Was the Pujols drought driven by switching leagues?
Albert Pujols finally hit his first home run as an LA Angel on May 6th, the 29th game of the year for the team. He’s currently on pace to hit 6 home runs. I wondered, did switching leagues have anything to do with the drought?
Pujols has hit fewer HRs against AL pitching
Pujols has 446 career home runs, 406 of them have come against NL pitching. His HR hit rate (HRs / ABs) is 7% against NL pitching and 6% against AL pitching, and the NL rate is statistically significantly higher than AL at the 95% confidence level.
Albert’s power outage is also apparent in his hit rate of doubles. He hits fewer doubles against AL pitching, and that’s also statistically significant at the 95% confidence level.
However, Pujols hits more singles against AL pitching
Interestingly, Pujols doesn’t have fewer hits across the board against the AL. He hits more singles against AL pitchers.
Key takeaway: It’s not that Pujols can’t hit AL pitching, it’s that he has less power against AL pitching.