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The Best Lefthanded Batters and Lefthanded Pitchers in Baseball

The season began with 13 games played on April 1st.  Two other games were postponed (one by weather and the other by COVID-19).   Matthew Boyd of the Detroit Tigers was the first lefthanded pitcher to take the mound, and the first to earn a victory with 5 2/3 inning of shutout ball. 

Five other lefthanded pitchers started on opening day.  Hyun Jin Ryu of the Blue Jays and Max Fried of Braves both pitched well but did not earn a decision.  Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, Marco Gonzales of the Mariners, and Madison Bumgarner of the Diamondbacks also started but did not fare as well.  

Lefthanded relievers Josh Hader of the Brewers, Sam Howard of the Pirates, and  Anthony Misiewicz of the  Mariners, all earned opening day wins, while Gregory Soto of the Tigers was the first and only lefthander to earn a save on opening day.

Lefthanded batters Michael Brantley of the Astros, David Dahl of the Rangers, Kyle Isbel of the Royals, and Max Kepler of the Twins, all had three hits.  Brantley and Hosmer each had a home run among their three hits, and Alex Dickerson of the Giants, Adam Eaton of the White Sox, Austin Meadows of the Rays, and Steven Vogt of the Diamondbacks also hit home runs on opening day. 

Lefthanders on 2021 Opening Day Rosters

A total of 780 players made the Opening Day Rosters for their respective Major League Teams (30 teams with 26 active players per team).  Among them were 378 position players and 402 pitchers.

Included among those 378 position players were 123 lefthanded batters, 213 righthanded batters, and 42 switch-batters.

Included among those 402 pitchers were 112 lefthanded pitchers and 290 righthanded pitchers.

Opening day rosters do not always indicate who will be there at the end and who will get the bulk of the playing time.  Many of these 780 players will lose their spots to injury or poor performance, and there are many others who will be ready and able to replace them.  But these rosters and the numbers the offer give us a good indication of the influence of lefthanders on the game.

Lefthanders have a big influence on Opening Day!