MLB’s best pitches (and the best hitters against them)

May 17, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease (84) delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
May 17, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease (84) delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /
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Aug 17, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Tony Gonsolin (26) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 17, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Tony Gonsolin (26) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Split Finger: Tony Gonsolin & Ryan McMahon

A sneaky Cy Young candidate, Tony Gonsolin throws the league’s best splitter with a Run Value of -15. Set up by his 4-seamer, Gonsolin’s split finger represents nearly half of his 116 Ks and comes with a 31.3% whiff rate. At just a .150 wOBA, it’s Gonsolin’s best pitch and hitters can’t do anything with it.

McMahon comes in as the league’s best hitter against split fingers with a Run Value of 4. He sees it only 2.4% of the time but the Rockies’ third baseman has tagged it for a .613 wOBA. Alex Cobb learned of McMahon’s strength against the splitter the hard way as he gave up three hits to McMahon on August 20 with each hit coming off of a splitter.

Gonsolin and McMahon have faced each other in two games this year with McMahon going 2-4 against him (2-for-2 on April 9, 0-for-2 on July 31). Neither of McMahon’s hits came via the splitter but Gonsolin did get him to hit into a double-play off his splitter in their July meeting.

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