitters are the best against those pitches as well).
For this article we’ll use Run Value from Statcast. Run Value is defined as “the run impact of an event based on the runners on base, outs, ball and strike count.” (A more in-depth description of Run Value can be read here)
So these pitches have not only been nasty, but they’ve been impactful too.
Here are the best MLB pitchers and hitters against each type of pitch this year.
A thank you in advance to Rob Friedman (AKA Pitching Ninja on Twitter) for tweeting a plethora of nasty pitches for you to ooh and aah at in this article.
Four Seam Fastball: Justin Verlander & Aaron Judge
Verlander’s 4-seamer comes in with a Run Value of -21. At that number, it ranks as the second-best pitch overall in baseball. That’s thanks to a pitch usage of 50.6% which is driving up its value here. It’s still coming in with a velocity in the mid to upper 90s. And while it’s not always his putaway pitch, it’s the one he clearly trusts the most to get outs with.
Aaron Judge is the best hitter against 4-seamers, coming in with a Run Value of 22. Pitchers throw it to him 26% of the time, and honestly they should consider throwing it less. He’s hitting it for a .543 wOBA, easily the best number he has against any pitch this year.
Verlander has faced Judge in one game this year and Judge has seen his 4-seamer twice. Both resulted in outs (one an easy popout foul, the other a lineout to Jose Altuve).