I wanted to kick around some numbers to see how much lineup construction mattered. I am neither math major nor a sabermetrician. I tried to take a logical approach to this. First off here are the numbers for the 2006 Reds by batting order. I looked at PA, OBP, SLG, and OPS.

I then sorted this data by the three parameters (OBP/SLG/OPS) to see how much of a difference it made. First the sort by OPS.Code:ORIG PA OBP SLG OPS WA 1ST 769 0.360 0.399 0.759 583.7 2ND 753 0.339 0.377 0.716 539.1 3RD 737 0.326 0.476 0.802 591.1 4TH 715 0.344 0.482 0.826 590.6 5TH 697 0.349 0.409 0.758 528.3 6TH 682 0.383 0.527 0.910 620.6 7TH 669 0.348 0.477 0.825 551.9 8TH 649 0.326 0.431 0.757 491.3 9TH 625 0.233 0.306 0.539 336.9 TOTAL 6296 0.336 0.432 0.768 0.768

The OPS-H chart is to resemble the lineup as if you gave the highest OPS the at-bats of the first position in the lineup and so on down the line. OPS-L is the exact opposite. It gives the most at-bats to the batting order position with the lowest OPS. (The pitcher spot stayed the same in each sort). This process was repeated for both OBP and SLG.Code:OPS-H PA OBP SLG OPS WA OPS-L PA OBP SLG OPS WA 1ST 769 0.383 0.527 0.910 699.8 1ST 769 0.339 0.377 0.716 550.6 2ND 753 0.344 0.482 0.826 622.0 2ND 753 0.326 0.431 0.757 570.0 3RD 737 0.348 0.477 0.825 608.0 3RD 737 0.349 0.409 0.758 558.6 4TH 715 0.326 0.476 0.802 573.4 4TH 715 0.360 0.399 0.759 542.7 5TH 697 0.360 0.399 0.759 529.0 5TH 697 0.326 0.476 0.802 559.0 6TH 682 0.349 0.409 0.758 517.0 6TH 682 0.348 0.477 0.825 562.7 7TH 669 0.326 0.431 0.757 506.4 7TH 669 0.344 0.482 0.826 552.6 8TH 649 0.339 0.377 0.716 464.7 8TH 649 0.383 0.527 0.910 590.6 9TH 625 0.233 0.306 0.539 336.9 9TH 625 0.233 0.306 0.539 336.9 TOTAL 6296 0.771 TOTAL 6296 0.766

Here is a comparison chart of all the different weighted-average sorts:Code:OBP-H PA OBP SLG OPS WA OBP-L PA OBP SLG OPS WA 1ST 769 0.383 0.527 0.910 294.5 1ST 769 0.326 0.476 0.802 250.7 2ND 753 0.360 0.399 0.759 271.1 2ND 753 0.326 0.431 0.757 245.5 3RD 737 0.349 0.409 0.758 257.2 3RD 737 0.339 0.377 0.716 249.8 4TH 715 0.348 0.477 0.825 248.8 4TH 715 0.344 0.482 0.826 246.0 5TH 697 0.344 0.482 0.826 239.8 5TH 697 0.348 0.477 0.825 242.6 6TH 682 0.339 0.377 0.716 231.2 6TH 682 0.349 0.409 0.758 238.0 7TH 669 0.326 0.476 0.802 218.1 7TH 669 0.360 0.399 0.759 240.8 8TH 649 0.326 0.431 0.757 211.6 8TH 649 0.383 0.527 0.910 248.6 9TH 625 0.233 0.306 0.539 145.6 9TH 625 0.233 0.306 0.539 145.6 TOTAL 6296 0.336 TOTAL 6296 0.335 SLG-H PA OBP SLG OPS WA SLG-L PA OBP SLG OPS WA 1ST 769 0.383 0.527 0.910 405.3 1ST 769 0.339 0.377 0.716 289.9 2ND 753 0.344 0.482 0.826 362.9 2ND 753 0.360 0.399 0.759 300.4 3RD 737 0.348 0.477 0.825 351.5 3RD 737 0.349 0.409 0.758 301.4 4TH 715 0.326 0.476 0.802 340.3 4TH 715 0.326 0.431 0.757 308.2 5TH 697 0.326 0.431 0.757 300.4 5TH 697 0.326 0.476 0.802 331.8 6TH 682 0.349 0.409 0.758 278.9 6TH 682 0.348 0.477 0.825 325.3 7TH 669 0.360 0.399 0.759 266.9 7TH 669 0.344 0.482 0.826 322.5 8TH 649 0.339 0.377 0.716 244.7 8TH 649 0.383 0.527 0.910 342.0 9TH 625 0.233 0.306 0.539 191.3 9TH 625 0.233 0.306 0.539 191.3 TOTAL 6296 0.436 TOTAL 6296 0.431

I was surprised by how little difference it seemed to make. I expected much bigger variances. As can be seen the Reds team OPS in 2006 was .768. If you sorted the lineup by OPS the 'max' lineup had an OPS of .771. Only 3 points higher than the actual and only 5 points higher than the 'minimum' lineup. The results were equally close for the sorts by OBP and SLG.Code:OBP SLG OPS R-2006 0.336 0.432 0.768 Sort-OPS OPS-H 0.771 OPS-L 0.768 SortOBP 0.336 OBP-H 0.335 OBP-L Sort-SLG SLG-H 0.436 SLG-L 0.431

I know this is not a perfect look at lineup construction. I tried to keep it logical and simple. But the results seem to show that the construction of a lineup matters little. If you want a better lineup, get better hitters.