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Matt700wlw
11-22-2006, 04:28 PM
Where should your best hitters bat?
November 22, 2006


Where should your best hitters bat?

John Dewan's Stat of the Week™
November 22, 2006

Lineup construction is one of the most scrutinized areas in baseball. Who should bat leadoff? Who's in the cleanup spot? However, when it comes down to it, several people (including me) have done studies that have shown that lineup construction is, for the most part, immaterial. As long as you generally have your best hitters near the top of the order, the order doesn't matter.


Nevertheless, it's fun to look at and, despite these studies, one can't help but feel it makes a difference. Here's some fuel for the fire on the side of the notion that the lineup matters.

Where should your best hitters bat? One school of thought is to put your best hitter at the top of the order because he'll get more at-bats that way over the course of the season. Your second best hitter bats second. And so on down the order. Here are the average plate appearances per lineup position based on the 2006 MLB season:

Lineup Position Plate Appearances
1 767
2 749
3 732
4 714
5 697
6 680
7 661
8 643
9 625

As you can see, each higher spot in the order means 15 to 20 or more plate appearances over the course of the season.

But let's look at another element. How often does each lineup position come up with men on base?

Lineup Position Number of Times With Men on Base
1 259
2 323
3 351
4 363
5 333
6 314
7 304
8 293
9 288

The number four position has the most over the course of a season. In fact, it's 104 times more than the leadoff position, quite a significant difference. The third spot in the order is not far behind.

What does this tell me? Your best hitters should bat in the number three and number four spots in the order. Put the speedier (and/or higher on-base) of the two in the number three slot. Follow that up with your next best on-base guys in the number one and two spots. Five through eight (or nine)? Go with the best to worst with the remaining players.

It's the formula I've used playing Strat-O-Matic baseball for the last 25 years. The studies say it doesn't matter that much and maybe it doesn't. But it matters to me, and to about 98% of all baseball fans.

Ron Madden
11-22-2006, 04:31 PM
Always put the best hitters or on base guys at the top of the order.

NJReds
11-22-2006, 04:33 PM
Always put the best hitters or on base guys at the top of the order.

...unless you have a guy with the nickname "scrappy" "speedy" or "dusty." That guy bats second no matter what.

Ron Madden
11-22-2006, 04:36 PM
...unless you have a guy with the nickname "scrappy" "speedy" or "dusty." That guy bats second no matter what.


Sad.. but true. ;)

Highlifeman21
11-22-2006, 04:37 PM
Which would mean based on our current personnel....

Denorfia/Freel
Hatteberg
Dunn
EE
Griffey
Phillips
Ross
Gonzalez

One word immediately comes to mind.... HELP!

We desperately need another big bat in this lineup, even moreso IMO than a #3 starter. I never thought I'd say that.

Willy
11-22-2006, 04:54 PM
Looks like Dunn should bat 2nd, 50 more plate apperances and only 10 less men on base than batting 5th.

Willy
11-22-2006, 04:58 PM
I would go with

Freel
Dunn
Griffey
EE
Hat
Phillips
Ross
Gonzalez

RedsManRick
11-22-2006, 05:04 PM
I'd do:

Deno/Freel
Dunn
EE
Junior
Hatteberg (Wilson vL)
Phillips
Ross
AGon

Sure, Hatty could hit #2, but when the lineup is turning over and outs are at a premium at the end of the game, I don't want Hatteberg getting a 4th or 5th at bat instead of Dunn or EE.

Ron Madden
11-22-2006, 05:13 PM
I'd do:

Deno/Freel
Dunn
EE
Junior
Hatteberg (Wilson vL)
Phillips
Ross
AGon

Sure, Hatty could hit #2, but when the lineup is turning over and outs are at a premium at the end of the game, I don't want Hatteberg getting a 4th or 5th at bat instead of Dunn or EE.

I wish Narron would see it this way.

TOBTTReds
11-22-2006, 05:50 PM
I'd do:

Deno/Freel
Dunn
EE
Junior
Hatteberg (Wilson vL)
Phillips
Ross
AGon

Sure, Hatty could hit #2, but when the lineup is turning over and outs are at a premium at the end of the game, I don't want Hatteberg getting a 4th or 5th at bat instead of Dunn or EE.

Seems pretty good to me. I take it, Wilson is Craig Wilson. I'd love to see that lineup, but it is too obvious for JN.

Here's an updated note on Craig Wilson from mlb4u.com

Teams are beginning to show interest in him. Reds, Red Sox and Cardinals could be the favorites to land him, though the Blue Jays, Brewers, Orioles, Rangers, Astros and Mariners could all also have interest.
Last Updated: 12:12 PM - Nov 22, 06 Source: Jerry Crasnick

cincinnati chili
11-22-2006, 06:38 PM
But let's look at another element. How often does each lineup position come up with men on base?

Lineup Position Number of Times With Men on Base
1 259
2 323
3 351
4 363
5 333
6 314
7 304
8 293
9 288

Good stuff. I would strongly suspect that the leadoff position has more than 259 in the American League (with the DH) and less in the NL.

There was a sophisticated study about 5 years ago about this.

While I don't think it makes a BIG difference, I generally believe that "the book" is wrong on this stuff. In the NL, the primo hitters should bat 2nd. In the AL, they should leadoff. By primo, I mean the Barry Bondses of 2003, Albert Pujols of the first half of this year, etc.

Those of you who have Diamond Mind, Strat, etc. can simulate this and see what happens. The team scores more runs, all things being equal.

