Monday, July 31, 2006

The Construction of a Lineup

I ran the Yankees lineup with current stats through Baseball Musing's Lineup Analysis tool. This optimizes lineups based on historical research of SLG and OBP.

The following lineup is expected to score 6.387 runs per game, which, for anyone lacking a calculator, extrapolates to 1,035 runs for the season.
1. Jeter
2. Alex
3. Sheffield
4. Giambi
5. Posada
6. Matsui
7. Damon
8. Cano
9. Abreu

The problems herein: 1) Matsui and Sheffield's stats represent a small sample size; 2) Abreu would never bat ninth, and could show a power surge in the Bronx; 3) going righty-righty-righty-lefty-switch-lefty-lefty-lefty-lefty isn't exactly sound lineup strategy.

There are other variations of the lineup, each of which negligibly reduces the run total. It is interesting to note, however, that each and every variation has Jeter leading off and Abreu batting ninth (probably because they have the high OBP/mediocre SLG pedigree of a leadoff hitter). The majority of the variations pen the order as Jeter-Alex-Sheffield-Giambi, and then a mixing of the order down to Abreu at ninth.

I also ran it sans Sheffield/Matsui and with Cabrera/Wilson, which came in at 6.312 runs per game.
1. Jeter
2. Alex
3. Posada
4. Giambi
5. Damon
6. Wilson
7. Cano
8. Cabrera
9. Abreu

Of course, we know these situations will never come to fruition. Damon will bat first and Jeter will bat second for as long as they both play for the Yankees.