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Why players own one-on-one matchups

Style, environment, past experience can help dictate success in game's individual duels

Originally Published: May 18, 2010
By Doug Glanville | ESPN.com

Baseball loves the story of the matchup. The day in, day out, one-on-one battles give a different twist to what we think of as a team sport. It is pitcher CC Sabathia versus hitter Evan Longoria, or catcher Ivan Rodriguez versus speed demon Michael Bourn, or manager Tony La Russa versus manager Dusty Baker. With all of these events, it makes sense that along the way, someone is prevailing at a much higher rate than what a coin toss would dictate. This makes us feel there are other powers at work ...

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