The problem is the "human" element. Try telling Barry Bonds in 2003 that he should bat 2nd. It might get into his head and affect performance.

westofyou
11-22-2006, 06:47 PM
Good stuff. I would strongly suspect that the leadoff position has more than 259 in the American League (with the DH) and less in the NL.

There was a sophisticated study about 5 years ago about this.

While I don't think it makes a BIG difference, I generally believe that "the book" is wrong on this stuff. In the NL, the primo hitters should bat 2nd. In the AL, they should leadoff. By primo, I mean the Barry Bondses of 2003, Albert Pujols of the first half of this year, etc.

Those of you who have Diamond Mind, Strat, etc. can simulate this and see what happens. The team scores more runs, all things being equal.

The problem is the "human" element. Try telling Barry Bonds in 2003 that he should bat 2nd. It might get into his head and affect performance.


Speaking of strat

BTW Here's Doms teams line by order and then mine. he scored 99 more runs then my team, .61 more runs a game.



Batting 1 .247 .350 .477 .827
Batting 2 .279 .349 .502 .851
Batting 3 .275 .369 .567 .936
Batting 4 .273 .347 .482 .829
Batting 5 .260 .337 .556 .893
Batting 6 .281 .356 .481 .837
Batting 7 .231 .296 .445 .741
Batting 8 .248 .318 .424 .742
Batting 9 .161 .227 .227 .454



Batting 1 .258 .330 .431 .761
Batting 2 .230 .330 .405 .735
Batting 3 .253 .338 .498 .836
Batting 4 .262 .361 .548 .909
Batting 5 .253 .326 .426 .752
Batting 6 .263 .318 .396 .714
Batting 7 .235 .290 .337 .627
Batting 8 .243 .299 .331 .630
Batting 9 .172 .226 .223 .449

CWRed
11-22-2006, 07:27 PM
Unfortunately, Narron's lineup will probably look like this a lot...

Deno/Freel
Gonzalez (I'm not kidding...remember Royce Clayton?)
Junior ("because he's earned it" will be heard a lot)
EE
Dunn
Phillips
Hatteberg (Wilson vL)
Ross

Even though Dunn produced well batting 2nd last year until Narron just decided to change things. And he's enamored with flip-flopping lefties and righties. Once EE has one 0-4 and error, he will change places with Hatte and become our everyday catcher. Nick Esasky will come off the bench and the closer will be Ted Power.

pahster
11-22-2006, 07:29 PM
Speaking of strat

BTW Here's Doms teams line by order and then mine. he scored 99 more runs then my team, .61 more runs a game.



Batting 1 .247 .350 .477 .827
Batting 2 .279 .349 .502 .851
Batting 3 .275 .369 .567 .936
Batting 4 .273 .347 .482 .829
Batting 5 .260 .337 .556 .893
Batting 6 .281 .356 .481 .837
Batting 7 .231 .296 .445 .741
Batting 8 .248 .318 .424 .742
Batting 9 .161 .227 .227 .454



Batting 1 .258 .330 .431 .761
Batting 2 .230 .330 .405 .735
Batting 3 .253 .338 .498 .836
Batting 4 .262 .361 .548 .909
Batting 5 .253 .326 .426 .752
Batting 6 .263 .318 .396 .714
Batting 7 .235 .290 .337 .627
Batting 8 .243 .299 .331 .630
Batting 9 .172 .226 .223 .449


Ouch. Your lineup blows, WOY. :p:

Mario-Rijo
11-22-2006, 07:33 PM
I think these make the most sense too me, at least the way the roster is set-up at the moment.

Vs. RHP
Freel CF
Hatteberg 1B
EE 3B
Dunn LF
Griffey RF
Phillips 2B
Ross/Valentin C
Gonzales SS


Vs. LHP
Freel CF
Phillips 2B
Dunn LF
EE 3B
Griffey RF
Wilson/Perez/Whoever 1B
Ross/Valentin C
Gonzales SS

RFS62
11-22-2006, 07:36 PM
Those of you who have Diamond Mind, Strat, etc. can simulate this and see what happens. The team scores more runs, all things being equal.

The problem is the "human" element. Try telling Barry Bonds in 2003 that he should bat 2nd. It might get into his head and affect performance.


Another problem with the simulation might be that the stats generated by the players in prior years were in their traditional roles in the lineup. Wouldn't that assume that they would put up the same numbers in the different lineup slots? If so, it seems like it's also assuming that they would be managed the same way.

There are still an awful lot of teams that play "get em on, get em over, get em in". Would the optimal lineup construction suggested here work in an offensive philosophy like that?

westofyou
11-22-2006, 07:44 PM
Ouch. Your lineup blows, WOY. :p:

Yep, totally went south in August and September. I was 64-37 .634 with 61 games left I went 20-41. It was painful, a complete offensive shutdown.

But I had good pitching and defense, I finished with 84 Wins, 2 behind Chili. We play each other in the playoffs. I'm 15-9 against him, mostly from earlier in the year.

BTW here's my three key offensive guys for the year.


NAME OB% SLUG SB% RC RC/27 TOTAVG PROD ISOPW TB AB/HR
A.Dunn .365 .502 1.000 95.0 6.63 .916 .867 .276 242 15.55
J.Edmonds .355 .497 .429 103.0 6.03 .873 .852 .268 282 16.68
A.Pujols .349 .496 1.000 91.8 5.99 .834 .845 .228 266 16.75

mth123
11-22-2006, 10:35 PM
We desperately need another big bat in this lineup, even moreso IMO than a #3 starter. I never thought I'd say that.

Looks like I won a convert.